A three-part series looking at the people behind RTO, Perth’s most innovative VR platform
Ready Team One (RTO) may be a relatively young company, in a niche market located in Perth, apart of a rapidly growing field of virtual reality (VR) in the wider market, but that doesn’t stop them from being one of the most innovative providers out there today. RTO is one of the only providers in Perth to offer a cutting-edge VR experience inclusive of finger-tracking, free-roaming, full-body immersion, and to top it off developed their own IP to boot, First Contact. Developed over several years three engineers based in Perth, James, Chris and Scott, have accomplished an incredible feat which takes other years to master. In this inaugural blog, the first of a three-part series, we will be interviewing the men behind one of Perth’s newest sensations. To begin we will be talking to James Tang, head of marketing, who comes with an engineering background and is also currently working at Deloitte.
Please tell us about your Background and what you do at RTO
James Tang(JT): I come from an engineering background, so I have always been fascinated by all thing technology. Having spent most of my career in the mining industry, I’ve seen first hand how technology and innovation can transform operations into safer, and more productive environments.
At RTO, I am currently responsible for marketing and commercialisation of our products. I also explore how we can partner with various industries to translate the innovations we develop at RTO into helpful solutions for others. I’m also a videography and photography enthusiast which comes in handy when producing all our communications materials and video trailers.
Have you always been interested in VR? What inspired you to go about creating RTO?
JT: My business partner Chris introduced me to VR technology back in 2014 at a HTC convention in Taipei before VR headsets were really 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, limited largely to single player room scale and how it wasn’t being widely used outside of gaming.
We were not interested in exploring ‘out of the box’ experiences that you can get at home or purchase off the shelf. This is what led us to develop our own unique, fully immersive, untethered, team-based experience, which you can’t find any where else. I teamed up with Chris and Scott shortly after, both of whom were already developing ideas for a warehouse scale location-based experience.
What are some major inspirations behind first contact and RTO?
JT: 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 the inspiration for 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. Would you like to know more?
How long has RTO been in development?
JT: The company was first 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 mould our product. Our MVP was developed within 6 months followed by one month of alpha testing and another two months of beta testing. A big thank you to everyone that provided us with invaluable feedback back then and a big thank you to everyone’s continued feedback and support now.
What are your favourite parts of working on RTO ?
JT: Being able to create your own world and seeing the reaction on our customers faces when it blows their minds! 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.
What would you like to see included in RTO in the future?
JT: I’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 find they pain points, so we can work to deliver an insane personal and customisable experience where we can offer a real 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.
If you could turn any of your old favourite video games into a VR title, what would it be?
JT: 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-terrorist. We’re working on something similar to CS and hope this can eventually be applied in real life military training.
Any tips for new customers to RTO and first contact?
JT: Bring a spare pair of undies. More seriously, 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?
How else do you see the technology being utilised?
Jt: The possibilities are endless. Any dangerous environment such as fire emergency, heavy industrial settings, working and 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 on education, helping immerse doctors, engineers and architects to visualise complex structures and environments that can’t be emulated otherwise.
In an ideal world what do you want RTO to turn into?
JT: 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.
VR is some of today’s truly extraordinary technology. It allows to create our own worlds in a safe environment, as well as help us to better understand the outside world. The implications of the technology are far reach and its impacts limitless. RTO is striving to be at the forefront of this technology in Australia, creating unique worlds and to better train those in the real world. While it may be true that VR is still some way from being mass adopted in the market, RTO and First Contact are closing that gap in a big way. If you are interested in finding out more about RTO or First Contact check out the Video below or explore the rest of the website. Tickets can be purchased from https://readyteamone.com/bookings/
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