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O’Leary brings technology leap in race for Hamilton mayor

Anyone following the Hamilton mayoral election this year can become part of the story through their tablet or mobile phone.

In what is a first for New Zealand politics, Hamilton mayoral contender and four term City Councillor Angela O’Leary, will be using a technology known as ‘augmented reality (AR)’ as part of her campaign leading up to the October election.

With augmented reality the user becomes part of the online experience. For users it combines their real world, with an augmented world.

“From my brief exposure so far to the capabilities of augmented reality it’s a novel experience,” says O’Leary.

“I hope people take the opportunity to check it out not just for the election information but to get an idea of where these new technologies are going in the field of communication.”

The mayoral AR campaign idea was developed by Waikato based technology company Yellow Wood Ltd. Director Paddy Ward says his company is very excited about the potential for augmented reality.

“In this case it will enable Hamiltonians to easily connect with Angela wherever and whenever it suits them” he said.

Zappar app

“To experience O’Leary’s AR channel, the user just has to download a free app – Zappar - from their app store using their phone or tablet” says Ward.

“They then open the app and point their phone at the lightning bolt symbol on O’Leary’s election material. The experience will then begin, with weekly update videos, discussion on Council decisions and quick opinion polls” he said.

O’Leary says the experience will grow organically during the campaign, with more and more chances for people to interact.

“I know how busy people are – I want to make it as quick and easy as possible for people to find the information they need” she said.

“This is an original and innovative way to check out what’s going on in the lead up to the election. We’ve already come up with some great ideas. I’m not going to give them away here – people will have to check it out for themselves and see!

© Scoop Media

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