New Zealand virtual and augmented reality innovators set up association
New Zealand's top tech talent are getting together to make the most of the booming virtual and augmented reality sector.
A group of 16 innovators from Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch have formed the New Zealand VR/AR Association.
The association, based in Wellington, secured the rights as New Zealand's chapter of the global association, which also has chapters in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Asia.
Virtual reality (VR) is a 3D computer-generated simulation of real life, which the user is immersed digitally, while augmented reality (AR) superimposes digital information on the world around us, such as holograms.
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Reality technologies are currently used in a range of applications, including entertainment, business, medicine, education, architecture and government.
The emerging industry is predicted to be worth NZ$205 billion in five years.
The New Zealand association will work alongside the national virtual and augmented reality complex, ProjectR, which was set up in Wellington last month.
VR/AR Association and ProjectR director Jessica Manins said the industry was spring-boarding off the game and entertainment industry and could see the sector rivalling wine as a $2.5 billion export industry for New Zealand within a decade.
New Zealand association members include Wellington-based virtual and augmented technology company 8i, Massey and Victoria universities and emerging New Zealand companies such as Auckland-based Imersia and The VR Room from Christchurch.
"It's vital that we connect nationally and build a robust platform for collective offshore representation. It is a great springboard to the US and other markets," Manins said.
Global VR/AR Association president Nathan Pettyjohn said connectivity would help boost growth and help the world to tap into the innovation taking place in New Zealand.