A historic milestone was achieved when local start-up Rumine Corporation won the Gold Award in the Digital Content category of the ASEAN ICT Awards (AICTA) 2021.
The Brunei-based startup won the award with its product, ‘Techsim and Virtual Explore’, a virtual assembly simulation for basic learning and training for the employees and trainees with the use of virtual reality (VR) and hand motion sensors. It enables any business or industry to create its own customised augmented reality (AR), VR and applied games.
Rumine Corporation, represented by Sarinah binti Ziziumiza, Nursheila binti Ziziumiza, Lailatun Najihah binti Ahmad Humaizi and Awangku Hafeezur Rahman bin Pengiran Haji Ramlee, emerged victorious ahead of entries from Indonesia and Thailand, which won second and third place in the same category.
Rumine Corporation has actively participated in initiatives conducted by the Ministry of Transport and Infocommunications (MTIC) and Authority for Info-communications Technology Industry of Brunei Darussalam (AITI), in particular the Brunei ICT Awards (BICTA) since 2018 by submitting various products for the competition.
Rumine Corporation also receives mentoring and support through its involvement in programmes conducted by AITI and industry partners such as BICTA Plus Bootcamp and most recently the Tech Immersion Programme, a post-BICTA mentorship programme running for six months beginning December 2021.
Rumine Corporation Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Sarinah, in an interview, said the project is a simulation to train workers to conduct practical work using VR technology. It is used to achieve competency on hatch back, a heating ventilation air-conditioning. It is also associated with other mechanical engineering principles.
She added that Rumine was established in 2020 but was formed two years prior.
“Techsim is still underdevelopment, but we are planning to improve it especially in the head mounted display. For our short term goals, trainees can use the VR platforms sometime this year. But in the longer term, people in this region will be able to incorporate our platform into their training programmes,” she said.
Asked on what is next for the company, Sarinah said their strategic goal is to focus on their products: AR books for children for education purposes; AR books to raise awareness; and virtual courses such as safety training.
She added that they have received encouragement from the MTIC and AITI. “We joined the BICTA but had to cancel due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Nonetheless, we were fortunate enough to be able to enrol in the virtual AICTA 2021.”
The CEO said they joined BICTA in university years, along with the Crown Prince Creative, Innovative Product and Technological Advancement (CIPTA) Award and Live Business Award.
“BICTA pushed us to innovate, while CIPTA put an emphasis on both innovation and creativity on technology. Meanwhile, Live Business Award tested our business knowledge as we were from different backgrounds, ranging from teaching to research, engineering, information system, creative media and software development.
“Hence, we created a system to help us improve our teamwork and acquire new knowledge,” said Sarinah.
She continued, “I would like to encourage local youth and companies to enrol in this programme to access mentors to assist them along the way.
“We also urge the youth to challenge themselves, be more creative and innovative, more open-minded and confident that we can do it for our nation.”
On winning the award, Sarinah said, “We were pleasantly surprised; we did not expect to receive such a prestigious award. We tried our best to present to 13 international judges.
When the news broke that we won the award, we were shocked. But we are very grateful and honoured to compete in the regional competition and hope to compete in more
competitions in the future.”
She also said, “As the competition took place during the COVID-19 outbreak, it posed a big challenge to gather together,” adding that almost all the physical interaction was limited, posing a constraint as our product involves the VR technology. But there was a silver lining – we were able to work collaboratively through online platforms. When you have the goal and the drive, anything is possible,” she said.
Meanwhile, AITI CEO Haji Jailani bin Haji Buntar said AITI provides assistance to start-up companies to answer the government’s call to promote digital economy and provide training for businesses.
AITI welcomes the public wishing to join the ICT industry, such as training and compete in competitions such as the Asia Pacific ICT Alliance award (APICTA) and ASEAN ICT Awards.
“Many companies have participated in the ASEAN ICT Awards in the past, but this year was the first time we won a Gold Award.
“Rumine Corporation is the best of the best in Digital Technology category, which is an amazing achievement for Brunei,” he said.