Prince Charles embarks on virtual adventure

Prince Charles (Reuters)
Prince Charles (Reuters)

Prince Charles visited Animation Research this afternoon, the pioneering Dunedin firm behind the first live 3D sport graphics.

Outside he was met by the man behind it all, Ian Taylor.

Inside he shook hands with staff and apologised for interrupting their day.

In the office workspace - a room filled with computers and other gadgets - the prince was shown a video about Dunedin, which explained how the city is becoming a hub for innovation and research.

The video also explained how some of Innovation Research's most recent work has been used around the world in high performance sports like Formula One and yachting, as well as in architecture projects as part of the Christchurch rebuild.

The prince was given a cup of tea while staff members talked him through some of the firm's recent work, including live cricket graphics from the cricket Test at the Gabba.

He also got to try out a virtual reality Oculus headset which was used as part of the recent World Series yachting event in Bermuda, which put him on board an AC45 catamaran.

He also tried on another headset which took him on a virtual ride on a jet boat on the Shotover River.

"I'm not going to look for too long," he laughed.

Prince Charles then got to get behind the wheel of a virtual America's Cup yacht on a high tech simulator.

With the help of an expert navigator, he successfully sailed a Team New Zealand catamaran around a course on Auckland's Waitemata Harbour.

Leaving Animation Research, Prince Charles thanked the person who made him a cup of tea, but admitted he didn't get a chance to drink it.

"I was worried I'd spill it on someone's computer terminal," he said.