Luke Chadwick


Engineer at REALABS

Luke Chadwick is a kiwi-born geek with a long-held passion for emerging technologies. He currently leads REA Group’s REALABS team, as they help revolutionise the way the world experiences property. He is widely involved in the Australian tech community including work for Random Hacks of Kindness, Railscamp, and Ruby Australia. He teaches software development, and avoids wasting his life savings on a startup by mentoring others around technology and innovation.

Luke found his way to his current role by constantly hacking prototypes to make people’s lives easier, until REA finally got sick of him sneaking away from what he was supposed to be doing, and made it his full-time job. The team has developed an ecosystem of people and partners that span the globe, among other things covering the chain of technologies required to make virtual reality possible for consumers.

Recent Articles

Zero Latency’s virtual reality adds new dimension to real estate

YOW! 2016 Melbourne

Dark Alleys and Dead-Ends: A Guide to Developing with Emerging Technology, Without Dying of Frustration

In 2014, the REA Group came to YOW! in Melbourne and showcased their work with VR partner Zero Latency, who they had met (and helped fund) through a Pozible campaign. What the hell did shooting zombies have to do with a property portal? Was Unity the new Ruby on Rails? Two years later has the first production-ready virtual reality property media, has test-launched augmented reality print adverts and property signboards, while Zero Latency has won the race to be the global leader for multi-player VR gaming.

All that emerging technology might sound like fun (shooting zombies certainly is), but the reality can be a lot of wasted time and frustration as you try to anticipate where the technology will go – perhaps in a matter of weeks, then your platform is gazzumped, and your code is legacy. ‘Dark alleys and dead-ends’ will distill two years of experience building around emerging technologies, including VR, AR, 3D Scanning & 360 video.

Those last two years have been a hell of a journey. There have been many lessons, failures and triumphs from the team’s earliest experiments with Oculus DK1, making people violently nauseous, resolving the challenges of making people comfortable in VR, to the UX challenges of building a VR property experience. Let alone integrating code from a new world of software into well-known build systems, ensuring scalability, and managing instant legacy.

This talk will save you making some of those same mistakes.


VR, Virtual Reality, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, GearVR, Matterport, 360° Video, UX, AR, Augmented Reality