Steve Wozniak shares wisdom at Auckland talk

Steve Wozniak shares wisdom at Auckland talk

One of the godfathers of the personal computer is in New Zealand and spoke at an event in Auckland on Tuesday.

Steve Wozniak, the 'Wizard of Woz', helped create some of the world's most influential tech products,  but when it comes to New Zealand, his first thought was sport.

"We played our first Segway polo match - something my Silicon Valley team invented - we played our first match against New Zealand," Mr Wozniak says.

But it's not just Segway polo he invented - he's Steve Jobs' other half. They co-founded Apple in a family garage in the mid-1970s.

"I always wanted to have the best computers at my command, and what we have today is so much further than what I thought we could have ever had today," he says.

The Woz is right about that. Apple now has more money in the bank than the Czech Republic, Peru and New Zealand make in GDP a year. After all, the Californian company created technology we can't live without.

"If something is big and huge and everyone is doing it... it's a steamroller," he Wozniak. "You stand in front of it and you're going to get mowed down."

Apple's success story was taken to the big screen.

"A lot of things I didn't like in it, because they portrayed Steve Jobs at a point in time when he was really a kid and a learner, and they portrayed him as a master thinker and a guider of everything," Mr Wozniak says.

"It's never bizarre to see myself on screen because they always portrayed me as being smart and nice."

Mr Wozniak left Apple in 1985, but he's still an employee and shareholder and he's still passionate about all things techy.

So what does the original computer whiz predict for the future?

"The biggest area for growth will be in augmented reality and virtual reality," he says.

He reckons it could be used for job training and education.

"Maybe someday a computer could be a teacher."

And he backs driverless cars, but says there's room for improvement.

"A self-driving car needs to see every little thing on the roads so we're only on the path."

It's a path that the Woz carved out for us.