VR wave hits Auckland

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Woolloomooloo-based agency Innuendo is bringing augmented reality to a Kiwi Property demo at six NZ shopping centres. The announcement came the same day – today – as Republic Auckland and Unitec unveiled their own VR experience in the Britomart.

On Tuesday (1 December), Kiwi Property will introduce snowmen, a yeti, penguins, and reindeers to its shoppers in what it’s calling “New Zealand’s largest ever augmented reality digital experience – Feel the Magic”.

The experience will be available in all six Kiwi Property shopping centres across New Zealand and uses advanced technology that allows customers to interact with animated Christmas characters in real time.

“The essence of this campaign is about our customers having fun with Christmas characters and taking time out to ease the stress of the busiest time of the year.

“We’ve looked at how engaging augmented reality can be and worked hard to create a unique set of experiences for our loyal shoppers.”

The winter-themed experience, which Kiwi Property is offering free to all of its customers, is a first for New Zealand shopping centres, Retief said.

“The augmented reality experience was designed to transcend all demographic differences across our network of shopping centres.

“Due to Microsoft open-sourcing their Kinect code, this technology has become a lot more accessible,” Retief said. “We partnered with the team at Innuendo Advertising to bring something to our shoppers that was truly different – an experience they could enjoy and share with their friends,” he said.

“Social media is an important part of everyday life, so opening up the experience to this channel was an important part of our decision making. Our customers will be free to share a photo of themselves with their network of family and friends across social media platforms.”

Kiwi Property is one of New Zealand’s largest retail operators and will roll out the augmented reality experience to all six of its shopping centres: Sylvia Park, LynnMall, Centre Place, North City, Northlands and The Plaza.

“We really can’t wait to see how customers interact with this technology. We’ve had a great time developing the experience with our partners and it’s the first time anything of its kind has been offered by a New Zealand shopping centre.”

Four different animated scenes have been developed, but it’s up to users on how their experience goes. The more they interact with the animated characters, the better their experience will be.

The experience will be operating from Tuesday 1 December to Wednesday 23 December. At the completion of every customer’s playtime, they will receive a free photo with them and the characters they’ve interacted with.

“Technology is changing, and we are changing with it,” Retief said. “We encourage all of our customers to have a go – we’re telling everyone it’s a great time to feel the magic.”

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