Kiwis take augmented reality to Texas to encourage immigration

A Wellington group is using South by Southwest, one of creative-tech’s highest-profile events, plus a little home-grown technology, to attract skilled technology workers to New Zealand.

South by Southwest, described as a ‘tech extravaganza’ of conferences, film, music and interactive festivals, is held annually in Austin Texas. This year, Grow Wellington has been there, using their Kiwi-built app to promote jobs, business and investment opportunities in New Zealand.

The app, called STQRY, creates a ‘Wellington experience’ via augmented reality - 3D content which brings static real-world objects to virtual life - in an attempt to sell the benefits of Godzone and, in particular, the capital.

Grow Wellington’s talent attraction manager Adelle Kenny talks to US technology workers at the South by Southwest tradeshow.

Chief executive of Grow Wellington Gerard Quinn says the app is an appealing way to showcase the leading-edge technology being developed in New Zealand.

“The app contains information to help potential migrants discover Wellington as a high tech, creative and well-connected capital, with a fantastic lifestyle,” he says.

STQRY co-founder, Ezel Kokcu, says he hopes the app will indeed capture the interest of potential new employees from overseas.

“It’s an opportunity to interest tech specialists in unique technology which companies like ourselves are developing", he says. 

The Wellington based-developers of the app have so far built up a clientele of more than 500 clients globally, including the Walt Disney Family Museum and the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, as well as Kiwi institutions the Wellington Zoo and Auckland Museum.

SXSW runs until the 22nd of March in Austin, Texas.

Read up on what the future may hold for NZ's fledgling AR/VR industries.