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NMIT Student Wins Todd Foundation Award

NMIT Student Wins Todd Foundation Award for Cutting Edge Project

Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT) student David Brydon has received a Todd Foundation Award for Excellence for a cutting edge research project using 3D sensors and augmented reality.

The third year Bachelor of Information Technology student will receive a grant of $5,640 towards a project which will see him using the Oculus Rift - the world-leading virtual reality headset and the Microsoft Kinect - a stereoscopic camera originally used for the Xbox game console but which has been adapted to work with computers in a number of ways, from robotics to 3D scanners. The project is aimed at creating a new type of content – fully three dimensional animated recordings and using them in augmented reality (AR) applications.

David Brydon says he is excited about the project and thankful for the Todd Foundation’s backing.

“Without them I would not be able to afford the cutting edge hardware that's required to carry out a project like this. The two main pieces of hardware are being released in July this year - the Oculus Rift DK2 and the Kinect v2. By themselves these are very exciting pieces of hardware but I believe that what I will do with them combined will truly show us what the future will look like.”

NMIT's Research and Knowledge Exchange Coordinator Matt Peacey says it’s the first time that a student from NMIT has received a Todd Foundation award. "On a personal level it’s brilliant for David and reflects his immense talent, but it is also a reflection of the high standard of our Bachelor of Information Technology programme and our tutors who work tirelessly to deliver education and research that is cutting edge."

In 2013, David led a team of developers to create the Heritage Augmented Reality Tours (heARt) app which received $45,000 worth of funding from New Zealand On Air’s Digital Media Fund. The project, a partnership with Nelson Provincial Museum, used three-dimensional scene recognition technology to post historical images and content on top of real world sites around Nelson when viewed on a smartphone or tablet device. David Brydon is also the founder of Kiwi AR and Innovate Ltd, start-ups created to carry out socially-minded innovative technology projects to improve the lives of the people of New Zealand and the world.

The Todd Foundation is a private family philanthropy based in Wellington New Zealand which provides funding to New Zealand organisations that contribute towards their vision of ‘inclusive communities where all families, children and young people can thrive and contribute’.

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