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May 4, 2019

Interview with a Ready Team One Director

Ready Team One is an Australian startup company formed by a team of 3 from Perth, Western Australia that focuses on developing Virtual Reality technologies for gaming and industry applications. James Tang, one of the directors of Ready Team One was interviewed by Hugo Smith about the inception, motivations and future direction of the company.

Hugo: Please tell us about your background and what you do at RTO.

I come from an engineering background so am fascinated by all things tech. Having spent most my career in the mining industry, I’ve seen first hand how technology and innovation can transform operations into safer, more productive  environments.

At Ready Team One I am currently responsible for marketing/commercialisation of our products and exploring how we can partner with industry to translate the innovations we developed to solve industry problems. I’m also a videography and photography enthusiast which comes in handy when producing all our communications materials and video trailers!

Hugo: Have you always been interested in VR? What inspired you to go about creating RTO?

My business partner Chris introduced me to VR technology back in 2014 at an HTC convention in Taipei before VR headsets were commercially available. Immediately we were intrigued by where VR could go. In 2018, I was surprised that despite it’s massive potential, VR tech remained stagnant being still limited to single player room scale and was not being widely used outside gaming.

We were not  interested in exploring “out of the box” experiences that you can get at home or purchase off the shelf. So we wanted to develop our own unique fully immersive, untethered, team cooperative experiences that you can’t find elsewhere.  I teamed up with Chris and Scott shortly after who were already developing ideas for warehouse scale location based experiences.

Hugo: What are some major inspirations behind first contact and RTO?

Steven Spielberg’s sci-fi film Ready Player One depicts an interesting future where VR would be used to escape the desolation of the real world. As you may have guessed, it was an inspiration to our company name.  Starship Troopers was another sci-fi film that gave us the idea of an alien world overrun by a disgusting alien insectoid species that you just want to squash.

Hugo: How long has RTO been in development.

The company was incepted in November 2017, initially starting with a player vs player concept. We pivoted a few times and listened to our customer’s feedback to constantly iterate our product. Our MVP was developed within 6 months followed by 1 month of alpha testing and another 2 months of beta testing. Thanks you to everyone that provided us with invaluable feedback.

Hugo: What are your favourite parts of working on RTO

Being able to create our own content, and seeing the reaction on our customers faces when it blows their mind! I really enjoy when people come in and are as excited about the direction VR is heading as we are and have great ideas about how it could be leveraged in the industries they work in.

Hugo: What would you like to see included in RTO in the future?

We’d like to build a community where we have a close relationship to our customers and clients where we can listen to their wants and pain points so we can work to deliver insane experiences and realise tangible value. As we move into our permanent location, we’d like to foster a relaxed and collaborative environment where everyone’s welcome in a relaxed and fun atmosphere.

Hugo: If you could turn any of your old favourite video games into a VR title, what would it be and why

Counterstrike for sure! I grew up playing this with friends at internet cafes as an escape from reality. Taking this to the next level, imagine being able to run around desert storm training to become a better counter-terrorst. We’re actually working on something similar to CS and hope this can eventually be applied in military training.

Hugo: Any tips for new comers to RTO and first contact?

Bring a spare pair of undies. But also remember nothing can hurt you in our VR game.  Don’t be afraid to walk, run and jump around the large space. You won’t be able to fall off the cliffs…or can you?

Hugo: How else do you see the technology being utilised outside of RTO

The possibilities are endless. Any dangerous environment such as a fire emergency, heavy industrial settings, working at heights or police standoff can be simulated in VR from the safety of a gym floor.

We’d also like to see VR make an impact in education, helping immerse doctors, engineers, and architects to  visualise complex structures and environments that can’t be emulated otherwise.

Hugo: In an ideal world what do you want RTO to turn into?

We’re not just a company that produces epic games. We hope to use gaming as a platform to demonstrate to the world the limitless possibilities of VR.

We aspire to be at the forefront of large scale VR experiences, leading the way with customised experiences for defence, military, education and  training that would make an impact to their safety and productivity outcomes.

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