Winter 2018

Issue #68, Winter 2018

The Technology Issue: New Heights


Speak easy

As the proverb says, ko taku reo taku ohooho, ko taku reo taku mapihi mauria (“my language is my awakening, my language is the window to my soul”). And while there is plenty of attention being placed on our native tongue during Māori Language Week and more willingness to learn the language, the number of people who can hold a conversation in te reo Māori is still declining. Many are looking to new technologies for revitalisation – and in the hope that it could get new speakers on board, too.

New heights, new depths

From the dawn of time, the urge to explore has always been in humankind’s nature, propelling us forward to new discoveries, new experiences and new frontiers. Many years ago, humans migrated out from the temperate plains of Africa to traverse unknown lands and embarking on such a conquest helped society evolve. But come 2018, much of the world is within plain sight – a quick search on Google Maps can enlighten anyone as to what the Pyramids of Giza or Mount Everest look like. However, many believe there are two frontiers yet to be properly explored and developed: the deep ocean and deep space. In part one, we talk film maker and deep-sea explorer James Cameron about new frontiers, new technology and what he's planning on exploring next.

Full bloom

Bonnie Brown was the winner of the Blunt + Idealog + Generator Umbrella Experiment earlier this year, which saw her design turned into a limited-edition Blunt umbrella that has now successfully sold out. Here, we get to know the freelance illustrator a little better – and find out what her plans are now that she has a product with her design on it under her belt.


From as early as 2010, Dr Maria A Pozza has been advocating for New Zealand to implement its own space law framework. Now, the laws have been made as a new industry has blossomed – but as with Uber and Airbnb, regulation can sometimes struggle to keep up with technology and make rules for what we can’t predict. Here, Pozza discusses how the law can be tweaked and improved.

Emerging Talent

After a column he wrote outlining the problems with New Zealand’s education system got the online world buzzing, 18-year-old William Reynolds journeyed down to Wellington to explain to the Ministry of Education why new technologies, like AR/VR, AI and blockchain need to be covered off in the curriculum, so more kids are better equipped for the changes ahead. And now, he’s taking the path less travelled and interning at tech companies around the world rather than attending University. Here, he discusses why he wants more kids to be have the opportunities he’s created for himself.


Virtual and augmented reality are shaking up the architecture industry, Context Architects managing director Stephen Voyle says. But designers shouldn’t worry – it means better buildings faster and a more democratic way of working.

Elevator Pitch, brought to you by Flick

We gave biotechnology company Mint Innovation a little longer than an elevator ride to pitch their business, which recovers valuable materials from electronic waste.

25 Things

Claudia Batten, tech entrepreneur, startup mentor, digital advisor and New Zealand booster knows things, wants things, predicts things, worries about things and improves things. 

Idealog + Method

Flashback to 2003 and it was a very different world. Some homes were still on dial-up internet, a lot of webpages were ugly and Nokia brick phones were the latest and greatest tech accessory. But 2003 was also the year digital-led creative agency Method opened its doors, paving the way for a new kind of digital storytelling in New Zealand. Co-founder and managing director Sam Ramlu reflects on how technology has transformed over the past 15 years in business, while Method’s goal remains the same: to deliver immersive and seamless experiences for the user.

A day in the life, brought to you by Hummingbird

Dr Delwyn Moller is a prominent earth scientist, former NASA scientist, and current director of research at the Centre for Space Science Technology in Alexandra, New Zealand. Her ground-breaking work developing state-of-the-art earth and environmental radar imaging technology has played a massive role in advancing global understanding of climate change, including enabling new and advanced areas of study around ice sheets, glaciers and rising sea levels. In June, this work was acknowledged with a Kea World Class New Zealand Award, which honours Kiwis doing incredible things on the world stage. Here's how she gets through the day, how she organises her time and how she handles the madness of business.

Taste the tech

At Idealog, we regularly celebrate our community's brilliance. So as we did with our previous Lego Experiment and Log Experiment, for the just-released tech issue, we asked some of our favourite humans from the fields of art, VR/AR and hospitality to use technology to take their craft to new heights. This is an extremely (and purposefully) broad brief, but part of the fun is seeing what these talented folks come back with. Staples VR and Guangyu Li went to town on our cover and created a futuristic AR wonderland, and Giapo, the country's most innovative ice cream brand by some distance, decided to bring new meaning to the phrase wearable tech. Gianpaolo Grazioli explains why they went down this path.

Culture club

Many are eager for New Zealand’s tech sector to surpass agriculture and tourism to lead us into a prosperous future, but do we have the confidence to promote our creative talents to the world? Colleen Ryan, head of strategy at TRA, takes a look at the cultural codes that are shaping our success, as well as the search for a new chief technology officer in New Zealand.

The Tech Issue, 2018

Idealog's Tech Issue is out now (get your copy here). Editor Elly Strang explains the thinking behind the issue's theme, 'New Heights' – and showcases some of the people who fit into it – and explores the cultural conflict between the need for confidence to succeed in the tech sector and the typically understated nature of New Zealanders.

Experimental as anything

The cover of Idealog’s 2018 Tech Issue is a truly collaborative affair. It began as a brief from the Idealog team to create an artwork that represented New Zealand's technology sector reaching new heights. This was given to 3D motion graphic artist Guangyu Li, who brought the idea to life with creative direction from Idealog's lead designer Wade Wu, before Staples VR took that idea even further with the help of AR. Here's how it all happened.