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We spoke to Tim Ruse, the Aussie mastermind behind the virtual reality gaming revolution

Zero Latency is transforming the world of gaming.

We all loved laser-tag as kids (or as employees at drunken, misguided work bonding exercises), but it was always a step removed from the intoxicating, escapist thrill of video games.

By the same token, video games are awesome – but at the end of the day, you’re just some guy or girl sitting on their arse clicking buttons with your fingers.

But Melbourne-based company Zero Latency has taken the best of both worlds and created a truly immersive video game experience.

Check it out:

Co-founder Tim Ruse was recently at the amazing and inspiring Creative3 Conference in Brisbane – so we had a chat with him about the brave new world of virtual reality, and asked him for his best tips for young Aussie entrepreneurs.

Hi Tim, you’ve described Zero Latency as the “ultimate virtual reality gaming experience”, can you talk us through this incredible user experience?

“Zero Latency allows you to experience any digital world like you do in real life. Your body becomes the controller.

“You get to have these massive adventure experiences with your mates all supported by the most advanced VR tech you can get today.

“But the best thing is that you don’t notice the tech. We’re all about transporting you and your crew to a different world, and letting you experience that as seamlessly as possible.”

What’s the next big step in VR gaming technology, both for ZL and the industry as a whole?

“I think that IRL, mobile, VR and PC experiences are all going to merge into one seamless continuum as the gaming industry develops. We’re already seeing that when we look at how we work and play across mobile devices and PC.

“VR will eventually fall into the same space and become a part of how we interact with each other, our devices and the content we love.”

You’ve recently linked up with US VR arenas, what are the plans there?

“We’re working with arenas in the US and all over the world. Zero Latency is in five countries now, and will be in seven by the end of the year.

“Our target is to have at least 100 sites up and running by the end of 2019. We love to be able to immerse people in our games, so why shouldn’t that apply to everyone around the world?”

As one of the first movers, how were you able to identify VR as an emerging technology?

“We always thought it was clear that VR would start as an out-of-home tech first. Every other major entertainment medium has followed that trend.

“Using VR to support and enhance what you are doing in real life with Free Roam VR, to us, was the logical step.

“We thought ‘what would we build if we wanted to make the ultimate game with the best tech we have today?’ Free Roam VR was what popped out of that thought process.”

What’s the biggest challenge operating in such a nascent industry?

“The biggest challenge in the VR/gaming industry for us is also the greatest opportunity.

“It’s given us the opportunity to create a category, write the rule book and build business models. That’s incredibly exciting, but also really challenging. There is no trodden path here. But that’s what makes the potential so vast.”

What advice do you have for young Aussie entrepreneurs?

“Australia is a great place for startups to build a base and validate their ideas, which is what we’re seeing this weekend at the Creative3 conference. But the best advice we can give for the bigger picture is to go global as fast as you can.

If you truly are creating a unique offering the world can enjoy then don’t hold yourself back. Get it out to the world. ASAP.”

About the author

Technically, Riordan writes culture, politics and sport, but 80% of his words are direct quotes stolen from The Simpsons. He promises to tweet more at @riordanl and speaks words for The Zero Thumbs Down Podcast.

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