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World first hologram technology launched in Wellington

22 Dec 2015

An Australian lawn bowls star and ground breaking hologram technology have collided in New Zealand’s hi-tech capital, with the launch of what is believed to be the world’s first interactive, customisable hologram – called HoloSpace - in Wellington.

Neville Rodda and Chris Mather
Neville Rodda and Chris Mather

An Australian lawn bowls star and ground breaking hologram technology have collided in New Zealand’s hi-tech capital, with the launch of what is believed to be the world’s first interactive, customisable hologram – called HoloSpace - in Wellington.

The innovation is a collaboration between two bright Wellington entrepreneurs - Point Zero managing director Chris Mather, 24, and Sea Digital Director Neville Rodda, 31.

The hologram uses the reflective capabilities of Perspex, set to a 45 degree angle against a light source to make an image appear to float in space. It can be scaled for use on devices from mobile phones to industrial projectors.

With the touch of a finger, users can create their own holographic cars with tinted windows, flashy wheels and fresh paint jobs.

Mr Rodda says the holographic gaming platform is a world first because it allows people to interact with education and products in a 3D space as though they are playing a game.

‘‘However this is no ordinary game, this game solves real problems, teaches and inspires in a holographic way that is engaging. It's like a lifelike Minecraft in which you can build Lego and customisable products, live in a 3D space.

“I feel like I’ve been working toward this my whole life, and it’s exciting –we’re on the right side of the wave,” Mr Rodda says. “Customers can literally engage, learn and connect with brands and products through simply playing. The possibilities are endless.”

A former Australian lawn bowls champion, Mr Rodda recently moved to Wellington from Melbourne.

"I have come to the conclusion that Wellington is an entrepreneurs’ paradise… where you can freely create knowing the government is 100 per cent behind backing innovative ideas"

Mr Rodda and Mr Mather met at Wellington co-working space BizDojo which is the new home of Collider – A Wellington City Council-supported programme of events designed for fast growing ideas and companies.

The two young businessmen attended an inspiring workshop offered through the Collider programme, and over drinks at the BizDojo Christmas party, they realised they shared the skills to create the first interactive, customisable hologram in the world that uses gamification to bring stories to life.

That was about four weeks ago.

Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says this type of collaboration is precisely the reason the Council partnered with BizDojo to offer the Collider programme.

“Having a shared space in which our entrepreneurs can share and innovate is key to Wellington’s success as the smart capital.”

Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency Chief Executive Chris Whelan says the collaboration showcases what is distinct and unique about the city.

"There are many people in many cities throughout the world doing incredible things with technology. But what we hear time and time again from entrepreneurs in Wellington is about the power of our community – our city and region are compact, collaborative and there’s a collegiality and energy here that truly does mean anything is possible.”

The project demonstrates an area of particular strength and opportunity for Wellington, Mr Whelan says.

“The intersection of creative imagination, technological expertise and digital entrepreneurship is a central feature of the global economy of the future.”

Mr Mather and Mr Rodda are now exploring commercialisation options and potential partnerships.

To learn more about the hologram technology visit pointzero.nz and seadigital.co.nz.

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