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NZ Tech – Helping win the America’s Cup

16 Sep 2013

Technology isn’t new to the America’s Cup – but the key role it plays is growing with each campaign.

Not only in the design of the high tech boats, but the teams clothing, capturing race speeds and weather, team communications and the delivery of the race story to the public.

New Zealand companies like Ian Taylor’s, Animation Research Ltd (ARL), Tait Communications and Vesper Marine are examples of NZ based companies making a name for themselves in San Francisco, with their tech products being used in the 2013 America’s Cup.

In a recent article this week Taylor was quoted saying, "What Team New Zealand has done up here [in San Francisco] in the world of technology, design and IT has been absolutely staggering… Team New Zealand was the talk of Silicon Valley."

The brains behind this virtual eye technology are the team at ARL, with their technology changing events like the America’s Cup from being difficult to watch and understand into a multi-device spectator sport.

Vesper Marine is an Auckland based leading manufacturer of innovative marine safety products. Their Virtual AIS Beacon is being used to establish a virtual aid to clearly outline the racecourse for the event.

Tait Communications has equipped Emirates Team NZ with 22 Tait TP9400 P25 digital portable radios, providing the sailors and support crew with secure, crystal-clear communications on the water.

These companies are great examples of the role New Zealanders are playing in this year’s America’s Cup and the wider benefit the exposure is having on the NZ economy and our exports.

They are also exciting examples of the type of tech job opportunities that exist in NZ and world leading programmes and projects those with the rights skills could be working on.

ARL, Vesper Marine and Tait Communications are turning data into useable digital imagery, developing high tech digitally encrypted communication technology and creating world leading mobile applications.

“The skills needed to develop and maintain these types of technologies are in hot demand”, according to IT recruitment firm Absolute IT.

“The industry is demanding technology professionals experienced in graphic cards for animation and gaming, through to mobile iOS/Android developers and those will skills in UI/UX, C++, objective C, C# and Java experience.

"We have seen a 200% increase in mobile development iOS/Android jobs in the last 24 months," says Absolute IT Director Grant Burley.

A mobile developer working in New Zealand can expect to earn a base salary of $70-$100K+ depending on their level of experience and location.

These trends certainly aren’t constrained to Auckland and Wellington, with the South Island also experiencing an exciting hive of innovation, which is the home of ARL and Tait Communications.