Visual Tech workshop Speakers


Dr. Boris Bacic

Auckland University of Technology, NZ

Boris has multidisciplinary research interests in artificial intelligence and data analytics combined with sport science, rehabilitation, health, active life advancements and supporting technology. 

Aimed at improving athletes' performance and safety, reduce rehabilitation times and to promote the wellbeing of people in their environments, his computer models, technology and machine learning-based knowledge discovery are focused on advancing the next generation of autonomous intelligent Augmented Coaching Systems (ACS), exergames, and virtual or immersive environments. Through his ACS developments, novel autonomous motion diagnostic approaches, research, teaching and mentorship focused on human motion and sport analytics, he provides opportunities to expand enabling technology aimed at helping people achieve their aspirations.

Boris is a member of the IEEE Computer Society, the Association for Computer Machinery (ACM), and the International Society of Biomechanics (ISBS).

Augmented rehabilitation and coaching systems


Rachel Hatch

VR Kiwi

Since being given a view master at the age of 6, Rachel wondered what it would be like to be immersed within these imaginary 3D worlds.

Fast forward a few years,…

..With the technological evolutions and gaming that followed she expected that the ability to naturally and physically walk within these environments would follow… this was not the case and Rachel set about developing ways to change that fact.

Through sheer determination and unwavering tenacity she created breakthrough technology for naturally and physically being able to walk and run within Virtual environments.

At present with a pre-commercialised product Rachel is looking to launch into the fitness market.

Combining her technology with the treadmill removes the "dread mill" aspect that some people have when using such equipment resulting in the user now,… being able to have fully immersive fitness experiences.

The ability to run the New York Marathon,… Walk the Heaphy Track,… or jogging through digital experiences, for example evading zombies, running with dinosaurs through ancient landscapes, or running around your favourite city's peninsula with added features all whilst being able to keep up your fitness goals.

This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the types of experiences that will become available.

She is a proven successful entrepreneur, a founding board member of the NZ VR/AR Association, award winning innovator of motion simulation platforms with a solid technology and business background.

Rachel is at the forefront of this technology.


Vaughan Schwass

CEO, Les Mills Enterprises

Vaughan joined Les Mills International in 2005 as Marketing Director, having gained international marketing experience with Tourism New Zealand in the United States and Canada. Vaughan led the marketing team to win a series of awards including an Effie (the coveted Supreme Award at the 2009 Marketing Awards). After six years Vaughan stepped up to his role as CEO of Les Mills Enterprises, managing the merchandise business and strategic commercial partnerships.

Over the last nine years, Vaughan and the team have led major innovation initiatives, resulting in a number of successful new product extensions for Les Mills globally. 

In addition, they secured a long term relationship with apparel and footwear company Reebok, who are making a significant investment in marketing the Les Mills brands globally.

Les Mills International:


Ian Taylor

Animation Research Ltd

Ian holds an LLB from the University of Otago, and was inducted into the New Zealand Hi-Tech Hall of Fame in 2009. In 2010 he was named North & South magazine's New Zealander of the Year. In the same year he was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the New Zealand Computer Society, the top honour of the ICT sector in New Zealand. 

He was named a Companion of the NZ Order of Merit in the 2012 New Year Honours for services to television and business and won the Creative sector of the World Class New Zealander Awards in the same year. 

In 2013 Ian was also named Outstanding Maori Business Leader of the Year. 

It may come as a surprise then that Ian claims to have no skills whatsoever – is at a loss to understand why anyone would want to hear his story and believes that the reason he has received the accolades he has is because he lives at the bottom of the world where no one has been able to check him out. 

That --- and the fact that he has had the amazing good fortune to have worked alongside some of the cleverest people in the world.


Hamish Mitchell - Facilitator

Callaghan Innovation

Hamish is an entrepreneurial sales, marketing, strategy, and business development leader with experience in the tech startup world. Passionate about shaping focused NZ businesses and pioneering revenue driving initiatives, Hamish has been involved with a number of growing Digital businesses in the Wellington area – experience that's seen him working across Europe, USA, Asia and Australia.

Coming from a strong sporting background, Hamish remains interested in the intersection between sports and tech innovation. In his spare time, he serves on the Sport Wellington Board of Trustees as a part of their internship programme.






Proud to be a Techweek'18 Event

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