A number of New Zealand companies active in virtual and augmented reality have bandied together to form the New Zealand VR/AR Association to represent and promote New Zealand’s virtual, augmented and mixed reality sectors nationally and internationally.
The new body has also become the New Zealand chapter of the global VR/AR Association, which has 12 chapters around the world
Foundation members include Wellington-based holographic VR/AR technology company 8i, Massey and Victoria Universities, Auckland-based Imersia and the recently opened Christchurch HTC room-scale virtual reality experience space, The VR Room.
Executive director Jessica Manins said: “We’re all amazed at the potential of this emergent industry, which is predicted to be worth $NZ205 billion globally in five years. Spring-boarding off the game and entertainment industry could see the sector rivalling wine as a$NZ2.5 billon export industry for New Zealand within a decade.”
She added: “It’s vital that we connect nationally and build a robust platform for collective offshore representation. Being connected to the rapidly expanding global VR/AR Association is a great springboard to the US and other markets.”
The association’s representatives have met with Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development (ATEED) to discuss links with its recently launched AR/VR Garage in Auckland.
The association plans to hold its first industry event in mid October, and Manins said the association also planned to host an international virtual, augmented and mixed reality conference in March 2017 in Wellington.
She said the association was keen to welcome new members, including virtual and augmented reality innovators and those working or interested in the industry.