Virtual queuing systems group Lo-Q has been placed on the Real Business list of Top Ten Companies That Will Change Your Life.

Electrical engineer Leonard Sim had an epiphany when visiting a Florida theme park in the 1990s with his family. The ride had mechanical problems, which rendered his almost two-hour wait a total waste of time.

Demonstrating an ingenious application of technology to a modern-day problem, Sim’s answer was ‘virtual queuing’, which allows theme-park visitors to avoid waiting in line.

Based in Henley-on-Thames, Lo-Q designs, installs and operates virtual queuing systems that enable theme park visitors to use wireless handheld devices to make reservations for attractions instead of waiting in line.

Lo-Q has been a phenomenal success, steadily building a market with major theme parks and other venues around the world. The company’s sites include 10 Six Flags parks in North America; Dollywood in Tennessee; parks in Australia and Italy; and Thorpe Park, the London Dungeon and Legoland in the UK.

The company’s prominence on the Real Business hot list confirms its position as a leading UK innovator. It joins businesses from a range of sectors, including medical record sharing group EMIS; Intercede, the ID and credential management firm; and ethical online audio retailer FairShareMusic.

"It isn’t just Lo-Q’s theme-park application that exudes the wow-factor," said Real Business. "It’s the other potential applications of Lo-Q’s pioneering technology, which as well as the hand-held devices, includes Q-txt, where mobile phone users can reserve a place in line by text message."