A virtual haka lesson presented through bespoke technology.

As international and local audiences descended on New Zealand for the 2011 Rugby World Cup, Gibson International was commissioned by Story Inc to create a visitor experience they wouldn’t forget.

The experience, in New Zealand’s national museum Te Papa Tongarewa, highlighted a unique piece of Māori heritage – the famous haka Ka Mate – composed by Te Rauparaha and performed around the world by the All Blacks rugby team.

On the inside of a portable museum exhibition that detailed the haka’s origins, our team produced a virtual haka lesson that featured a take-home recording as a personal souvenir.

We developed bespoke software that uses a series of z-depth cameras to capture each visitor and superimpose their silhouette over virtual haka instructors. Analytical software returned real-time feedback as each visitor attempted to keep in step. From the system development to the show controls and production of video content, the full scope of work was handled by Gibson International.

Our role

  • Visitor experience
  • Physical interactives
  • Graphic design
  • Multimedia design
  • Fabrication and installation
  • Ongoing support and maintenance

A unique cultural experience

Ka Mate was first launched in the entrance hall of the Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa, where it greeted national and international guests.

From the exhibition (created by Story Inc.), visitors learned the history of this famous haka. They learned about the warrior chief from whom it descends and the Ngāti Toa Rangatira iwi, then entered a circular installation to practise the ceremonial challenge.

The five-minute visitor experience culminated in a final performance, which was recorded and replayed on exterior monitors to enjoy post-lesson. The performance could then be downloaded to a branded USB to take home.

Gibson International collaborated with

Ngāti Toa Rangatira (NZ), Story Inc. (NZ)

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