Areograph Limited on top of world again

Last updated 05:00 22/06/2011

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A Dunedin computer graphics company has again been recognised on the world stage.

Areograph Limited last week won a World Summit award, its second in three years, for its 3D modelling software. The Areoscan software creates a digital model of an object or area by blending together thousands of photographs. The model can then be navigated by computer or touchscreen, creating an interactive 3D world.

Judging the competition, the World Summit panel looked for the most innovative and creative advancement of information and computer technologies.

Areo was one of five winners in the e-business and e-commerce category, competing in a field of 460 projects from more than 100 countries.

Chief financial officer Graham Hambleton said the win helped add credibility and validity to the technology.

"When [companies] are aware that an external international body has had a look at the technology and thought it fit to give that particular accolade to, they take notice."

The cost-effectiveness and simplicity of Areoscan differentiates it from conventional 3D laser scanning, which can be five times as expensive, he said. The only equipment required is a digital camera and an account with the Areoscan website.

Since Areoscan's release in September last year, it has been used in interactive museum displays, military training simulations and surveying.

"There's quite a lot of significant development in the aerial surveying at the moment," Mr Hambleton said. "We're working with a local New Zealand provider around that, and that's opening up opportunities with other similar companies."

Areo is discussing international expansion with interested parties on potential licensing deals. One party is interested in buying the technology outright for its exclusive use.

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