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Hi-tech ideas for a digital capital

Hi-tech ideas for a digital capitalUse of space: Large digital installations on city-owned buildings could be multi-purpose and used for anything from social gaming to emergency notifications.

How would you like to play Donkey Kong on the side of Te Papa, advertise your business on touchscreen shop windows or watch the All Blacks on a screen over the lagoon?

Such concepts may soon be a reality in Wellington.

They are some of the ideas conceived in a partnership between the Wellington City Council's innovation team and tech-giant NEC New Zealand, and presented to the council's economic growth and arts committee on Tuesday.

NEC business development manager, Laura Hogg, said the ideas had come after consulting with local creative partners about uses for digital installations in Wellington.

"We tried to focus our ideas around concepts that would serve the community as useful and fun, while providing a social space in which people could interact with technology and each other," she said.

The ideas are part of a plan to enhance the digital dynamics of the city.

Installations of touch screens, interactive displays, pressure pads and more would be permanent and the content interchangeable.

For example, a screen on Te Papa or Wellington Railway Station could change from an interactive game or civil defence emergency notice, to a Lux light festival installation or community event.

Similar installations are already used around the world, including Tokyo and Las Vegas and Times Square in New York.

Social gaming on the walls of Te Papa was a local idea, Hogg said.

"We loved [the idea], so we wanted to find a way to incorporate [it]."

Economic Growth and Arts committee chairwoman, Jo Coughlan, said the NEC concepts were exciting.

"There are a range of ideas and opportunities from having the All Blacks spring from the lagoon, to lighting up the route from the railway station to the stadium."

"We really want to work with them to utilise the talent they have in their business, so we can centre Wellington as the digital capital of New Zealand."

Council spokesman, Richard MacLean, said the council had received presentations from several digital companies in recent weeks, including NEC, Gibson Group and Click Suite.

The NEC concepts, along with others, will form a digital initiatives proposal for inclusion in the council's 2015-2025 long- term plan.

- Amy Jackman, The Wellingtonian, 9 October 2014

Hi-tech ideas for a digital capitalWALKING ON WATER: The potential digital installation on the route from the railway station to the stadium which could be used for gaming or emergency notices.

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