Spot, the remote-control robotic dog, shows how important 5G will be

The four winners of Spark's 5G Starter Fund have launched their technology prototypes showing how important 5G can be across Aotearoa and the world with kids, VR, remote eye checks and a robotic dog all on show.

Rocos, named the supreme winner in October last year, used its share of the $625,000 provided by the telecommunications company to work on using 5G for autonomous inspection.

Boston Dynamics' $110,000 robotic dog, Spot, is used to show how remote control and automation could revolutionise industries, particularly in areas that are inaccessible to humans or where there are unacceptable risks.

The mass connectivity and low latency 5G will provide in the future should make it possible to automate physical tasks at scale, improving the capability of autonomous missions undertaken by robots, such as scanning and monitoring a construction site or power grid, thereby reducing health and safety risks.

"Each winner is set to make history by being amongst the first in the country to embrace the powerful potential of our 5G network to revolutionise their respective industries," said Spark's Technology Director, Mark Beder.

"From democratising eyecare, developing world-first immersive gaming experiences and taking the manufacturing industry to new, robotic heights, Spark is proud to support these four Kiwi businesses to deliver transformative solutions for New Zealand and New Zealanders."

Spark's Product Director Tessa Tierney agreed.

"We as a global community are still understanding the power of this technology and these types of events and collaborations are really what's needed to unlock innovation and productivity across the world and definitely in New Zealand," she said.

"Being able to visualise for people what the technology can do is important in telling stories and to be able to interact with it is a whole other level again."