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Cultural cringe hurts WA

THE head of an award winning Perth new media company has criticised WA as being short sighted and unable to appreciate the value of new technology.

PIVoD Technologies managing director Phillip Jenkins made the comments after his company’s recent win in the Intelligent Technologies category of the Asia Pacific IT and T awards. He said WA still had a cultural cringe and that the state wasn’t interested in striving to be the best.

“There were two things I didn’t expand on when accepting the award – Western Australia has a cringe factor and we don’t believe we can be the best in the world,” Mr Jenkins said.

He cited disinterest by the State Government in PIVoD’s video-on-demand system for the WA Maritime Museum and a lack of investment as examples.

“The State Government thinks the technology is not needed and it isn’t necessary. They want to make this an international destination but they are really not giving it the budget to warrant it and make it world class,” Mr Jenkins said.

“I think it might be just a few stand-alone devices and be left at that.

“Certainly it’s got the opportunity, a wonderful location and great exhibits, but I don’t think it’s been given a fair budget.”

PIVoD has supplied video-on-demand solutions to museums and theme parks worldwide, including the Museum of Victoria and the Singapore Discovery Centre. The technology integrates audio-visual displays and media into one system, making less efficient, stand-alone displays redundant.

When accepting the award at the IT and T Awards, Mr Jenkins said PIVoD had not had a WA client in more than eight years. The last project had been wiring former Premier Richard Court’s boardroom when the Coalition came to power in 1993. Since then, PIVoD’s clients have predominantly been from the east coast.

“The only worthwhile work (in WA) has been some of the museums. But apart from that they don’t believe there is benefit in the technologies we’ve developed that will justify spending the money with us.”

PIVoD is currently in negotiation to fit its inLiving digital system to new homes in the Melbourne Docklands redevelopment.

The all-in-one system would deliver Internet, pay TV, video-on-demand and security services to ‘smart’ homes in the project.

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