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Solution 'glued' together with engineering nous

The Dominion, 11th July 1994

When contact lens manufacturer Ian Handricks developed the lmagic digital processing system, he did not plan on creating an imaging solution for use world-wide.

Using standard computer hardware and Mr Handricks’ own electrical engineering know-how, Imagic has taken off with sales in Australia and Britain as well as locally. "I've really taken what’s out there in the market and glued it together in a configuration no one’s ever thought of before," he says.

“IAN Handricks puts a Teco computer through its paces at the Beyond Imagination facility”

Based on Teco Computer’s 486DX 66 mhz computer running Windows, Imagic requires l0 mb Ram and several hundred megabytes of hard drive. Software such as Aldus Photostyler and Pagemaker is included along with a high performance optical scanner and colour ink jet printer. A video capture card is an optional extra.

"Imagic is an extended digital imaging station using some of the most advanced software for video capture, manipulation and morphing. It is most simply described as a multimedia studio," Mr Handricks says.

The first version of Imagic was priced at $25,000 but it is now divided into four pricing categories: a low-end system for $9995; an economy pack for $15,000; the standard pack for $21,000; and the optimum version for $26,000. Each system uses Teco computer hardware ranging from pentium to 486DX 66 mhz machines and to date, more than 50 Imagic systems have been sold both in New Zealand and overseas.

Mr Handricks first made a name for himself when he developed a computer-controlled lathe for the mass production of contact lenses and later developing the bifocal lens.

However, a new creation called Beyond Imagination has Mr Handricks and his Hirstlens company turning more heads.

Beyond Imagination is a unique environment for interested groups to view and experiment with technology in a technology playground.

The concept began four months ago and was officially opened on May 21. "We [business partners John Sherman and Mr Handricks] felt there was a need in New Zealand to provide a facility where people were not in a true retail environment, where they could get involved with technology and computers and akin products at leisure, but without being open to the general public," Mr Handricks says.

Beyond Imagination accommodates a maximum of 50 people at a time; usually groups with similar interests including farmers, plumbers and florists.

It occupies between 10,000 and 15,000 square feet at Hirstlens’ Auckland premises.

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