Alumni profile: Terry Miller

Terry Miller says he always wanted to be the guy who built the crazy stuff. So much so, he gave up a lucrative research and development job to do just that. What came next was the world’s first fully untethered virtual reality platform.

Terry Miller stands beside the immersive VR ball he developed

Starting out in a leaky garage four years ago, founders Terry Miller and George Heather-Smith created start-up company Eight360 to develop a virtual reality platform.

The NOVA started off as a paper mache swiss ball with the interior created using a hot glue gun and a piece of wood.

“That actually worked really well but we decided that we could build a better one,” says Terry.

Four years later, having secured investment, new premises and a few staff, the swiss ball has morphed into a state of the art simulator offering unlimited motion similar to the experience of doing a barrel roll in a jet fighter.

“No one is doing what we are doing, which is fully untethered 360. That’s because it’s a lot harder to make a simulated platform like that,” says Terry.

“Engineering isn’t so much of a skillset as it is a mind-set. Once you gain the knowledge of how something works, you have control over your environment. You can change it, improve it and make it better. Progress never stands still and engineers are the ones building the future.”

Terry says transitioning from engineer into a CEO role has been a whole different mind-set as well as a variety of new challenges.

“The whole thing about a start-up is to test assumptions and to validate. The dream has now turned into making NOVA into an actual product and getting it out into the world. I’ve given up a real job to do this, on the chance it turns into something bigger.”