Growth potential of NZ’s virtual reality sector highlighted

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The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has welcomed the release of a report that forecasts New Zealand’s cross reality sector will reach over NZ$320 million in annual revenue and employ double the number of people within two years.

Cross reality (XR) is a term used to describe the continuum of immersive technologies that blur the line between the physical and digital world, including virtual, augmented and mixed reality.

The report, VIRTUAL GETS REAL: The Explosion of Cross Reality in New Zealand, showcases the New Zealand XR sector, highlights some of our achievements and success stories to date and predicts strong growth for the sector over the next few years. For example, it calculates that around 1,100 people currently work in the sector New Zealand and predicts that this is set to increase to over 2,200 people by 2019.

MBIE Policy Director Kim Connolly-Stone says the report will help government, industry and academics to identify the challenges and opportunities associated with XR and what it means for New Zealand and our growing digital economy.

“The report is critical to helping us better understand our local XR industry. For example, the report recognises our strong position in some market segments such as holographic capture, local games development and augmented reality,” Ms Connolly-Stone says.

“Government has an important role to play in helping New Zealand adapt to this change by making sure the policy and regulatory settings are fit for purpose and by investing in the connectivity infrastructure and the skills needed for the future. This will help to ensure we are positioned to take full advantage of the benefits that new technologies such as XR can offer.

“This is a key part of our digital economy work programme, which includes similar work focused on helping us better understand emerging and disruptive technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things,” Ms Connolly-Stone says.

The report was commissioned by the New Zealand VR/AR Association in partnership with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. It is the first of a two-part exploration into the New Zealand XR ecosystem.
The report is available at www.nzvrara.nz.

Virtual and augmented reality and the use of this new technology, particularly in the collection and analysis of forest resource information is being explored as part of the upcoming ForestTECH 2017 series running this month. Late registrations can still be made and full details on the programmes for both New Zealand and Australia can be found on the event website, www.foresttech.events

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