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ARL Staff Blog

Visual Computing at ARL

04 May 2016
Last week, I was invited by the Information Science Department at the University of Otago to talk about ongoing research and development at ARL. It was a great opportunity for me to talk about our work in front of a scientific audience, but also to reflect on all the amazing projects that I had the chance to work in within the last two years. In order to give a good overview, I presented a selection of ongoing projects at ARL that are within the field of Visual Computing. Visual Computing describes computer science topics that combine aspects from Computer Graphics, Computer Vision, Visualization and Human-Computer-Interaction. It is a field where ARL has a strong background, providing solutions and products for a long time.

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In the talk, I highlighted how Visual Computing techniques contribute to visualization for sport broadcasting and urban visualization. In particular, I talked about our projects for winter sports visualization, cricket ball tracking and cricket ball path visualization. In addition, I spoke about applied research at ARL and a project that we did in cooperation with the Psychology Department at the University of Otago using tracking technology for researching group behavior within the scope of social psychology. The talk covered general challenges for applying Visual Computing in professional environments, the different technologies that are involved to produce exciting visual output, as well as aspects of data integration from sensors over databases to high quality aerial reconstructions and live video footage, live data capturing, data processing and visualization.

Bringing rural New Zealand into the world of VR

22 Apr 2016
Animation Research Ltd captured the world of sheep and dairy farming last week in full 360 degree video glory as part of their ongoing partnership with Ngai Tahu Tourism. We visited the world famous Agrodome in Rotorua, where we were invited into the recreate their Farm Show and Farm Tour for use in the Samsung Gear Virtual Reality Headsets. With 70% of Chinese tourists who visit New Zealand going through the Agrodome, it is a very popular place and we could see why. From shearing sheep, milking a cow, playing with the lambs and rabbits and seeing the dog trials, there was a lot to get on camera.

Virtually Rural

We also tested out their new experience the BackCountry Adventure Tour on an ATV (All-Terrain Vehicle) riding around all the hard to reach parts of the farm and getting up close and personal with the llamas! After two days on the farm we headed out on the Huka Falls Jet to capture the beauty of the powerful waterfall and the excitement of the high speed ride. These Virtual Reality videos will all be part of Ngai Tahu’s innovative display at Trenz, New Zealand’s largest Tourism Conference in May.

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