Christchurch to host global VR symposium next year


Christchurch will host the 29th ACM Virtual Reality Software and Technology (VRST) symposium in October 2023 with over 300 delegates expected for the three-day programme at Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre.

The interdisciplinary conference, secured by academic lead Professor Rob Lindeman, director of University of Canterbury’s HIT Lab NZ will include Virtual Reality and Human-Computer Interaction, engineering, science, design, psychology, education, medicine and gaming experts.

“We are delighted to be welcoming international VR software and technology experts to our smart city,” said ChristchurchNZ head of business events Megan Crum.

“They will find a vibrant innovation ecosystem and a wealth of talent and knowledge to share in this beautiful South Island location.”

Christchurch is home to the University of Canterbury HIT Lab NZ, which celebrated 20 years as a world leader in mixed-reality research and development this year.

Professor Lindeman says the conference will allow the Christchurch VRST community to host experts from around the globe.

“The HIT Lab NZ focuses on helping support people in carrying out their work and leisure tasks,” said Lindeman.

“New Zealand companies and organisations regularly come to us, asking how immersive technologies can help them in providing solutions to real problems. Whether it’s Fire and Emergency, SnowSportsNZ, or for-profit companies, our students and staff love working on impactful projects.

“As well as the HIT Lab NZ, Christchurch also boasts a strong video game and creative culture, with several independent and medium-sized companies, and an open sharing vibe around embracing the future together.”