Auckland & New York-based creative & technology company Rush Digital has taken out the top prize for their category at Visa’s Everywhere Initiative in Sydney, which challenges New Zealand and Australian start-ups to bring new ideas to payments.
“Rush Digital creates experiences that blur the lines between reality and digital,” says ceo Pavan Vyas. “We are on a quixotic journey to share our deep understanding of rapid engineering , whilst bringing an innovative approach to navigating the forthcoming technology revolution.
“We have a 40-strong team of specialists who have PhDs in fields such as machine learning, computer vision and virtual reality.”
Rush Digital won the Everyone, Everywhere challenge by developing a solution that reduces friction and expands access to Visa’s payments for people with disabilities.
“Some disabilities make it difficult for individuals to identify, understand, or communicate items they wish to purchase,” Vyas says. “Others can make it difficult to carry around a wallet or handbag, limiting the kind of payment method.
“Our idea was to develop a platform that processes payments for disabled consumers via different channels, depending on the nature of the disability. We wanted to remove points of friction and improve the payment experience for disabled communities.
“The platform we pitched involved e-Braille, computer vision and electronic temporary tattoos.”
The first Everywhere Initiative was launched in the USA in 2015, and this year was expanded to Australia and New Zealand.
At the same time on the other side of the globe in New York City and in partnership with NZTE, Rush Digital CTO and founder Danu Abeysuriya invited people – notably NZ PM John Key – to take a virtual trip into space with world-first VR gaming innovation – the original first-person shooter game created by Rush pits players as a wizard battling to save their planet by manipulating the elements in a fully immersed environment, thanks to the HTC Vive.
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