REA Group today announced REALABS, a purpose-built invention space in the heart of Australia’s tech hub, Richmond, designed to create, trial and bring to life the newest technologies for consumers to experience property.
The new space will be dedicated to invention and innovation, housing a range of new technologies, including virtual reality, augmented reality, drones and robotics.
REALABS will be the training centre for the Group’s global graduates, design engineers and product teams. It will also become home for REAio (formerly known as REA Group’s Hack Days); a space to host technology start-ups and industry events.
To further solidify the Group’s investment in innovation and technology, Nigel Dalton, Chief Information Officer, has been appointed to the newly created role of ‘Chief Inventor’ and will lead a dedicated team of experts focused on the future of technology at REALABS.
With this change, a newly created Chief Engineer role, replacing the Chief Information Officer, will head up REA Group’s global technology strategy. A global search has now commenced for this position.
Tracey Fellows, REA Group Chief Executive Officer, commented: “Our success has been built on creativity and invention and our desire to change the status quo means we will always look for another way – bigger and better, to improve the experience for our consumers and create value for our customers.
“Being a global company means we’re in a unique position to, not only, invest in the power of ideas and new technologies and we’re able to bring together the greatest minds in our business – both here in Australia and around the world. That means the REALABS team will be able to bring to life some amazing ideas-led inventions.”
Nigel Dalton, REA Group Chief Inventor, commented: “REALABS provides a dedicated home for us to be exploring new technology and what it could mean for us, the industry and beyond. It also allows us to experiment and lead disruption, staying ahead of the industry globally.”
REALABS will officially open in November 2016. Mr Dalton will act in a dual role until a successful candidate has been appointed as Chief Engineer.