Meet the team transporting kids on operating tables to exciting new worlds and taking museum goers back in time to long-lost lands… all from a Tees office.
For over 15 years, the four-strong team at VR and 3D specialist Amazing Interactives has provided ‘amazing’ experiences to hundreds of organisations across the globe.
Founded by former Teesside University employees Pravin Jethwa, 51, and Nigel Rodwell, 52, they launched the firm after recognising the commercial potential of virtual reality (VR).
Thornaby-based Amazing Interactives has since registered several patents and trademarks for its products and services, ranging from interactive 3D distractions for children’s hospitals to engaging museum displays, simulations for vocational courses and many, many more.
Pravin Jethwa, co-founder and sales director, said: “Amazing Interactives was set up to develop and supply next generation visual software and hardware installations for the education, medical and visitor attractions market.
“Prior to this, Nigel and I both worked at Teesside University’s Virtual Reality Centre – a £10m European-funded project to develop VR, bespoke software and new technologies – which was where we discovered a niche for the supply of such new innovations into areas outside the traditional tech and media sectors which were among the first to adopt VR.
“Our first project epitomised this perfectly and summarises the amazing work we do on a day-to-day basis. Working with Middlesbrough’s James Cook University Hospital – which is one of the largest of its kind in Europe – we helped design and install a unique virtual reality system that mapped every corridor, ward, department and office and helped guests navigate their way around the hospital.
“We now produce everything from pain distraction units for children’s hospitals to immersive sensory rooms for the education sector and giant 4K interactive touchscreens and video walls for universities and visitor attractions.
“Our ability to provide a full turn-key solution really sets us apart from everyone else. Not only do we provide the animated content, but we design and integrate the hardware, we provide the entire service – all under one roof.”
Amazing Interactives saw turnover exceed £600,000 this year as a result of its continued growth, with rising demand for its products and services from overseas proving a major boost to the company.
Pravin explains: “Our company turnover topped the £600,000 mark this year following a spate of contract wins from overseas and also a number of new product launches, in particular the enhancing of our educational software that is now sold across the globe.
“It’s this commitment to innovation which has led to us receiving so much repeat business from our clients and as we look to the future, we’re committed to bringing even more products and services to market as we continue to look at how the audio and visual sector will evolve and create new opportunities in each of our key markets.”
Pravin and the team have been exporting since the company’s early days and have been supported throughout their journey by the Department for International Trade (DIT).
Attending numerous exhibitions, trade missions and with the support of export advisor Maria Dotsch, the company has taken on projects as far afield as the USA, China, the UAE, Australia, South America and Russia in recent years, to name just a few.
This coverage has helped Amazing Interactives carve out a world-leading reputation for technical audio visual solutions such as immersive projection rooms, virtual reality systems and 3D projection and interactive displays, and Pravin says DIT support has been key to this.
He adds: “We have received so much support over the years from the DIT, from funding to help us attend international trade shows to being introduced to trade advisors from scores of countries.
“This has directly led to us securing a number of contracts and we can’t thank them enough for all their help. We still meet with our advisor Maria regularly and she has been very helpful. Her support has been a huge factor in our continued growth.
“Our aim is to continue developing new products and expanding our current offer and we will continue working with the DIT to seek out new customers and new countries to collaborate with.”
Amazing Interactives has tapped into the Department for International Trade’s newly established “Expanding Tees Valley presence in international markets” programme.
Launched in August, the initiative looks to support Tees Valley SMEs by helping them successfully sell products and services overseas.
Director of International Trade, Julie Underwood, said: “Amazing Interactives is a great success story for the Tees Valley and goes to show that, with the right mindset, anything is achievable.
“Not only is the company a pioneer in bringing new innovations to market but also pioneering in vital sectors such as the educational and medical industries by pushing boundaries on a global scale.
“We’re delighted to support the company and look forward to working with them in the future.”