From Auckland to Paris: Four AUT students heading to Europe's largest tech festival

09 Jun, 2017
Alejandro Davila with his creation, The Green Fairy.

Four AUT students, with support from the Embassy of France in New Zealand, have been selected to present their work at Europe’s largest digital festival, this month in Paris.

Futur en Seine invites Parisians to see tomorrow’s technologies and join discussions with industry experts about digital’s impact on society and the economy. This year, the focus is on all forms of intelligence, including artificial intelligence and virtual reality.

The students selected to present their innovations at the festival are at the forefront of their specialities in areas from virtual reality to design. The opportunity comes from Colab’s partnership with the Embassy of France in New Zealand on the Antipodes initiative. Colab worked with RIO and the AUT Entrepreneurship Team to shoulder tap students, staff and Auckland companies who submitted their innovation to Futur en Seine.

Their ideas showcase the best of AUT and Kiwi ingenuity and highlight the fresh talent and ideas that can benefit business and communities globally. They will display their innovations to industry leaders from around the world.

Harry Silver, Public Liaison Co-ordinator at Colab says Futur en Seine is a unique opportunity for AUT students.

“This is such a fantastic opportunity for our students to showcase their innovations alongside 150 world class projects to 30,000 people at the largest innovation festival in Europe,” he says.

“Not only that, but over the three days, they have special access to over 25 events in the business programme where they get immersed in the digital ecosystem with business meetings, networking events, workshops and even a tour of the local innovation ecosystem,” says Harry.

Alejandro Davila is one of the four students to represent New Zealand at the festival. Created as part of his Master’s programme for Creative Technologies, his innovation, The Green Fairy, is a virtual reality story experience about fairies who secretly live inside traffic lights. It also comes with a series of augmented reality books for children.

Further to this, he founded Conical Interactive Studios to provide ongoing opportunities to create more interactive storytelling experiences.

“I’m really looking forward to going to Paris, and to Europe for the first time, as well as having the opportunity to connect, learn and share experiences. I’m incredibly lucky to have the support to get the exposure I need to be able to take my ideas further, and into the rest of the world,” Alejandro says.

The four students representing AUT at Futur en Seine are:

  • Alejandro Davila – is currently completing his Master of Creative Technologies at AUT and has developed a virtual reality story experience and a series of augmented reality books for children called the Green Fairy.
  • Jarek Beksa – is a doctoral candidate at AUT and has introduced a new type of entertainment through interactive audio stories through his innovation, Sonnar. Each audio story is layered with rich soundscapes, building an immersive experience that launches the user’s imagination in to the alternate world.
  • Matthew Warner – is a student of AUT’s Bachelor of Creative Technologies and is the CTO at Charged – a company that is on a mission to fundamentally change the way people commute, by finding the most efficient and sustainable ways to get around. They are currently developing an open source electric skateboard, which combines electric drive technology and longboarding.
  • Praveer Srivastava – graduated from AUT with a Bachelor of Design and is pushing the boundaries of traditional storytelling mediums through his creation, Cam-Panion. Cam-Panion consists of a camera and an app which work together to simplify the storytelling process, allowing the user to step inside a story using a mixed reality experience.

The inventive creations of our students’ including The Green Fairy, Cam-Panion, Charged and Sonnar, emphasise that AUT is the entrepreneurial university for the changing world.

Futur en Seine is taking place from the 8th – 18th June in Paris, France. The Embassy of France in New Zealand is proud to have partnered with AUT and Colab to support the participation of New Zealand creative entrepreneurs and start-ups at Futur en Seine.

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