Augmented, mixed and virtual reality enable a deep level of immersion. Explore the technology and current experimental applications across the virtuality spectrum and learn a new vocabulary of storytelling.

collisions - vr storytelling

A stunning VR experience, acclaimed filmmaker and artist Lynette Wallworth’s Collisions invites audiences on a journey to the land of indigenous elder, Nyarri Nyarri Morgan and the Martu tribe in the remote Western Australian desert. In a thought-provoking, immersive virtual reality experience, Nyarri shares his story of the dramatic collision between his traditional world view and his experience of nuclear testing in the South Australian desert.

yunuen esparza - ar exhibition

Through the Looking Glass, an exhibition of mixed media works by the Mexican visual artist Yunuen Esparza, features her own app that shows how technology is now changing the way we make, see and experience art.

magic leap

Experience is the new currency in VR and MR. Technologies like Magic Leap’s will enable us to generate, transmit, quantify, refine, personalize, magnify, discover, share, reshare, and overshare experiences. This shift from the creation, transmission, and consumption of information to the creation, transmission, and consumption of experience defines this new platform. As Magic Leap founder Rony Abovitz puts it, “Ours is a journey of inner space. We are building the internet of presence and experience.”

Wired - The Untold Story

Steve Mann

Wearable computers, mediated reality and 'suosveillence'. DIY EyeTap. For more interesting stuff check out WearTech which features a number of Steve Mann's projects.

Niklas Roy

Using image recognition , Niklas Roy recreates a modern take of the game of Pong. For more quirky creative techology projects check out Niklas Roy's website.


Mixed reality is a term Microsoft coined for their Augmented Reality headset, the Hololens. Early experiments with this technology were made by Steve Mann (see above), who is one of the founding partners behind Meta Vision. Magic Leap, while currently under wraps, is promising the next generation of Augmented Reality Technology. Being the most invested in start-up in history ($4.5 Billion), Magic Leap may be the technological leap that brings AR into the mainstream.

Virtual Reality - computer tethered

There are currently two levels of VR, headsets such as the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, which require connecting to a highly spec'd gaming computer, and mobile phone based headsets, such as the Samsung Gear VR. Computer Tethered VR headsets offer game-like quality experiences, which when coupled with hand controllers create a fully immersive experience. HTC Vive teamed up with gaming platform Steam, while the Oculus Rift was purchased by Facebook.  

Virtual Reality - mobile based

Processors in high-end smartphones are now equal to those in laptop or desktop computers. The world's largest mobile manufacturer, Samsung teamed up with Oculus to release Gear VR. They aren't alone, with Google releasing their own headset the Daydream. Both Gear VR and Daydream offer clickers to improve the experience, and Google has recently announced their standalone headset, that integrates all the power of mobile technology into the headset without the need for a mobile phone. 



At the most basic level anyone, with a reasonably modern mobile device can experience 360 video and VR using the Google Cardboard. Using a similar DIY approach to Google, this recent Kickstarter by Aryzon offers a cardboard like headset for AR experience, similar to that of the Hololens for $30.00 USD. 


Augment reality
- trigger based

There's a number of technologies offering trigger based AR, including Plattar and Layar. As well as powerful SDKs such as Wikitude which pack in 3D tracking technology and image recognition. Triggers don't have to be limited to images either, recognition now includes 3D surfaces with the likes of Google Tango which integrates 3D scanning tech to your mobile phone and beacon tech which uses bluetooth on you phone to locate a beacon device to place the augmented experience

3d scanning and
content creation

Over the years Xbox Kinect's spatial scanning technology has been hacked to be used for Augmented Reality experiences and 3D Scanning. 

The Unity 3D game engine is the underlying technology behind most virtual and augmented reality experiences. While other platforms such as A-Frame are providing browser based IDEs for creating virtual reality. Apple recently announced it's ARKit which has sent a shot across the bow of rivals Android in the race for platform dominance.

360 photo and video

Images and video can be captured in a variety of ways:

Samsung Gear 360 a second generation 4K 360 video camera is capable of live feed 360 video across mobile devices. Other lower end 360 video cameras are available upwards from $150. Google Streetview offers multiple approaches to capturing both 360 videos and images

Storytelling in virtual and augmented reality

Early this year the NZ Film Commission released a new interactive development fund encouraging experimental works in the AR and VR space.