Headline December 11, 2016/ ''' *HAJJ* & *TECH* '''

''' *HAJJ* & *TECH* '''

*AXON 313*,  BASED IN KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA, took four years to design and present the  World's First Hajj Simulator. The concept is indeed unique..

For those not in the know, the Hajj is an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, and a mandatory religious duty for Muslims that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by all adult Muslims who are financially capable of undertaking the journey and can support their family during their absence.

The Hajj gathering is considered as one of the largest religious annual gathering of people in the world. 

It is estimated that about  3.2 million Muslims perform the hajj every year. Those numbers are projected to grow to 10 million when further infrastructure expansion is completed in the coming years.

Pilgrims can also go to Mecca to perform the rituals at other times of the year. This is sometimes called the  ''lessor pilgrimage'', or Umrah. However, even if they choose to perform the Umrah, they are still obligated to perform the Hajj at some other point in their lifetime if they have the means to do so.

Why the Simulator?
As a religious ritual that is taken very seriously by Muslims, those going to the hajj need to attend training courses prior to actual pilgrimage. 
The reason is due to a series of rituals that need to be performed in order to be considered to have successfully completed the Hajj.

The training is to help those going to the Hajj to better prepare themselves not only spiritually but also psychologically as to what to expect and how to go about the series of rituals.

''For many thus would be the first time that they would have stepped into Mecca. It can simply overwhelm them. 
Thus the training is essential to ensure that they get to perform the rites proper,'' said Nasir Hashmi, Managing Partner at Axon 313.

Thus far the trainings have been traditional in nature as it generally entails the use of Powerpoint presentations. Nasir and his partner Faisal Khawaja, who have both already performed the Hajj, felt that there could be a better way to train those going to the Hajj.

''We felt that of they could actually visualize the space and the rituals, it might help them to be better prepared,'' continued Nasir.

Most importantly, what Axon 313 wanted to create is a total immersive experience. 
''We literally wanted to recreate the whole space and process into a simulator environment. that would allow us to project  much larger and detailed images that would offer a 360 degree view.

In effect, it would be a realistic presentation of what those going to Hajj would see. With the simulation software, the trainers could then manipulate the  ''Avatar''   character so that-

The audience can better understand where they need to go and what they need to perform at each stage of their Hajj pilgrimage.'' Thus began the quest to create the simulator.

Named as the  Axon Hajj Training Simulator [AHTS], it is a training tool for those to perform the Hajj and even the Umrah

Beyond that the partners felt that it would also be an edutainment medium for Muslims who cannot afford to go for  Hajj-or-Umrah and also for non-Muslims who want to get the feel of Hajj  -one of the largest holy gathering in the world.

Technology Involved
AHTS is based on multi-projection technology with 3D imagery projected on a curved screen. 

The curvature of the screen is intended to create a virtual immersive reality environment thus creating an experience for the audience as if they are actually at the location itself.

Axon 313 also created what they call an  Axon Image Generator Rack that comprises high-end CPU and GPU based workstation, custom rigged to handle 4K multichannel simulation data, as well as the interactive simulation of software, with DVI signals connected to the projectors.

Blending and geometric algorithm equipment for the projectors are all within the rack with the audio mixer and wireless microphone transmitter completing the set -up.

For demonstration purposes. Axon 313 has a customised screens measuring 18 ft by 6.3 ft. 

The screen is portable and can be set up within 36 minutes. For a two projector set-up, Axon 313 expects that it would take about an hour to get systems fully set-up with edge-blending and the geometric algorithm of the image projection taken into account.

Faisal who is responsible for the technical aspect of the project highlights:
''The way we  designed the set-up is to make it modular so that we can expand on the screen size according to space availability.''

He added that the system is configured so that it can easily adapt more projectors if needed. ''What is key is that the system is built around high-performance projectors.''

The Honour and Serving of the latest Operational Research on World and Beyond continues. Thank Ya all for reading and sharing forward and see you on the following one.

With most respectful dedication and with many memories to H.E. Dr. Osama Bin Fadl Al Bar, Honourable Mayor of  Makkah.
See You, Sir, Your Excellency,  -on !WOW!  -the World Students Society and Twitter-!E-WOW!  -the Ecosystem 2011:

''' Nature & Integration '''

Good Night and God Bless

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