ANNE Tolley shows off one of the new virtual reality viewers gifted to St Joseph’s Primary School, with six-year-old Hazel Nelson testing it out. Photo James Sandbrook OB4760-01

OPOTIKI schoolkids have received a digital gateway to the capital, thanks to East Coast MP Anne Tolley.

Mrs Tolley visited Opotiki last Friday, and gifted St Joseph’s Primary School several cardboard phone-compatible virtual reality devices.

Compatible with both Android and iOS, the kiwi-made Parliament XR app lets viewers experience Parliament from 360 degrees.

Mrs Tolley said the app featured an eight-minute tour across multiple rooms and provided an inside look for those who might not have the opportunity to visit Parliament.

“I am confident young people will like it because they’ll have fun with the virtual reality and exploring the different spaces in the tour,” she said.

“And it’s pretty cool for adults too to get a chance to see what Parliament looks like behind the scenes.”

Mrs Tolley said the app could be used without the virtual reality viewers, so anyone could download it and take a look through Parliament.

“Anyone can watch the tour on their phone, it is just better with the headsets,” she said.

The fast-moving tour is narrated by a guide and includes a greeting from tumu whakarae/principal cultural adviser Kura Moeahu in the seldom-seen Matangereia room.

Pop-up boxes also explain some of Parliament’s art, providing more information from the Parliament lawn through the Victorian Gothic revival architecture at the parliamentary library, all the way to the base isolators under the building.

The 360-degree virtual reality experience was produced by start-up teams at Wellington-based Projectr, a specialist XR centre specialising in virtual and augmented reality games development, motion graphics and artificial intelligence.

The tour was filmed with an in-house manufactured camera with 16 lenses built by Wellington startup L2VR.