Optical Tech


Albert Einstein once said, “I never worry about the future. It comes soon enough”. Our world is changing faster than ever before, and we need to be able to keep up with it.

Optical Technologies are shaping everyday. They are disrupting the communication, entertainment, healthcare and other industries, bringing a new world of possibilities.

The needs for and applications of optical technologies are big, hence it’s important to build and have strong skills capacity within this field. The question is “Where are the Makers in Africa?” What are they making and is it disruptive enough to shape our world? Geekulcha Makers initiative, powered by mLab Southern Africa, is on a mission to have more Producers than Consumers and optical tech is one of their interest areas.

Maker Librarians from the British Council’s Maker Library Network spent Saturday 20 February in Soweto attending a workshop supported by mLab – The workshop was titled “Make a Hologram”. These Maker Librarians were taking part in the induction week of the new Maker Librarians in South Africa – Geekulcha, Nigeria and London. They were joined by experienced Librarians from Durban and Cape Town.

Everyone got a chance to make a hologram to answer the question “What does light mean to you” and it was fascinating to see how easy it was. The Maker Librarians got a chance to mentor young Makers from Pretoria  and Johannesburg and showed them how to visualise objects through a prism made from a CD case and a smartphone.

Another mLab startup, Layyers Innovate, had an opportunity to showcase their work to show the talent and creativity that our country has.

It’s always a beautiful sight to see Makers making and Getting Stuff Done. The fire has now been started, and we must let it burn. Optical tech brings an exciting world of opportunities so how will it fit in the mobile-first world? The power of IoT will also enable more opportunities together with optical tech.

We might not know what the future will bring but we shall continue to empower Makers and Creatives to who are shaping our world to be a better place.

– by Tiyani Nghonyama, Geekulcha | COO & Developer

To see photos from the event click here