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Second Year Rush at Best Awards

AUCKLAND | 7 October 2019

For the second year running, RUSH has scooped three Gold Awards and two Silver Awards at the Best Design Awards, held by The Designers Institute of New Zealand, at the Spark Arena on Friday night.

The accolades were for the work on Kupu, in collaboration with Colenso BBDO, Google, Te Aka Māori Dictionary and the team at Spark New Zealand. Kupu is the breakthrough mobile app that helps people learn Te Reo Māori by translating photos of objects around them.

The technology is powered by Google cloud vision technology, combining with Te Aka Māori Dictionary translations. Te Aka Māori Dictionary brings with it a reputation for quality Māori language research which has guided the project to ensure Spark had the right cultural engagement, awareness and guidance around the concept and creation of Kupu.

RUSH Chief Customer Officer, Ghanum Taylor, says the team at RUSH worked with Google to develop a prototype of the idea back in 2016. It was through this trial that they were then able to develop the market-ready form when Spark and Colenso BBDO knocked on the door.

“As a design and technology studio, we have a unique offering. Our lifeline relies on innovation and always being one step ahead of the game, so one of our core values is to ‘play the long game’. We are incredibly future focused and have seen the power that computer vision has on the future of how our society operates.

“It was through this foresight that we started tinkering with technology, investing and upskilling in computer vision; learning all about the platforms we could use to better serve humankind.”

Ghanum believes the development of Kupu is a great example of their team’s process in action, seeing the idea land on the table and then recreating the design and build of technology to serve a very valuable purpose of Maori language education.

“We are delighted to be acknowledged for our collaborative work on Kupu. We pride ourselves on designing and building technology that truly better serves our communities and the proof is in the pudding. Already since launch, Kupu has attracted 177,000 downloads, 2,700,000 images translated, and 5,000,000 word-pronunciations played.

“We are delighted to be acknowledged at the BEST Awards for the role we had to play in bringing this incredible technology to life. Our team takes great pride in these accolades as it reinforces that our unique model and skills are working.”

So, with Kupu being the result of the 2016 prototype, where to next for the technology and design studio? RUSH predicts that in future, computers will need to have ‘eyes’ to revolutionize the way they serve purpose. The team has placed big bets on this and has invested in Bigeyes AI, which links state-of-the-art recognition with computer software. The RUSH team is now upskilling on this tool and how they can customize its offering to reshape the way Kiwis currently operate.

Colenso BBDO entered RUSH this year in the Best Design Awards. The wins cap off another particularly successful year for the growing team. Now in its eighth year, RUSH has more than 100 employees with projects ranging across a variety of sectors - each with technology at the heart.

About RUSH:

RUSH is an integrated design and tech studio. Technology and new customer expectations are changing everything, fast. At RUSH, we help you size up the uncertainties and opportunities that change can bring, then find ways to innovate and improve your customer experience so you can leapfrog your competition.

We do it through design, strategy and tomorrow’s technology. We put your customer at the heart of our end-to-end process, working with you to enrich their lives. Why? Because we love technology. Not for its own sake, but for its exciting potential to make things better for humankind.

RUSH has also recently been acknowledged on the Deloitte Fast 50. The final list will be featured on 13 November, but the team continues to grow from strength to strength, with the support of their agency partners and clients, including: ASB, Z Energy and Spark New Zealand.

https://rush.co.nz/


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