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Wellington International Airport gets its own VR experience

Wellington International Airport engaged Wrestler, to create a unique and interactive VR experience that takes users on a trip to some of Singapore Airlines’ destinations from Wellington.

The experience takes the user on an interactive journey from a first class seat on board a Singapore Airlines Boeing 777, onto Changi International Airport and then prompts the user to choose their final destination, London, Phuket or Singapore.

The final travel destinations are a blend of 360 video and 3D digital objects, allowing the user to interact with the environment and have a series of unique experiences. 

The user is invited to play the drums along with the Palace Guard marching band in London, capture butterflies at the Singapore botanic gardens or send paper lanterns into the sunset at Phuket’s southern tip.

To make this experience stand out, Wrestler teamed up with DreamFlux, an early stage venture within Viclink, using technology created by Victoria University of Wellington’s Associate Professor Taehyun Rhee.

Kat Lintott, Wrestler co-founder says, “Wrestler wanted to bring an interactive element to the stunning 360 footage we captured because that’s what makes VR unique. 

“I was aware of DreamFlux and had been looking for an opportunity to use their new technology.

"This project seemed like the perfect fit and Wellington Airport were very supportive of taking an innovative approach to the experience.”

The DreamFlux technology automatically analyses 360° video and detects lighting conditions, applying accurate ambient and directional lights, reflections and shadows in real time. 

Or in layman’s terms, their software allows any 3D digital object to appear integrated with the 360° video environment.

Rhee states, “The use of this software means that lighting and shading move with the object. 

“So when anyone interacts with it, including picking it up and moving it, it still looks very realistic.”

Housed in an eye-catching installation built by another Wellington company, Tomahawk, the user is asked to step onto the streets of Singapore and into a custom-built trishaw which also acts as their digital vehicle throughout the experience.

Lintott continues, “Virtual reality is still at a point where not everyone has access to the headsets and computer systems needed to run this technology.

“It’s great to be able to place this experience in a public place, where travellers have the opportunity to try VR for what may be their first time.”

“At the moment there is a gap in helping new technology and software companies commercialise their products, being able to work with Wellington Airport on a VR project and be able to bring DreamFlux software into use has been such a great opportunity that not many people get to do.”

Wrestler is a creative video agency helping brands tell their stories through video and are leaders in VR/AR storytelling. 

They have made VR experiences for New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Mercedes Benz and AllBirds, with many more films and games in the pipeline.

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