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, customizable hologram – called HoloSpace — in Wellington.
The innovation is a collaboration between two Wellington entrepreneurs – Point Zero managing director Chris Mather, 24, and Sea Digital Director Neville Rodda, 31.
Point Zero produces digital experiences for mobile and web, specialising in virtual reality while Sea Digital builds digital brands.
How does this hologram technology work?
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.
Rodda said 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,” he explained. “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,” Rodda remarked. “Customers can literally engage, learn and connect with brands and products through simply playing. The possibilities are endless.”
A match made in Wellington heaven
A former Australian lawn bowls champion, Rodda recently moved to Wellington from Melbourne.
“I have come to the conclusion that Wellington is an entrepreneur’s paradise… where you can freely create knowing the government is 100 per cent behind backing innovative ideas.”
Wellington is at the forefront of New Zealand’s culture of innovation, home to an estimated 400 start- ups – from national success stories such as Trade Me, to the Oscar-winning Weta Workshop.
Rodda and 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.
In late 2015 the two young businessmen attended a 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.
Mather and Rodda are now exploring commercialisation options and potential partnerships.
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.”