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Global leaders combine forces

Global leaders in Mixed Reality, Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things combine forces


As the first national tech week approaches in May one of the highlight events, Future Realities, has attracted support from the local innovation community and international speakers including Author Neal Stephenson. The aim of this event is to boost understanding of the opportunities for new technology for business, to spark fresh interest in the burgeoning industry from end users, and encourage investment into the startup community.

Future Realities organiser Jessica Manins believes Artificial Intelligence (AI), Mixed Reality (MR) and the Internet of Things (IoT) sit in the top three technology trends that Kiwis need to follow this year. Virtual Reality training enables staff to make mistakes in high risk or challenging situations without any real life consequences. IoT allows us to measure and monitor home appliances, such as detecting if you need more milk in the fridge. AI systems can analyse huge volumes of data and process information like a human — understanding natural language, generating hypotheses based on evidence, and self-learning.

More than NZ$1.5 billion (US$1.1 billion) of capital was invested in Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality internationally in the first two months of 2016, and the industry is predicted to be worth NZ$205 billion (US$150 billion) globally in five years according to Digi-Capital. Analyst firm IDC forecasts global spending on cognitive systems, or artificial intelligence, will reach nearly US$31.3 billion in 2019. A number of companies showcasing at Future Realities are in the process of raising capital for their new ventures.

“Companies that are successfully achieving digital transformation are making serious investments in the power of Augmented and Virtual Reality. A Virtual Reality market research platform called “Shopper360”, developed locally by Rush Digital, Goat Ventures and Lumaten, and made possible by new research in cognitive psychology and predictive analytics utilising IBM Watson, is a great example of how the technologies work together,” Manins says.

The Internet of Things revolutionises the interaction between human activity and the environment we inhabit. Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) transform the way individuals interact with each other and with software systems creating an immersive environment.

Future Realities is looking at the key theme of Scaling Impact using these technologies. The event will include a look at smart city initiatives happening here in New Zealand, the application of IBM Watson Analytics in VR environments and the range of applications being developed for healthcare, education and entertainment.

A collaborative approach to the featured Tech Week event has taken place with the IoT, AI and VR/AR community combining forces to put on this event with support from WREDA, WCC, ATEED, The New Zealand VR/AR Association, The New Zealand Film Commission and IBM.

“The opportunity for NZ as a creative country is immense. With organisations such as 8i on our doorstep, this is a very exciting time for the industry and I am blown away by its exponential growth,” Manins says.

Future Realities takes place at Shed 6 in Wellington on the 10th of May and GridAKL in Auckland on the 11th of May. Tickets are limited.

ends

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