New Zealand’s virtual and augmented reality industry reached another milestone today with the establishment of a new association aimed at securing expected investment worth billions.
The New Zealand Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Association (NZVR/AR Association) was announced today by its inaugural Chair, Matt Coleman, an AR/VR specialist and founder of Magnify, a tenant in theVR/AR Garage hub in Auckland.
The new association charter will assist industry players to connect on a national and global level, upskill, collaborate and attract investment.
Mr Coleman said the virtual and augmented reality industry in the Asia-Pacific Region was set to be worth up to $40 billion in the next five years, and New Zealand was extremely well placed to be a substantial player.
“Within the next five years virtual and augmented reality will change the way people live, work and play. Apart from the obvious entertainment applications, VR/AR will impact every industry including transport, healthcare, military, banking, real estate, human resources, education, manufacturing, and transport. The list goes on.
“New Zealand has the entrepreneurs and highly skilled digital specialists who can deliver the VR/AR experience to all these industries. Our association will accelerate investment and job growth in the country’s VR/AR industry by connecting all the players together.”
Mr Coleman, who organised Magnify, the VR/AR industry conference held last May, will be joined on the NZVR/AR Association board by Kevin Sheehy of Genulin Interactive Healthcare as secretary. Members include Magnify, a VR/AR specialist, social media agency TAG the Agency, Reality Virtual, Staples productions, Stargate interactive, Converse AI and many others.
Mr Coleman said while many New Zealanders would now be familiar with augmented reality thanks to Pokemon, there were many exciting local VR/AR activities taking place.
Kevin Sheehy says “Virtual Reality is a game changer in healthcare and education, where people can be immersed in the human body to understand it and explore disease.”
Examples of recent projects included Sky City’s augmented reality applications including a Sky Tower experience where a user could explore the horizon to find the hidden towers and statues around the world, while during the latest school holidays, Westfield malls in Auckland and Christchurch offered the Green Fairy adventure for children using VR Oculus goggles.
“This is just the beginning. Soon this industry will explode and like smartphones it will be hard to remember a world without VR and AR in our everyday lives.”
For more on the New Zealand Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Association visit their website.