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Waikato Student Wins Internship

Waikato student wins internship for interactive advertising idea

A clever idea has won a University of Waikato final-year computer graphic design student an internship with e-design company Digital Stream.

Marc McHardy’s interactive poster, developed for his degree show project, impressed Digital Stream director Russell Brown and account manager Mark Vuletich, and won McHardy an iPod and a web development internship with the company.

The interactive advertisement uses face detection technology and two cameras, one above the display unit and one in the screen itself, to draw the viewer in and allow them to virtually enter the 3D world of the product.

“The idea is that if we see something that reacts with us, we will be drawn in,” says the former Waihi College student. “As you walk towards the screen, like you would in a mall, the sensor picks up the movement and a sticker on the advert peels away inviting you to step closer, and then closer still. At close range, the face detector tracks your movement from side to side allowing you to see ‘into’ the screen and explore the product in a tailored setting. It’s as if there’s an environment within the screen.””

It’s the first time Digital Stream has offered the internship, and Mr Vuletich said it was hard to choose a winner from among the 36 final-year students on Waikato’s Bachelor of Computer Graphic Design (BCGD) degree programme.

“We felt Marc’s work truly stood out in a field of very tall poppies,” he said. “He had researched current media trends and mediums taking their interactive application to the next level and beyond. He had even developed, created and produced his own brand of hi-top sneakers to showcase the technology -- outstanding!””

McHardy said winning the internship would be real boost to his CV. “Being able to learn the ins and outs of how web development is done in industry will give me the knowledge that you just can’t get from working on a university assignment,” he said.

Digital Stream has offices in Hamilton and Auckland; its clients include Hamilton City Council, Hamilton Zoo, Farmers, the New Zealand Superannuation Fund and the National Heart Foundation.

ENDS

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