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the innovators bringing Culture Lens to the world

The Vaka team, led by Jesse Armstrong and Andrea Fua, are young Māori and Pacific creative-tech entrepreneurs who are transforming cultural experiences and creating cultural impact with creativity, technology and innovation. 

Vaka launched their product - Culture Lens - at Mahuki, the business accelerator located at Te Papa Tongarewa - the Museum of New Zealand, and now present their exciting new product for global release. 


Vaka operate in partnership with

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Culture lens BY VAKA

Introducing Culture Lens – the new way to experience culture, create connections and measure cultural impact. This exciting innovation reimagines the combination of imagery, storytelling and technology and offers a fresh new way to create lasting impressions of culture, history and opportunity.


  • Live portraits – artworks and photographs animated and brought to life, providing realistic and captivatingly personal experiences
  • Guided conversations – portraits that are animated and able to guide conversations through multiple storylines, engaging people in their stories and lives
  • Facial detection – frames that detect when faces come into focus and wake the portraits, bringing them alive to tell their story  and sending them to sleep when people move on
  • Voice recognition – hidden microphones that listen and use automatic voice recognition to activate the portrait and trigger the sharing of relevant stories to the visitors  


  • Data collection – the camera and microphone are designed to capture qualitative and quantitative data, capturing emotions, vocal commands and interactions – all without breaching privacy rules
  • Wayfinding – enabling video characters to direct people through spaces using multiple connected screens
  • Virtual cultural ambassadors – providing the unique ability to enable cultural practices to be offered when key people are unavailable. Virtual ambassadors can provide welcomes, farewells, prayer etc through video or animation utilising the Culture Lens technical capability


Culture Lens is delivered in two parts:

  • Service design – the team work with you to explore the cultural experience, develop portrait characters, stories and scripts; animate characters, connect technology and activate the experience
  • Service subscription – Culture Lens offer a monthly or annual subscription service for the bundled frame, technology and support
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Our Team


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jesse armstrong, ceo

Read about Jesse on LinkedIn


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justin perez, 3d artist

Read about Justin on LinkedIn

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lachlan cook, animation lead

Read about Lachlan on LinkedIn

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noel thomas, developer

Read about Noel on LinkedIn





We'd love to talk to you about how Vaka can help you embrace Culture Lens as a platform for creating new experiences and adding cultural impact to your business. 

Please add your details below and we'll be in touch.