NZVRARA TO LAUNCH ‘VIRTUAL GETS REAL’ REPORT

The NZVRARA (The New Zealand VR/AR Association Inc.) is to release a 120-page report titled ‘VIRTUAL GETS REAL’ about the current New Zealand Cross Reality ecosystem at a launch event from 4pm, Thursday 19th October 2017, at the Industry Connect facility within the AR/VR Garage in Auckland’s Mt Eden suburb.

The first of two commissioned reports, VIRTUAL GETS REAL reviews the global sector and what’s happening in New Zealand with a deep dive into each of the three main centres: Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. It provides an oversight to some of the current research and development activity underway and takes a particular look at the role of VR in architecture. It also includes the aggregated results of the first survey undertaken by the sector. The survey enjoyed a high response rate, thanks to active contributions by Association members and industry participants, many of who are highlighted throughout the text.

This book will be available to download from the NZVRARA website from the 20th October, with a small number of hard copies available to those attending the launch function. To register for the event, please go to http://bit.ly/2wX7xZF .

The second of the two reports, GOING NEXT LEVEL, is slated for release at the end of November 2017. This book will include a comprehensive independent assessment of the potential value of the sector to New Zealand and consider the value of cross reality in delivering productivity gains to other sectors. In addition to this robust analysis, the report includes a deep dive into games & entertainment, the role of the screen sector, education, and engineering. The second report will provide insights into potential channels for securing international business for Association members, and highlight possible gaps to be addressed in order to secure the sector’s future.

VIRTUAL GETS REAL was commissioned by NZVRARA and authored by Chair, Michael Gregg, in partnership with the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE), NZTech, Jasmax, WREDA, ChristchurchNZ, ATEED and Callaghan Innovation. Produced for the Association by Blackeye VR, the report follows the style of the initial BlackpaperOne™ self-published and released by that company in March 2017.

The timing of 4pm on Thursday 19th October allows those attending the New Zealand Innovation Awards in Auckland to first enjoy a celebratory glass to toast VIRTUAL GETS REAL at the AR/VR Garage before heading down to the Awards evening.

NZVRARA Executive Director, Courteney Lomas, who has enjoyed early access to the first volume, is confident that there’s something interesting in the book for all those working or studying in the sector, or seeking services from sector organisations. “The numerous case studies about sector start-ups, research projects and local innovation should give pride to this nascent immersive technology industry,” says Courteney.

These reports represent a strategic investment into promoting the fast-growing New Zealand wider VR/AR/MR sector and accelerate adoption of virtual and augmented reality technologies within New Zealand organisations – at the heart of the objectives of the New Zealand VR/AR Association.

The New Zealand VR/AR Association was established to champion, support and grow innovation in the virtual, augmented and mixed reality sectors throughout New Zealand with objectives of promoting collaboration, education, R&D and economic development for the benefit of its over 100 sector members. These reports provide a cornerstone resource to educate potential clients of sector companies, to inform local and central government agencies and department staff of the scale and potential of the cross reality sector, and to assist sector organisations to identify possible partners for project collaborations.

UPDATE: Visit here to download a copy of the VIRTUAL GETS REAL report.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON THE LAUNCH OF VIRTUAL GETS REAL:

CONTACT:
Courteney Lomas
Executive Director, NZVRARA
Mobile 027 738 9340 or [email protected]

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NEW ZEALAND VRAR TO JOIN NZVRARA

The NZVRARA (The New Zealand VR/AR Association Inc. – that’s us!) has reached agreement with New Zealand VRAR (New Zealand Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Association Inc.) to bring New Zealand VRAR members into the NZVRARA and to combine their digital and social media assets.

The NZVRARA is the official New Zealand chapter of the global VRARA (www.thevrara.com) and formally incorporated in September 2016. The New Zealand VRAR’s incorporated society formed in November 2016 with similar objectives, which made it logical to bring the two entities together.

The NZVRARA was established to champion, support and grow innovation in the virtual, augmented and mixed reality sectors throughout New Zealand. Its objectives include promoting collaboration, education, R&D and economic development for the benefit of its sector members.

“Both organisations agreed that it was not sensible to have duplicated resources, so from today, members of New Zealand VRAR are excited to join and participate in NZVRARA activities as a single organisation,” said Tom Reidy, current Chair of New Zealand VRAR, which is embarking on the process of winding up its entity.

NZVRARA Chair, Michael Gregg, is delighted to have the industry unified as a single voice. “Our Board has an ambitious plan of membership activity in place for the rest of the 2017/18 year and launches its sector report: Virtual Gets Real, in September. To be able to offer these events, workshops and opportunities to the entire local VR/AR community is pleasing.”

Members of the disbanding group will be transferred into the NZVRARA. This, and the rapid growth of the Association’s national Student Chapter, plus planning for October workshops and a summer Speaker Series, is all keeping the NZVRARA’s Executive Director, Courteney Lomas, very busy. “It’s a great time to be part of our virtual and augmented reality community,” says Courteney. Prospective members are encouraged to join the Association at www.nzvrara.nz.

FOR FURTHER COMMENT:

Michael Gregg
Chair, NZVRARA
Mobile 021 83 85 83 or [email protected]

Tom Reidy
Chair, New Zealand VRAR
Mobile 021 77 92 98 or [email protected]

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AR/VR GARAGE PARTNERS WITH NZVRARA

The NZVRARA (The New Zealand VR/AR Association Inc.) and Auckland-based AR/VR Garage have signed a wide-ranging strategic partnership to accelerate the growth of the virtual and augmented reality sector in New Zealand.

The AR/VR Garage, facilitated by Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development (ATEED) on behalf of Auckland Council, opened in September last year as a collaborative AR/VR and mixed reality, project-centric, R&D facility in Auckland, New Zealand. Within the broad digital realities sector, the Garage is designed to align tertiary talent with industry needs, develop local solutions for global challenges and connect New Zealand talent internationally.

The New Zealand VR/AR Association is the official New Zealand chapter of the global VRARA (www.thevrara.com) and formally incorporated in September last year. Established to champion, support and grow innovation in the virtual, augmented and mixed reality sectors throughout New Zealand, the NZVRARA’s objectives include promoting collaboration, education, R&D and economic development for the benefit of its sector members.

This strategic partnership formalises the roles of both organisations to work together to accelerate the education, development and evolution of this creative sector for the benefit of New Zealand. The AR/VR Garage – which has more than 20 high-growth company tenants – joins the Association as a corporate member and will facilitate access to event space and AR/VR related equipment, as well as providing a hot-desk for Association members. The partnership allows for Association members’ innovative technology solutions to be showcased in Auckland. The NZVRARA will run its Auckland operations from the AR/VR Garage and access the venue for some of its member events.

NZVRARA Chair, Michael Gregg is enthusiastic about the arrangement saying, “The New Zealand VRARA is delighted to bring on the AR/VR Garage as a strategic partner, and as an Auckland home for our Association. I encourage our members and other strategic partners to make the most of this opportunity to build scale, create and drive innovation, and engage offshore through the facilities, networks and events that the Garage offers.”

Head of the AR/VR Garage, Brett Telfer is also excited at the opportunity: “The spirit of the partnership is to break down barriers to communication and collaboration between New Zealand’s regions and pockets of AR/VR capability, and to showcase our nation’s capability more effectively to international partners, delegations and visiting investors. The partnership provides a framework to collaborate on commercial VR and AR projects that drive economic outcomes for New Zealand companies,” he says.

NZVRARA Executive Director, Courteney Lomas is already working from the Garage to expand its Auckland student chapter and will host its first Garage event later this month. “The AR/VR Garage launched in the same month as the New Zealand VR/AR Association, so this is an exciting way for both to celebrate their respective first anniversaries ­– with a joint event,” states Courteney.

For more on the AR/VR Garage: www.arvrgarage.nz
Lester Thorley
Mobile 021 829 741 or [email protected]
Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development
Senior Communications Advisor, Business Attraction and Investment

For NZVRARA information, or to arrange member access to the AR/VR Garage:
Courteney Lomas
Executive Director, NZVRARA
Mobile 021 779 298 or [email protected]
www.nzvrara.nz

For more on the NZVRARA:
Michael Gregg
Chair, NZVRARA
Mobile 021 838 583 or [email protected]

NZVRARA STUDENT CHAPTER LAUNCHES VR UNI-CLUBS

The NZVRARA (The New Zealand VR/AR Association Inc.) Student Chapter kicked off mid-July with a series of events to inform the establishment of University Clubs on each major University campus, and plans to expand further into Polytechnics and private training organisations.

Members of the University Clubs will be offered reduced cost annual membership to the NZVRARA, with their Association membership fees covered by strategic partners of the NZVRARA.

This significant initiative is tasked with building closer links between the burgeoning VR/AR industry and students moving through the education and training system, to deliver on a wide range of benefits. These include:

A chance for students to attend and gain tangible benefits from NZVRARA meetups, workshops and member events;
A conduit for internships and workplace training via student access to employers and entrepreneur’s seeking undergraduate and postgraduate expertise;
More communications between industry, students and tertiary staff will influence learning pathways and continue to align skillsets with industry demand;
Student have access latest technology and collaborative R&D venues via the NZVRARA’s strategic partnerships;
Based on the successful VRTX model already operating on the Massey Wellington campus, and following a meeting between the NZVRARA and VRTX, the Association organised a meeting of interested Victoria University Wellington campus students who collectively agreed to form their own club.

The call has gone out to VR students and staff from other University campuses to contact the NZVRARA if there is sufficient support for forming an on-campus club at other locations.

Masterminded by NZVRARA Student Chapter President, Courteney Lomas, who is also employed by the NZVRARA as their Executive Director, the idea of the various campus clubs’ meeting, competing, and celebrating the VR/AR sector resonated with both NZVRARA members and students.

“We’re really excited about working collaboratively from multiple locations, across the various Uni clubs,” said Courteney Lomas, NZVRARA Student Chapter President. “We’ve got some fun events already in the pipeline, and a VR challenge that will benefit an important charity planned for early 2018.”

Professor Brian Lucid, Head of Massey University’s School of Design and NZVRARA Board Member, is confident this initiative will deliver positive and exciting results. “The VRTX concept created at Massey is already delivering benefits through meaningful engagement between students, faculty researchers and the wider VR sector,” said Brian, “Forming other campus clubs will only make this initiative stronger”.

The NZVRARA is the official New Zealand chapter of the global VRARA (www.thevrara.com) and formally incorporated in September 2016, and was established to champion, support and grow innovation in the virtual, augmented and mixed reality sectors throughout New Zealand. Its objectives include promoting collaboration, education, R&D and economic development for the benefit of its sector members.

Students or staff from New Zealand’s tertiary institutions are encouraged to contact Courteney at the NZVRARA via [email protected]

GET A CLUB UNDERWAY ON YOUR CAMPUS:

For Student Chapter information:
Courteney Lomas,
Executive Director & Student Chapter President, NZVRARA
Mobile 027 738 9340 or [email protected]

For more on the NZVRARA:
Michael Gregg
Chair, NZVRARA
Mobile 021 83 85 83 or [email protected]

VIRTUAL SKIES EVENT SERIES LAUNCH – VR: WHO OWNS THE FUTURE?

The NZ VRARA launched their new event series, Virtual Skies, on August 8th. The first event of the series,VR: Who owns the future?, saw a diverse mix of people gather together to discuss the utopian and dystopian possibilities of the VR/AR future.

42 people came together to spend an evening debating questions of ethics, ownership and sexuality, within a futuristic VR/AR context . From students to content creators, educators, and business women/men, there was a healthy representation of the Wellington VR/AR community, with a balanced ratio of young, old, male, and female.

A brief presentation on the future predictions for VR/AR was followed by facilitated group conversations set around a series of questions that ranged from the ownership of virtual “tags” to debating the ethics and ramifications of dangerous sexual practises being enacted in a virtual world.

NZ VRARA Executive Director, Courteney Lomas, says “I think that it is really important for the association to be leading this type of conversation alongside promoting, supporting and advocating for our NZ members working in VR and AR. By debating the hard questions and sharing viewpoints amongst the community we are in a better position to build a healthy VRAR future, that harnesses and champions the best of human nature.”

Virtual Skies will be an ongoing event series that deep dives into the hard questions, focusing on different themes each month.

To find out when the next one will be near you, head over to the FB page, NZ VRARA, and stay in the loop!

NZVRARA APPOINTS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

The New Zealand VR/AR Association Inc has appointed Courteney Lomas to the position of Executive Director. Courteney is the NZVRARA Student Chapter President and studied industrial design at Massey University Wellington, before joining the Association.

NZVRARA Chair, Michael Gregg, is delighted to welcome Courteney to the role and to the Executive Committee.

“Following our recent AGM, the new Executive Committee undertook to deliver a busy programme of Meetups and member workshops across the three main centres, as well as ramping up our communications and membership activities this year. Having an Executive Director with the high enthusiasm and energy that Courteney displays will be an important part of this delivery,” says Michael.

Courteney is based within Wellington’s PROJECTR Virtual & Mixed Reality Centre, as part of a strategic partnership between Projectr VR Ltd and the Association.

The New Zealand VR/AR Association was incorporated in September 2016 to serve its members operating in the virtual, mixed and augmented reality sector.

ELECTION RESULTS: 2017 NZVRARA AGM

The first NZVRARA annual general meeting was held on Thursday 29th June 2017, at Wellington’s new PROJECTR venue and chaired by Michael Gregg.

Thanks to retiring foundation committee members: Nigel Corbett, Tom Horder and Matthew Simmonds for their work in the first term of the Association.

The members unanimously agreed all resolutions as described in the Notice of AGM sent out to all members in early June. Thanks to everyone for attending and to PROJECTR for hosting.

UPDATE: The new Executive Committee has reappointed Michael Gregg as Chair and Amy Nally as Treasurer, and, in a new role, confirmed Courteney Lomas as its Student Chapter President.

First NZVRARA AGM to be held at PROJECTR, Wellington 29/06/17

The New Zealand VR/AR Association Incorporated (NZVRARA) will hold its first Annual General Meeting on Thursday 29th June, 2017, at PROJECTR, New Zealand Virtual & Mixed Reality Centre, in the Wellington CBD.

All paid up members should have received via email, the formal Notice of AGM, our Audited Annual Accounts for the first year of the organisation and other documents relating to the upcoming AGM. Only paid up members are invited to this event, so please contact us at [email protected] if you would like to join the NZVRARA prior to this event, or join up through this website.

We will have drinks and nibbles from 5.30pm, showcasing some member applications, prior to the AGM starting at 6pm.  We look forward to seeing all members at this milestone event.

2016/17 NZVRARA Executive Committee

 

NZVRARA AGM RECOGNISES STRONG 2017-2018 YEAR.

Three messages of strong growth, a focus on international and enterprise, and an acknowledgement of much work-in-progress were offered to attendees at the 2018 AGM for the New Zealand VR/AR Association Incorporated held at PROJECTR Wellington on Thursday July 5.

Review of 2017/18
Outgoing Chair, Michael Gregg presented the latest audited accounts and the following review for the XR industry audience:

  • Major Growth – strong revenue and membership growth, strategic partners, event attendance
  • Membership – big growth in members: a broad mix of student, individual, start-up, and tertiary members
  • Key Highlights – MOU with Taiwan’s TAVAR; sold out 3D Acquisition events; industry reports.
  • Major milestones – unanimous decision to withdraw from the VRARA model; successful managed wind-down of another NZ VR group;
  • Thanks to our Executive Committee, seconded members and strategic partners for their diligent representation of the industry.
  • Special thanks to Courteney Lomas for her commitment to the efficient operation of the Society during 17/18 as our first paid Executive Director and as our first Student Chapter President.

Future Direction
Signalling a direction for the incoming Executive Committee to consider was the following eight-point plan:

  1. Increase focus on national student services, engage enterprise users, build international links to secure a sustainable future for the NZVRARA and effectively promote our sector;
  2. By demonstrating value, we will retain and expand our membership & strategic partner base;
  3. Undertake our first NZVRARA National Conference;
  4. Find ways to help members get offshore to demonstrate our national capability;
  5. Stronger partnerships with central government departments and agencies to ensure XR is part of their future digital economy plans and aspirations for New Zealand;
  6. Build partnerships with the international brands that are the backbone of the global VR/AR industry;
  7. Increase the operational assistance needed to execute our marketing, membership & events; and
  8. Build out the Student Chapter nationally to provide a clear pipeline to on-the-job training and careers.

Executive Committee
Retiring by rotation and to facilitate the reduction in the size of the Executive Committee down from 16 to 10 were Michael Gregg (Chair), Dr Roy Davies, Alejandro Davila, Raqi Syed, Amy Nally (Treasurer), Daniil Ivshin and Henry Lane.

Taking the five vacant positions were five nominees: Maher Hatab (Auckland), Sarah Gibson and Oscar Keys (Wellington), Rob Lindeman (Christchurch) and Holger Regenbrecht (Dunedin). They were appointed without election and join Sam Ramlu and Alex Legg (Auckland), Peter Houston, Rachel Hatch and Brian Lucid (Wellington) to make up the 2018/19 NZVRARA Board.  It was noted that the NZVRARA now has representation across four main centres.

Life Member
Acknowledging Michael Gregg’s leadership role in establishing and driving the Association as Chair, he was voted to become the first Life Member of the NZVRARA and awarded an Ambassador role to continue to support and promote the Association nationally and internationally. Michael was presented with a carved Waka (Māori canoe) in recognition of his efforts and achievements for the Society.

Our Mission

  • Our Mission

    Create a collaborative network of companies and individuals encouraging new ideas, innovation and support for New Zealand’s virtual, mixed and augmented reality industry.

    We are a non profit incorporated society, welcoming all members from the cross-reality community – including VR developers and artists employed in the industry. We welcome enthusiasts, academic institutes, brands, communications companies, engineers, analysts and research firms, artists, animators, commercial game and film development studios, game designers, programmers, product managers, producers, testers, community managers, customer support and entrepreneurs. If you’re passionate about VR/AR/MR, be part of our national association.

  • Our Goals

    Community: Create opportunities for influencers, companies and individuals to meet, showcase and collaborate on VR and AR innovations. We’re building a network for NZ VR/AR developers and storytellers to share advice, learnings and expect to have over 200 members by the end of 2017.

    Education: Building capability to ensure a strong digital talent pool in NZ. Assist members in growing their business, getting professional exposure, increasing profitability and reducing risks.

    Promotion: Promote the use of our creative, high potential VR, AR & MR sector to the global public, media, business, academia and Government.  Showcase our members innovations and build sustainable businesses that contribute to a stronger economy.

    Advocacy: Advocate for the sector’s needs to stakeholders, industry and government.

  • The Association

    Formed in 2016, the New Zealand VR/AR Association Incorporated champions, supports and grows innovation within virtual and augmented reality in New Zealand.  We are focused on promoting dialogue, debate, collaboration and investment in this rapidly evolving area of technology.

    Its 16-strong executive committee hark from Christchurch, Auckland and Wellington. Foundation members include Wellington-based virtual and augmented technology company 8i, Massey and Victoria universities, along with a number of emerging New Zealand companies, such as Auckland-based Imersia and recently opened Christchurch HTC room-scale virtual reality experience space, The VR Room.

    The NZ VR/AR Association (NZVRARA) runs regular casual meetups, monthly events in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, hosts workshops and partners on major events to celebrate our sector and our members.