Native Affairs - Ian Taylor showing off innovation

By Renee Kahukura-Iosefa

Animation Research Ltd CEO Ian Taylor's 360 virtual experience work for Fox Sports is in the running for a technical achievement award at next month's 38th Annual Sports Emmy Awards in New York. 

The global success of Ian Taylor's business has seen him become a legend in animation research and development.

“We are using new technology, the 360 VR, to take people out into space and look down into the universe that our ancestors studied and learnt about and read. They read the stars, they read the ocean and that is how they travelled here. We are talking about innovation," he says.

Taylor, of Ngāti Kahungunu, is urging Iwi to invest in the future of Māori innovation and development.  

“Big iwi are now getting some financial grunt behind them and I think they have got to seriously start to think where they invest in technology."

Taylor's Animation Research company has helped pioneer flight tracking technology and revolutionised how we experience live sports coverage. This has seen the company win multiple national and international awards over decades, picking up a Sports Emmy Award in 2014. 

“We have got the latest America's Cup stuff going on. We are hoping to take the whole 360 experience on the boat in the finals when they are racing, it should be incredible. We have some testing and it’s looking great,” he says.

Taylor, who's from Raupunga near Wairoa, is being celebrated as one of New Zealand's most prominent innovators at The Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT). The new exhibition, 'The Innovators', showcases Taylor's journey, success and inspiration.

He says, “This isn’t about me, this is about a Māori perspective on innovation and we took the opportunity to remind all New Zealanders but, especially our kids Māori and Pasifika, that you come in here and look at this and realise all of this is in your DNA.”