Punters at last week's record-breaking two-year-old thoroughbred sale at Karaka in South Auckland used 30 interactive multimedia kiosks to inspect footage of their prospects.
The kiosks were developed by Terabyte Interactive, whose project manager, Kate Taylor, says future plans include enabling bidding via kiosk and online.
Before the initiative buyers, many of whom come across for the annual auction from Australia, were limited to catching a glimpse of the horses “breezing up” for several days beforehand, and poring over video footage of hundreds of horses supplied the night before the sale.
Taylor says the Terabyte team worked for about five months before the auction to take the TAB’s Trackside group's raw VHS footage and capture it in a digital, compressed format of high enough quality to allow punters to clearly examine the strides and pace of horses up for sale.
The high volume compressed files have been put on to Apple iMacs with a simple interface for punters to select a lot number, fast forward and rewind. Pedigree information for each horse has been posted on the Bloodstock website with a set of lower quality Quicktime files of the 500-odd pieces of footage.
Bloodstock engaged Terabyte for the annual sale after a trial run of six kiosks last year appeared to make buyers more confident of their purchase. Terabyte is 100% owned by venture capitalist IT Capital, which recently announced an after-tax profit of $4.8 million for the six months to September 30, 2000.
This was IT Capital’s first move into the black, boosted by the sale of its 33% interest in exo-net in August and a $2.94 million share placement with an Australian technology fund.
IT Capital invested a further $378,765 in Australian internet and client/server software development company Golden Orb in the period. Golden Orb, whose web storefronts and database networking products for small to medium sized business have been closely guarded secrets, has just issued a beta release of its WebWeaver product available on its website, www.golden-orb.com.
IT Capital B2B director Peter Haworth says WebWeaver, which is hosted from Golden Orb’s Australian-based website, will be formerly released on February 1, 2001.