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Spark’s 5G Starter Fund winners showcase their technology

Six months after being named the winners of Spark’s 5G Starter Fund, four innovative Kiwis businesses are launching their game-changing technology prototypes.

Robotics company Rocos, VR gaming creator Beyond and health businesses Objective Acuity and oDocs Eye Care were the successful recipients of a share of $625,000 of funding and technology support from Spark in October 2020.

Mentored by Spark and its partners, the four businesses have been tirelessly developing, testing and refining their 5G solution. They also had the opportunity to test and co-create each 5G-powered solution inside Spark’s new Innovation Studio that launched to the public in March 2021.

Each technology concept had to demonstrate how 5G could bring positive outcomes to communities across New Zealand.

“Each winner is set to make history by being amongst the first in the country to embrace the powerful potential of our 5G network to revolutionise their respective industries,” says Spark’s Technology Director, Mark Beder.

“From democratising eyecare, developing a world-first immersive gaming experiences and taking the manufacturing industry to new, robotic heights, Spark is proud to support these four Kiwi businesses to deliver transformative solutions for New Zealand and New Zealanders.”

oDocs: Using the power of 5G oDocs has developed a secure and encrypted live consultation portal that can connect healthcare professionals to patients in remote regions. The portal will empower and enable all clinicians for appropriate triaging and referrals to ophthalmologists, reducing waiting lists for screening and followup, and improving the management of the healthcare workforce.

Objective Acuity: This business is using 5G to develop a suite of software-based vision screening and acuity tests that can accurately detect vision problems in younger children. 5G will make testing up to seven times more efficient through a real time result. It will soon use AI to optimise the test automatically as data is collected – helping Objective Acuity towards its ultimate goal of democratising vision screening.

Beyond: Wellington-based virtual reality game studio Beyond has used 5G to develop a world-first for the e sport market. Multiple gamers can now join free-roam, virtual reality game Oddball via their 5G mobile phone, opening the location-based VR gaming world to those without a VR headset. 5G enables Beyond to bring immersive VR to the masses like never before, allowing both physical VR and mobile players to interact seamlessly and safely together.

Rocos: This winner is showcasing how remote teleoperation and robotic automation can be used to revolutionise industries. 5G will make it possible to automate physical tasks at scale, improving the capability of autonomous missions undertaken by robots, such as scanning and monitoring a construction site or power grid, thereby reducing health and safety risks.

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