Wrestler kicks off virtual trips from Wellington International Airport

Wellington International Airport and Wrestler are taking travellers on a virtual trip around the world to celebrate the first anniversary of Singapore Airline’s service to the capital.

The experience takes the user on an interactive journey from a first class seat on board a Singapore Airlines Boeing 777, onto Changi International Airport and then prompts the user to choose their final destination; London, Phuket or Singapore.

When users are in their final destination, a blend of 360 video and 3D objects allows them to interact with the environment. They can play the drums with the Palace Guard marching band in London, capture butterflies at the Singapore botanic gardens or send paper lanterns into the sunset at Phuket’s southern tip. 

To make the experience a stand out, Wrestler teamed up with DreamFlux, an early stage venture within Viclink, using technology created by Victoria University of Wellington’s Associate Professor Taehyun Rhee.

The DreamFlux technology automatically analyses 360-degree video to allow any 3D digital object to appear seamlessly integrated with the video environment.

Rhee says the use of the software means that lighting and shading move with the object so when anyone interacts with it, including picking it up and moving it, it still looks very realistic.

Wrestler co-founder and head of VR/AR Kat Lintott says it wanted to bring interactive elements into the 360-degree footage, and given DreamFlux had been looking for an opportunity to use its new technology, the project was a perfect fit.

She adds that at the moment, there is a gap in helping new technology and software companies commercialise their products, especially when it comes to storytelling with new technology such as VR and AR.

“Virtual reality is still at a point where not everyone has access to the headsets and computer systems needed to run this technology,” says Lintott.

“It’s great to be able to place this experience in a public place, where travellers have the opportunity to try VR for what may be their first time.” 

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