When you hear the term ICT, or information and communication technologies, creativity might not be the first descriptive word that springs to mind. But creativity in ICT, along with innovation, are the exact areas the upcoming World Summit Awards (WSA) are honing in on. And springing from the wealth of global innovation is a contingent of eight New Zealand projects that have been confirmed as the New Zealand finalists for the global event. In fact, the projects are being scutinised right now, with 36 expert jurors meeting from April 8 to 14 to select the winners in each category. Although the awards honour excellence in new media and e-content creation, extra kudos is heaped on projects which show the benefits of information and communication technology for the development of society at large.
The Kiwi projects to make it into this years finals range from Vaeggen, an Interactive Wall in Copenhagen; MiniMonos, a green game for kids (see the Celsias story HERE); Areoscan, a 3D modeling system for surveying, architecture and design; to a world class radio astronomical observatory by AUT.
"With digital transactions now the norm, our businesses and government services are developing sophisticated technology and producing globally successful applications,” says New Zealand WSA coordinator Jan Bieringa, who is also a judge on the WSA global panel. “We are hoping that this year will produce further outstanding New Zealand winners".
New Zealanders have feared pretty well at the awards in the past, with winners awarded in 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2009. We wish the following eight finalists the best of luck.
* Vaeggen (The WALL): a massive but mobile interactive video installation showcasing the cultural past present and future of Copenhagen city created by the New Zealand Company Gibson Group. Nominated in the e-Culture & Heritage category.
* Areoscan: a web based service that enables the user to create a 3D model of any area or object using digital photographs for applications in surveying, architecture and design. Nominated in the e-Business & Commerce category.
* AUT: AUT has taken advantage of New Zealand's remote location to add serious observational power in the Pacific area with a world class radio astronomical observatory, utilising new fibre connections within New Zealand and across the Tasman Sea. Nominated in the e-Science & Technology category.
* MiniMonos: an online 'world' where children to learn about environmental issues. Developed in New Zealand it now boasts more than 100,000 members worldwide. Nominated in the e-Entertainment & Games category.
* SPARX: an animated 3D game designed to help young people combat depression. It has been developed by the University of Auckland, Ministry of Health and Media Interactive Ltd. Nominated in the e-Health & Environment categry.
* The Land Use and Carbon Analysis System (LUCAS): a Ministry for the Environment project that provides objective verifiable data to report on greenhouse gas emissions and removals that result from land use change. Nominated in the e-Government & Institutions category.
* The Mixing Room: made by Lumen Digital and located at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, the Mixing Room is a multi-user social experience where over young refugees tell their stories through art, film, poetry, performance and digital media. Nominated in the e-Inclusion & Participation category.
* QBook: Designed by Kiwa Media for children's books, original images and illustrations, QBook uses touch-screen technology, as an interactive format offering instant translations into multi lingual voice narration. Nominated in the e-Learning & Education category.