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Idealog year in review: Staples VR’s Aliesha Staples

What was the most interesting New Zealand company that caught your eye?

I’m really loving the innovation I have seen in this last year, and there are some interesting companies worth mentioning across a couple of sectors.

The first being Emergency Q, what an awesome concept!

– Four Kings One War – this is a modern take on a the traditional chess game (I am a bit bias here, as Staples VR helped them with the VR element of this game) but the founder, Glyn, is possibly the nicest guy ever and they are just so passionate about the game.  It’s growing international interest, which is awesome to see.

– Soul Machines

– Lastly, Rocket Labs…..why? Umm because they launch rockets!

What about internationally?

Magic Leap, what a giant leap forward for wearable AR (excuse the pun, had to do it).

What was the most interesting launch/trend/idea/building/product of the year?

Magic Leap AR Glasses. The world of wearable tech and augmented reality is really coming of age this year.

Most exciting project you worked on this year?

We had two exciting projects this year:

– One being the 360 elements of Mission Impossible 6 Fallout, we were given such freedom from the production team and the result was a really well executed BTS look at the stunts on the film. A great use of 360 video.

– Two was live streaming VR content into the children at Starship Hospital. We partnered with Mercury and spent the year developing a system that allows us to transport the children in real time to a place outside of the hospital. It does wonders for their mental health to take a break for their current situation. Our first stream was in December, where we transported via VR tech the children to the Santa’s Parade on Queen St where they had the few of sitting among the other children and seeing Santa on his sleigh! Mercury have really been amazing to work with and we look forward to more events like this on the calendar for 2019.

What public event that impacted on or affected you the most?

Has to be our Starship live streaming event, it has such a impact on all who worked on this.

What was your favourite book/TV show/podcast/album/website/magazine/story/performance enhancing of 2018?

I recently watched Upgrade, which is a film shoot in Melbourne labeled as a cyberpunk action body horror. Its amazing!


I have always wanted to direct and shoot a Eli Roth horror…it’s one of the reasons I decided to go to film school, so better put him down here.

Elon Musk, because he is an alien living in plain sight. I’m also a big fan of what hes trying to do with The Boring Company, really interesting and he seems to prove everyone wrong…constantly.


Any one who thinks success comes from luck. The sacrifices are daily… I can’t remember the last time I made it to a football game. I think my team thinks I quit! There are not enough hours in the day!

Your own personal highlight?

This year there were a few, I wont the high tech young achiever award for the second year running, won the ITX excellence in digital health award and rounded of the year with a win at the International Business Awards.

Biggest learning for you?

The goal posts never get any closer. I love challenges and have learnt to be ready to adapt, change, modify and blow up the original idea/plan as you don’t know where you going until you get there. Everything can change… go with it.

Going into 2019, what’s the change you want to see in the world?

All future models of vehicles are electric.

What should be invented and/or un-invented in the next year?

I had a lazy moment and googled worst inventions of 2019 – I think everyone needs to Google this.

Is it the robots we should be worried about, or the humans?

100 percent the humans.

How long before we have:  

DNA modification?

It’s already here!

Driverless cars?

It’s already here!


Why would anyone want this? I guess if your body stopped aging in your early twenties, this could get interesting. When will it be here? At the rate we are going sooner then we think, best we wait for the Mars colonies to house us all though.

Cities that all look like Venice?

Hopefully never because we wake up and sort this out.

No animals farmed or eaten?

Next 10 years for it being offered as an option, but I think it will take a while for it to be never, there are too many industries effect for this to be a fast change.

Medical cannabis sold at the chemist?

This year.

Non-human, AI lovers?

Have a chat with Soul Machines, FaceMe etc. It’s already here!

Chips implanted in our brains?

This year.

Colonies on Mars?

I checked with Elon, he said 2025.

Secure bunkers to protect us from the zombie apocalypse?

You don’t have one of these already?

One of the talented Idealog Team Content Producers made this post happen.

Review overview