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Leaders get first glimpse of Virtual Reality Experience

15 May 2018

Māori and community leaders will have the first opportunity to view a ground-breaking 3D Virtual Reality (VR) experience, which has been in development for more than 12 months.

Showcasing Mātaatua Wharenui and featuring local story-teller Joe Harawira, the interactive VR experience has been developed by Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi, Tech Pā, Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa, and VR and Augmented Reality company Wrestler Inc.

It is scheduled to be offically released later this year. However, an exclusive preview will be given on Thursday at 11am at the Whakatāne campus of Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi.

Professor Te Kani Kingi, Executive Director of Research and Innovation at Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi, said the Mātaatua Marae VR Experience is a proof-of-concept pilot initiative designed to show what is possible with the use of VR technology within the Māori space.

“This technology has never been used within this context anywhere else in the world,” Professor Kingi said. “It is unique and highly innovative. What are the possibilities? The opportunities are significant – especially in terms of tourism, teaching, student employment and training, and collecting tribal histories and reo.

“Thursday’s preview is designed to show what is possible with this type of technology. Those at our exclusive preview will meet Joe and the Wrestler team, see the experience and hear how it was developed.

“We will also hear what plans there are for the future of this technology and the opportunities for our local community, students, businesses and staff,” Professor Kingi said.


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