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Spark 5G helps to bring art to live in Dunedin

13 Nov 2020

Dunedin Central has entered a new reality - an augmented reality that brings local street art to life.

While the ‘exhibition’ finishes up today, some of the technology behind this quirky celebration will last much longer.

The augmented reality exhibition celebrates the launch of 5G in central Dunedin, and what better way to show off local street art than providing a taster of the latest 5G mobile devices that use AR technology.

These devices provide a window to watching traditional art come to life through AR, says Spark.

“Through 5G and emerging technology like augmented and virtual reality, artists and organisations such as museums or art galleries will be able to explore new forms of storytelling and self-expression and deliver it to the public at scale in the highest definition available,” explains Spark technology lead Renee Mateparae.

“5G’s increased speeds and low latency will eventually make it the norm to visit the world’s best art museums from the comfort of your own home or see prehistoric species come alive by simply holding up a mobile phone.”

One wall mural is called Toitū, created by Stickum artists Aroha Novak and Guy Howard-Smith. It is a massive painting of Chinese man Chin Fooi. Fooi’s grandson, Jones Chin, has used AR to explain the painting’s meaning and to animate the background.

Aroha Novak and Guy Howard-Smith also created a piece called Take the Leap, which is located on Moray Place. The artwork shows children enjoying animated autumn leaves that fall on the ground around them.

“The scope for merging traditional and contemporary art techniques with this type of technology is exponential, there is so much potential to push art projects into multi-faceted installations that can activate and incorporate the many layers and thought processes that go into creating public art works,” says Novak.

Two other art pieces are called Q: Are We Not Bats? A: We Are All Completely Bats, by Sam Ovens, and one titled DeeDee 3D, created by Andy McCready.  These artworks feature fluttering butterfly wings, as well as flashes of lightning and blue circles that lift off the wall and float in the ‘air’.

The exhibition runs from 11am-4pm today.

Dunedin marks the third New Zealand location that has access to Spark 5G on wireless broadband and mobile. Six other South Island towns have access to Spark’s 5G wireless broadband services.

Spark mobile customers and have a 5G-ready phone will have free access to 5G speeds on all plans until at least July 2021.  Those who want to experience 5G speeds at home can sign up for Spark’s Discover 5G Wireless Broadband Plan.