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Weta, Microsoft and HTC team-up at the Wellington centre for mixed reality

Wellington’s virtual and mixed reality centre, Projectr has officially opened with a launch event in collaboration with MBIE.

Simon Bridges opened the centre and released the latest New Zealand ICT Sector Report to an audience of over 160 private and public sector attendees.

Wellington City Council foundation partners see the centre as an opportunity to boost and combine the skills of Kiwi AR and VR talent in one location.

Enabling collaboration to increase technology and product development which can be exported to the rest of the world.

Simon Marsh, Wellington councillor says, “Projectr, is an opportunity to showcase Wellington’s creative ability on a global scale.

“Wellington is an intelligent city that brings innovative ideas to life and Projectr will drive innovation in the virtual and mixed reality space, adding to Wellington’s reputation as a leader in digital enterprise.”

“Wellington City Council are proud supporters of Projectr and innovation that encourages a collaborative working approach.”

Victoria University of Wellington has also partnered with Projectr’s research and development lab to support R&D innovations.

The first collaborative project, with help from Victoria researchers, is underway and focuses on innovations in the health sector. 

Kate McGrath, Victoria University research professor says, “Through this partnership, our staff and students have the opportunity to work alongside people with different skill sets.

“Our students can apply their knowledge and expertise, and gain access to an extensive array of the latest commercial technology advances.”

“This partnership also helps enhance NZ’s capacity and capability to support social and economic growth, particularly important in this heightened period of technological advancement and disruption as virtual, augmented and mixed realities become pervasive technologies.”

The ICT report shows that the computer services sector invested more in R&D than any other sector.

Centre Executive Jessica Manins, said she is keen to see more companies investing in research to accelerate the rate of technological innovation and its associated economic benefits for New Zealand.

“R&D is at the heart of our centre and we’re encouraging as many companies to drop in, try out the latest technology and use our centre as a space for testing, playing and developing proof of concepts with our city’s innovators.”

Founding tenants at Projectr include leading AR/MR production studio Mixt, The New Zealand VR/AR Association, StaplesVR, Imersia and The New Zealand Game Developers Association (NZGDA).

James Everett, NZGDA chairperson says, “The New Zealand Game Developers Association is excited to partner with Projectr in Wellington as we see great opportunities for collaboration between game developers and the many industries exploring VR and AR.” 

Co-working residents have access to mentors, shared work space and the ability to work on collaborative R&D projects within the centre, differentiating it from any other shared workspace.

International mentors include the head of VR at HTC Vive, Vinay Narayan, partner program manager for education at Microsoft, Dan Ayoub and local experts from Weta Workshop.

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