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Reality Check: PROJECTR's Jessica Manins

As part of Idealog's Technology Month, we've picked the brains of some of the movers and shakers in the industry to find out their favourite tech-related things, their biggest fears for the future and what other companies and individuals inspire their work. Here's PROJECTR's Jessica Manins.

What’s your favourite…

Technology you can’t live without?

iPhone and pretty much anything Apple produce.

Underrated or old technology?

Virtual Reality.

New Zealand tech company or individual in that space that’s doing seriously cool things?

Mixt, they are making some pretty clever augmented reality content.

Global tech company or individual in that space that’s doing seriously cool things?

Mark Sagar, Soul Machines.

Tech project or product you’ve had a hand in?

StarNow.  I was Chief customer officer before I jumped into supporting tech startups.

Tech project or product that isn’t yours, but your envious of?

Canva. That product makes my life so much easier!

What first drew you to this industry?

The ability to simply solve problems using new technology opened up a whole new world to me.

What do you enjoy the most about working in tech?

The creative and crazy people I meet.

How would you describe New Zealand’s tech culture?

Generous. Understated. Optimistic. 

Where does inspiration come from for you?

My community at PROJECTR. My son. The internet.

Reality check

How has tech impacted on your work? How will it impact on it in the future?

My work is dedicated to looking at future technology and how it can impact our lives in a positive way.  This will continue at a faster speed!

What’s been the most concerning change that technology has made to human behaviour, in your experience?

The decrease of presence. With multiple devices buzzing, it’s easy to lack presence and for constant interruptions to disrupt a moment.

How would you describe your relationship with technology? Do you think you’re addicted to any form of it?

Appreciative but realistic. Yes I’m addicted to it and passionate about making use of it for good.

Do you think social media is a blessing or a curse?

Blessing. But I can see the curse for some.

Do you think technology needs more laws surrounding it, or a form of resource consent regulation?

Absolutely. With the advancement of augmented reality and artificial intelligence there is a need to review ethics and health and safety regulations.

What needs to be done to tackle the diversity issue in tech?

More investment and support for education that enables diversity.

What worries you the most about technology?

The ability for those that wish to do harm with it.

What’s your scariest prediction for the future? Will the robots kill us all?

Haha nah, the robots will still need us.  The scariest and most likely prediction is that we won’t have prepared ourselves fast enough for the loss of jobs from machines.  We need to throw out our old education system and start again.  We need to be empowered and not scared!

What will New Zealand look like as a country in 2037?

Augmented.