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NEC opens NZ Tech Innovation Centre

10 Apr 2013

NEC New Zealand has announced the opening of a state-of-the-art Technology Innovation Centre in Wellington, marking 50 years of business within the country.

Officially opened by Prime Minister John Key, the unveiling was made at an evening event attended by many of New Zealand’s leading core infrastructure companies, technology and science leaders, government departments and executives from NEC Corporation.

At the entrance of the centre all guests were welcomed by Sumiko, a biometric avatar equipped with inbuilt cameras and facial recognition technology.

This full-time resident receptionist is programmed welcome visitors whom she recognises by name, opens the door for them and emails the host to let them know of their arrival. Pretty cool stuff.

Replacing the a traditional reception area, the “Interactive Zone” is an open, colourful space reminiscent of a technology café.

It consists of a full scale telephone exchange and data networking laboratory, a digital biometric screen displaying your name, gender and approximate age, and an 8 screen video wall demonstrating the impressiveness of the latest digital visual displays.

The new centre showcases many of NEC’s technologies in telecommunications, biometric security systems, digital visual displays, machine to machine services and robotics, many of which are the result of the numerous local partnerships between NEC and some of New Zealand’s innovative universities and businesses.

“While the technology we have on display here is spectacular and exciting, the Technology Innovation Centre is not merely a showroom," says Leonard Dench, director and general manager, NEC New Zealand.

"With the latest technology brought in from Japan and regional HQ (APAC), the centre is an engaging and interactive combination of office space and research and development facilities.

"It will enable NEC New Zealand to deliver on our promise of empowering people through innovation by developing total solutions to meet the needs of our local market.

"It is about the collaboration of companies and encouraging the open sharing of information to develop innovative solutions for various consumers, businesses and communities.

"It is also about bringing the knowledge, products, ideas and technologies of businesses together to create new possibilities, and share them with both New Zealand markets and for export.”

With over 120 staff in NEC New Zealand running operations in 16 sites throughout the country, the new centre is the company's head office for its New Zealand based research, development and technical support teams.