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Global high-tech pioneers choose Wellington (again)...

05 May 2014

Wellington has, again, proved to be the city of choice for international film pioneers with global film and technology start-up, 8i, choosing to base their headquarters in the New Zealand capital.

8i is a company pioneering a new way of recording and experiencing content using the Oculus Rift virtual reality head-mounted display, labelled as Holographic Virtual Reality.

According to Linc Gasking, co-founder and CEO, 8i, the public have become fans of 3D technology but continue to seek more immersive experiences.

With 8i’s Holographic Virtual Reality people will be able to watch immersive recorded content at home using the Oculus Rift.

“It’s like stepping into a movie, it feels like magic," says Gasking, who believes this technology is set to revolutionise movie-making and media watching experiences.

“Over the last 100 years we’ve gone from images, to moving images, to sound, to colour to stereoscopic 3D. 8i’s technology offers another major leap forward in the evolution of media.

Gasking says 8i is to acquire deep technology that has been two years in development with "very positive and substantial commercial applications."

“8i now intends to transition this secret sauce into a commercialisation phase and we are pleased to announce that Sparkbox Ventures, New Zealand’s leading early stage investor, have confirmed their intention to invest,” Gasking adds.

Why Wellington...?

A string of international 3D blockbusters have been made in Wellington, including The Hobbit Trilogy and Avatar, with 8i’s decision to base its headquarters in Wellington is a reflection of the quality of talent and technology that has been developed in the movie making-capital over the last decade.

“Wellington is the perfect place to scale this company," says Gasking, who is assembling a "world-class" team in the city.

"There are so many world leaders in visual effects and digital media here. Wellington is the 3D capital of the world."

Grow Wellington Chief Executive, Gerard Quinn, says the region is fast developing a reputation for being a leader in high tech.

"Wellington has the greatest number of New Zealand's fastest-growing high tech businesses and is a hub for this thriving, collaborative and dynamic sector," Quinn says.

"That's bringing top talent to the region and Grow Wellington is working hard to ensure more and more talented people overseas know of the exciting opportunities here.”