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Idealog Year in Review: Chorus network strategy manager Kurt Rodgers

In the first of a series asking some of Aotearoa's best-known businesspeople and visionaries to take a step back and offer their insights on how the past year has gone and how the future might unfold, we chat with Chorus' future-focused network strategy manager.

Favourite innovation that isn't yours?

OZO Camera. I had a chance to meet the OZO development team at their Innovation HQ in Silicon Valley and was totally impressed by their innovative design. They’ve managed to pack enormous image processing capability into a small and easy to use package.

Favourite innovation that is yours?

Well, that would have to be ‘the Gig’ … gigabit broadband capacity delivered to homes and businesses over fibre. The best broadband in the world available right here in little old New Zealand.

Most interesting launch/innovation/trend/thing of the year?

For me it’s Google Wi-Fi. The uptake of fast broadband is now exposing the limitations of traditional home Wi-Fi networks. I think this is an area ripe for disruptive and innovative solutions.

Lamest launch/innovation/trend/thing of the year?

I’m sorry but it’s BeIN Sport’s online streaming service. It only streams live which is not much use when English Premier League games are usually on at 3am in the morning.  I want to watch the game when it’s convenient for me.

Most promising New Zealand company/companies?

StaplesVR. The VR production work that Aliesha and team do is fantastic so I’ve got no doubt that they are a company to watch out for in 2017.

Tussock Innovation. A Dunedin based crew working at the cutting edge of internet-of-things technology, including putting sensors in storm drains to monitor water levels.

Heroes?

SkyTV – I use the FANPASS online sports service a lot.  I’m the only one in my household who watches sport so FANPASS it’s convenient.

Villains?

Also SkyTV – a bit harsh but when are they going to provide 4K Ultra HD capability to their FANPASS service like BT do in the UK.

Best stoush?

Boxing. Not the action in the ring, but rather the stoush over copyright infringement from the social media live streams.

Your own biggest success?

Getting to showcase Chorus’ Fibre Experience Lab on TVNZ’s Fair Go.

What’s the biggest mistake innovators/businesses will make in 2017?

Underestimating the impact of exponential growth and disruptive technology innovation. 

What do you expect to see in the next five years?

We’re Trump-less. Virtual reality sport – centre box view for an AB’s game in your own home. Convergence of 5G for IoT and super-batteries bringing super cities closer to reality.

What will be dead in five years?

All of the characters in Game of Thrones. Most of the leads in The Walking Dead.

What should be invented and/or un-invented?

Please, please, please un-invent TV content rights that make it really difficult to watch what you want, when you want – see my BeIN sports rant above.

Favourite book/TV show/podcast/album/website/magazine/story/performance enhancing drug of the year?

Netflix’s Stranger Things and other Netflix ‘original’ content from around the world in glorious 4K ultra HD quality. 

One piece of tech you’d have on a desert island?

Being an engineer at heart, it’d be a solar powered 3D printer so I could make everything I needs (possibly even a boat)!

Will the robots become sentient and kill us all? (asking for a friend)

They already have … did you not realise you’re already a robot?

As you’re enjoying the great outdoors this summer, The Kiwibank Conservation Dogs will be out there too, hard at work, giving our nature a future.