How Can Virtual Reality Improve the Quality of Life for People Around the World?

Every so often we post discussion questions here on Singularity Hub hoping to drive an interesting conversation. Today, I’d like to do a different type of discussion: a brainstorm session.

Since the beginning of August, we’ve been posting articles looking at the state of the budding VR industry and some ideas of what the future could bring — from allowing anyone to experience ‘the overview effect‘, to designing for interaction in 3D environments, to how VR can put us into the flow state and inspire a new era of creativity.

I’m continuously impressed with the thoughtfulness of the comments to these posts. The positive ones drive at our ambitions and hopes, and the negative ones often illustrate our collective fears about new technologies and the future. I find them both incredibly valuable.

I want to encourage everyone to use all that collective brainpower today to do more than discuss. Let’s ideate together.

How can VR solve global-scale problems and significantly increase the quality of your life and other lives around the world?

Share your ideas and improve upon the thoughts of fellow commenters. Who knows, maybe you will find a like-minded entrepreneur in the comments and start your own VR company together.

Wondering where to start? Greenlight VR’s industry report concluded that education, social experiences and healthcare were areas ripe for disruption and had room for more funding in the years to come.



Education and healthcare — basic needs which affect every single person in the world — are both in need of a serious upgrade.

The public education system in America was built for a bygone era where all kids were expected to learn the same lessons at the same pace, and were prepared for college where they would choose from a limited number of professions. In today’s world, by the time a student graduates college, the profession they studied could very well be on the verge of disruption.

How can we leverage VR to teach and learn better? 

Proper healthcare is lacking in many parts of the world and access to trained medical professionals is challenging or impossible. Is there a way for VR to increase access to medical professionals in the developing world?

In the developed world, we’re moving in the direction of more personalized healthcare and bringing the power of self-knowledge back into hands of the individual. How could VR improve upon quantified self and other similar initiatives?

Digital social experiences, it could be argued, are in need in of an upgrade too. I don’t know of anyone who is sublimely fulfilled by their Facebook and Twitter interactions, both of which can be reductions of the human experience, leaving people feeling inadequate and empty as opposed to connected.

These are just a few ideas to get the conversation going. There are many unexplored applications outside these three areas. Of course, not every problem is a technology problem, but many problems can be improved with smarter use of technology.

So, let’s brainstorm.

What’s the big philosophical question about VR on your mind lately? Tweet to us @singularityhub or to me directly @svm118 so we can explore your questions as part of the series.

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Image Credit:

Sveta McShane
Sveta McShane
Sveta writes about the intersection of biology and technology (and occasionally other things). She also enjoys long walks on the beach, being underwater and climbing rocks. You can follow her @svm118.
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