Published Jan 30, 2018
Viclink startup Point Zero has been attracting global attention since the launch of its world-first, interactive, three-dimensional hologram technology three years ago. Now, it’s attracted the attention of Queensland Government, which is investing $100,000 in the business as part of Advance Queensland’s HotdesQ programme for entrepreneurs, giving the team the perfect opportunity to test the Australian market, and set up its first showroom and sales office outside of New Zealand.
“We already have a number of international clients but it’s costly to set up holographic displays in other countries,” says Chris Mather, Point Zero’s Managing Director. “By setting up physical showrooms or permanent holographic displays in major cities around the world, we can make our holographic display rentals more affordable—and therefore more accessible to more businesses.”
The Victoria Entrepreneur Bootcamp graduate says he’s discovering just how different the Australian market is to New Zealand. “There aren’t as many developers in Brisbane as there are in Wellington, so there’s less competition, plus larger budgets and faster decision-making. Within the first three months of opening the office in Brisbane, we had signed five new deals.”
Of those new contracts, one involved developing holographic ‘personal trainers’ for a chain of Australian gyms, while another involved installing an interactive show at Dreamworld theme park, using Point Zero’s latest innovation—Holospace. The new technology integrates motion-tracking to allow up to 10 people to interact with the experience and control 3D objects with hand movements and gestures—no goggles required.
The team is retaining its development office in Wellington, and continuing to create work for Victoria University students wherever possible. “Quite a few have worked for us as 3D modellers, animators and programmers,” he says. “Students are incredible—there’s some absolutely amazing talent coming out of Victoria.”
Closer to home at Auckland International Airport, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) asked Point Zero to create the prototype for an eye-catching hologram display (pictured above) to hover over an amnesty bin at the customs arrival gate. The idea was to visually demonstrate to incoming passengers (who often face tiredness and language barriers) the potential damage the Australian fruit fly can do to an orchard—and the New Zealand fruit industry—if fruit is brought into the country. MPI is monitoring the six-month trial to see how many people stop to look at the display, and how much biosecurity material is placed into the amnesty bin.
This type of project is particularly close to Chris’ heart. “We chose the name Point Zero because it was a starting point for what we wanted to achieve; we want to make a positive difference in the world. Our goal is to use technology to facilitate huge societal change, and shift the focus from ‘what can we own?’, to ‘what can we achieve?’ instead.”
Currently on the verge of another huge holographic innovation, Chris says Viclink is helping them to protect the intellectual property. “It’s been five years since Bootcamp, but Viclink is still our favourite investor because they’ve literally been with us the whole way on this exciting journey. Other support has come and gone over that time, but they have always been there for us and we’re incredibly grateful for that.”