Emmy ready to start work

Animation Research Ltd project leader John Rendall (left) and chief executive Ian Taylor with the company's Emmy Award, and the envelope and winner's card opened by an MC at the award ceremony in New York. Photo by Craig Baxter.
Animation Research Ltd project leader John Rendall (left) and chief executive Ian Taylor with the company's Emmy Award, and the envelope and winner's card opened by an MC at the award ceremony in New York. Photo by Craig Baxter.
Animation Research Ltd's Emmy award got a tour of New York bars and starred in plenty of mobile phone snaps in the Big Apple - but now the hefty golden gong is home in Dunedin and ready to start work for the company.

The Dunedin company won the Sports Emmy for its first attempt at creating a mobile phone app for the America's Cup.

The free app, which went viral during the racing, allowed users to get real-time images, data and graphics, and to tap into on-board cameras and microphones so they could see and hear live action on each yacht during races.

The app's developers returned from New York at the weekend, and project leader John Rendall said merely turning up for the awards seemed exciting enough at first.

''We were buzzing getting into our suits.

''Just going to something on that level was enough of a buzz for us.''

That only escalated when the winner of the category for which the Dunedin team was competing - outstanding new approaches for sports event coverage - was announced.

''We all started screaming.''

The surprisingly hefty Emmy statuette accompanied the Kiwis out to dinner and a tour of bars after the ceremony, all the way attracting comment and a stream of New Yorkers with mobile phones keen for a picture.

Animation Research chief executive Ian Taylor said the app did not make the company any money - but the Emmy it won should help open doors.

The company developed the app before the America's Cup Event Authority had decided it wanted one.

''It was clear to us there would be a huge demand for mobile apps,'' he said.

That ''punt'' paid off when the authority took it on as the official app, and paid for its development.

There were now ''a number of places'' the app could be used.

That included golf, cricket and Formula One, sports with which Animation Research was already involved.

He said having the Emmy showed the company's ability with ''a platform that could convert to any sport''.

Mr Taylor stressed the app would not have won the Emmy without the onboard data made available during the cup races.

It was also important to celebrate the other New Zealand companies involved, as others had made it as far as the nomination stage at the Emmy Awards.

david.loughrey@odt.co.nz

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