Sir Ian Taylor, Technology Innovator
Sir Ian Taylor (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāpuhi) has not had your run-of-the-mill career – he’s worked in the freezing works, was lead singer in a rock band; completed a law degree, became a children’s TV show presenter, all on his way to establishing Taylormade Media, a television production group, and Animation Research – known for producing the first real-time yachting graphics package for the America’s Cup.
Animation Research’s sporting division, Virtual Eye, is a leader in real-time sports graphics for online streaming services, TV and large-screen broadcast, including live to air golf coverage, Formula One and cricket.
Technology is no stranger to Sir Ian despite growing up in Raupunga, a small town of the North Island’s East Coast. He says, “I still remember the day we got electricity in our house, the way a single light bulb filled the room with daylight, just at the flick of a switch.
“I don’t think we called it technology in those days – but whatever we called it, it had a huge impact on me. At eight years of age, I figured if you could do that by flicking a switch you could do anything.”
His companies continue to be involved in world-class, ground-breaking projects through their innovative use of technology and refusal to accept “it can’t be done”.
“I will always feel that I have been the beneficiary of the things that technology can do. I like to tell kids that, because of the great things others have done with technology you can dream your dreams and, the chances are, there is some technology out there that will help you make it come true,” Sir Ian says.
In May Sir Ian received an honorary Doctor of Commerce degree from the University of Otago for his contribution to business, and to the city of Dunedin.