Early efforts to explore market opportunities and hone the business’s focus paid off, Ruse says. Taking on too much and spreading yourself too thin is risky, he explains, as you can become paralysed by indecision. From their initial setting in a North Melbourne warehouse, the Zero Latency team explored VR’s potential for three key markets:
Architects could walk clients through virtual floor plans during the day, plus law enforcement and emergency services could undertake virtual training. After dark, gamers could don the VR gear to fight zombies in a post-apocalyptic war zone.
“We had interest from police and defence as well as property developers – we could have run down a thousand rabbit holes doing proof-of-concepts,” Ruse says. “Ultimately, you’ve got to drive your business forward, otherwise you just get buffeted by the winds and that can be quite dangerous for young businesses.
“In the end we decided that the strongest demand was coming from the entertainment industry, where it was also easier to introduce a compelling product into many markets with less customisation.”
The decision to narrow its focus on entertainment paid off. Zero Latency has been named one of the Top 10 Most Innovative Gaming companies by Fast Company. They've also placed third in the Deloitte Tech Fast 50 Australia and eighth in the APAC Tech Fast 500. Today, the business has seen global market expansion, with licensing deals and joint ventures with the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas. By the end of 2018, Zero Latency had also expanded to some 27 sites across 15 countries, with plans to reach 100 sites globally by the end of 2020.