A virtual reality and home-improvement hub is to be planned in the northern city of Fremantle as part of a major Australian innovation hub.
Key points:A tech hub is expected to be launched in Fremantle in 2021 with a “smart home” platform being developed in 2019The hub will house the nation’s first virtual reality research centre and a home-building projectThe project will be funded by a $3 billion National Innovation FundThe Fremantle-based tech hub will see a virtual reality centre and smart home development.
The Fremont-based Innovation and Entrepreneurship Hub is set to launch next year, with a $300 million National Innovation Bank to support the project.
The hub is set for a $600 million facility to be set up in 2021, which will include a research centre, research and development facilities, the new headquarters for the Federal Government, and a smart home software development and deployment hub.
The tech hub, which is planned to have a total of 50,000 square metres of space, will house a research and innovation centre, a research lab, a home construction and manufacturing facility, and the first virtual-reality research centre.
The new hub will be the nation-wide hub for VR technology, and will be built by a private firm.
“This will be our first hub and this will be an exciting hub to be part of and this is just one of many to come in the future,” Fremantle Mayor Geoff Macquarie said.
“Fremantle will be a hub for the global VR industry and that’s going to change as we have more people and businesses coming in and the amount of VR headsets that are coming in, it will also change the way we think about the hub itself.”
He said the city’s technology hub was the “first in Australia” and would provide a “big leap forward” in the nation as a whole.
The development of the Fremantle hub will involve the development of a smart building that will be “designed for the virtual reality environment”, according to the development plan.
“We are aiming to create a building that is designed to work in the virtual environment,” Fremont Mayor Geoff McMahan said.
“We’re working on the smart home, which could be an internet-connected home that can have a smart smart fridge, smart smart kitchen, smart kitchen and smart fridge and it will all work together.”
He told ABC News the smart building would be designed for a “multi-purpose house” and be “integrated” into the hub.
“It’s about creating a hub that can serve a diverse range of users, from small business owners to the people who are moving into the new building, and it’s about being connected to a smart, connected home.”
Mr McMahan also said the hub would support research into VR technologies, particularly in the home.
“The next thing we’re looking at is what is the next step in VR, what is its applications, what are the potential applications and the benefits of having a home connected to this new technology,” he said.
A home-development project has also been launched in the area, with construction of a $100 million research and manufacturing centre to be funded in 2021.
“In 2021, we’re going to have this facility where we’re working with a consortium of industry to develop the research and technology, develop a smart house that will all connect and work together and then we’ll be able to provide this smart home to the community,” Mr McMahan told ABC Radio Fremantle.
“And we’re very keen to see the residents in Fremont who are currently moving into this new building and are going to be able use that to make a home that’s connected to the internet.”
Mr Macquary said he expected the hub to attract more people from around the country to the area.
“I think it’s a great hub and I think we’ll see Fremantle be the hub of VR for a long time,” he told ABC RN.