7 Sep 2023

From digital murals to emergency response simulations, Virtual Reality (VR) experiences at the Innovation Expo are sure to spark imaginations.

Whether you’re a forward-thinking professional or a family looking for a free and exciting outing, this year’s Innovation Expo on Sunday 10 September and Monday 11 September will offer a wealth of inspiration says expo organiser and Smart Christchurch City Initiatives Lead Grace de Leon.

Learn more about the event here.

“We have renowned Ōtautahi street artist Ikarus creating large digital artworks in real-time with VR app Kingspray, from 10am to 4pm on both days,” Ms de Leon says.

“This VR equipment is used within education programmes at Tūranga and Te Hāpua libraries, so Ikarus’ demonstration is a great opportunity to learn from the best.  

“It’s a new and exciting way to get creative – and yet another example of the endless possibilities these technologies,” Ms de Leon says.

Christchurch International Airport is also showcasing VR at its booth, with expo visitors able to experience simulations of various emergency response scenarios used to train the Airport Fire Service.

“A VR training aid allows for a lot more practical training opportunities than would otherwise be possible,” Ms de Leon says. “It’s much more sustainable and accessible for the Airport Fire Service, and because it’s so realistic, the fire fighters can build up muscle memory that lines up with real life.”

The power of VR in marketing is demonstrated through JIX Reality’s virtual tour of the expo venue, Te Pae. The Christchurch-based technology studio also harnesses the magic of Augmented Reality (AR) for learning and storytelling.

“Expo visitors will be able to explore outer space through an AR learning app and delve into AR graphic novels, through an app called Arorangi,” Ms de Leon says.

“The JIX team developed the app for the Ministry of Education as an interactive, educational and entertaining way for young people to explore Māori stories and their whakapapa.”

A collaborative effort, the project involved Māui Studios leading the creative and mana whenua contributing iwi knowledge.

The Innovation Expo is on from 9am to 5pm on 10–11 September at Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre and features a wide range of exhibitors and a packed programme of keynote sessions, panels and workshops. Tickets are free, but registration is essential.

Image credits:

Nick "ikarus" Tam. Infinity. @highdoctornick