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Virtual Reality


Latest significant advancements in virtual reality. Reporting on the far-reaching impacts of improvements in VR on society and humanity.

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Is ‘Strange Beasts’ a Preview of the Sad (Augmented) Reality Ahead of Us?

Strange Beasts is a British short film reminiscent of the dystopian Netflix drama Black Mirror—and it packs an equally strong punch in about a fifth of the time. The film starts out with a game...

The Power of VR as an ‘Empathy Machine’ and Office Holodeck

Virtual reality has a long history in science fiction. From the Lawnmower Man to the Matrix, the idea of VR has inspired artists and gamers alike. But it’s only very recently that the technology...

You Can Ban a Person, But What About Their Hologram?

If you think augmented reality is only fun and games, consider that we’ve already witnessed the first known police action taken against hologram technology. During the summer of 2015, a performance by controversial gangster-rapper,...

How Google Is Revealing Unmapped Areas of the World in Virtual Reality

Technology companies left and right are developing new gadgets to advance virtual reality as an immersive entertainment and gaming platform. Others however, like VR producer Chris Milk, have hopes that the technology’s potential will...

Why the Potential of Augmented Reality Is Greater Than You Think

Never before have businesses been able to build billion-dollar valuations in so little time. Never before have incumbent enterprises been able to go out of business so quickly. Disruption is now commonplace, and augmented...

Here’s How to Make the Best of Virtual Reality—and Avoid the Worst

“I can’t wait to see the art that people make with this.” Those were the first words from my friend Ryan after spending ten minutes in virtual reality. He’d just tried Tilt Brush, an incredible...

Robot Cars Can Teach Themselves How to Drive in Virtual Worlds

Over the holidays, I went for a drive with a Tesla. With, not in, because the car was doing the driving. Hearing about autonomous vehicles is one thing; experiencing it was something entirely different. When...

Art in the Age of AI: How Tech Is Redefining Our Creativity

Technology has long been considered a resource-liberating mechanism, granting us better access to resources like information, food and energy. Yet what is often overlooked is the revolutionary impact technology can have on our ability...

Get Ready to Love Math With This Sweet VR Calculator

“Our universe isn’t just described by math, but it is math in the sense that we’re all parts of a giant mathematical object.” – Max Tegmark I knew virtual reality was going to make mathematical education...
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Watch a 91-Year-Old War Vet Revisit the Town He Helped Liberate in VR

What if you could travel around the world with the click of a button, the only requirement being a headset and internet connection? Virtual reality is already making this possible for those who seek...

Is Virtual Reality the Surprising Solution to the Fermi Paradox?

“If the transcension hypothesis is correct, inner space, not outer space, is the final frontier for universal intelligence. Our destiny is density.” –John Smart Only decades into our “age of cosmology” — the moment when we...
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Think Tech Is Blurring Fact and Fantasy? Just Wait

Are you questioning the validity of news sources and headlines lately? You’re not alone. As the end of 2016 is upon us, media's role in society has never been shakier. From social media bubbles to...

Can Virtual Reality Sidestep the Paradox of Time Travel?

Most physicists agree that time travel into the past is impossible, but what if virtual reality (VR) could provide a workaround? Doron Friedman is the director of the Advanced Virtuality Lab (AVL) at the Interdisciplinary...

Will VR Disrupt the Airline Industry? Sci-Fi Show Meets Press Virtually Instead of Flying

A proposed benefit of virtual reality is that it could one day eliminate the need to move our fleshy bodies around the world for business meetings and work engagements. Instead, we’ll be meeting up...

Fear of the Dark: Why Netflix’s ‘Black Mirror’ Is Great Science Fiction

Legendary science fiction author Isaac Asimov once said, “The core of science fiction, its essence, has become crucial to our salvation, if we are to be saved at all.” With its aim to predict and...

Forget Building Walls, Technology Is Tearing Them Down

With all the talk of building walls, it seems to me that technology has actually been rapidly tearing down walls. Besides your passport, what really defines your nationality these days? Is it where you were live?...

Is Choosing Your Own Reality All It’s Cracked Up to Be?

As rapid improvements in virtual reality technology make it possible to create and live in worlds perfectly tailored to our needs, are humans nearing utopia? The idea of a VR utopia was introduced to the...

Overhauling How We Teach Our Kids in a World of Accelerating Change

Here in L.A., it’s kind of insane that a great kindergarten requires a competitive application and tuitions that exceed most colleges. I started asking myself, given the fact that most elementary schools haven’t changed in...
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Answers to 4 Big Questions About the Future [Video]

I give over 50 keynotes per year. My favorite part is fielding the crazy questions at the end. In fact, I love answering questions about exponentials and abundance so much that I've been encouraging my...

This Amazing Robotic Glove Lets You Touch the Virtual World

“Seeing is believing.” While there may be some truth in the old adage, it forgets a crucial component of how we interact with the world: touch. Touch makes things real. Imagine reaching out to grab your...

How to Train Thousands of Surgeons at the Same Time in Virtual Reality

Recently, I wrote about how the future of surgery is going to be robotic, data-driven and artificially intelligent. Although it’s approaching fast, that future is still in the works. In the meantime, there is a...

“It’s a Powerful Time to Reshape Healthcare Across the Planet”

We are living in a world that is global and exponential. Technology is taking things that used to be scarce and making them abundant—and these forces are reshaping the fields of medicine and healthcare...

No Technology Thrives Alone: Progress Is All About Convergence

15 years ago, Ray Kurzweil published one of the most significant essays in the history of futurism: “The Law of Accelerating Returns.” This piece showcased the immense power of exponential technology versus linear technology...

The Future of Sex, Dating, and Finding a Mate

Sex is one of the most powerful, fundamental human drives. It's caused wars… built and destroyed kingdoms. It occupies a significant percentage of most people's thoughts. As such, it's worth a conversation about how exponential technologies will...

The 21st Century Is a Wild Time to Be Alive

Last week in San Francisco, Singularity University hosted its first-ever Global Summit. In three days, we heard over 100 science and technology experts give talks in more categories than one human mind can fully...

VR Pioneer Chris Milk: Virtual Reality Will Mirror Life Like Nothing Else Before

“I don’t think the future of VR looks like video games; I don’t think it looks like cinematic VR; I think it looks like stories from our real lives. It’s the most amazing afternoon you’ve...

The Future of Healthcare Is Arriving—8 Exciting Areas to Watch

As faculty chair for Medicine and Neuroscience at Singularity University and curator of our annual Exponential Medicine conference (apply to join us this Oct 8–11th), I cross paths with many technologies which have potential...

Paralysis Partially Reversed With Virtual Reality Tech in Surprising New Study

On June 12th, 2014, the world watched in awe as a young paraplegic kicked off the World Cup in Brazil with the help of a robotic exoskeleton controlled by his brain. Now, the team behind...

Can We Meaningfully Improve Government With Experimentation?

I often speak about the importance of experimentation. What about experimenting with how we govern ourselves? As we enter election season, I'm struck by the question, can we run meaningful experiments with government: how we vote,...
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Ray Kurzweil Explains Why Radical Life Extension Will Be Better Than You Think

According to Ray Kurzweil, we’re approaching a time when humans will begin to radically extend their lifespans. This sounds good on the surface, but will we have enough resources to support everyone? And won’t...
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This Beautiful Demo Shows How Far Video Game Graphics Have Come

Elon Musk recently explained at Code Conference why he believes we're all living in a simulation. His argument that such a simulation is possible is based on the exponential developments in video game graphics:...

Pokemon Go Is a Glimpse of Our Augmented Reality Future

As every child knows, the world is a place of wonder, magic and adventure. A walk through the forest becomes a journey into the lair of an ancient dragon or a hunt for ancient...

Elon Musk Says We’re Probably Living in a Computer Simulation — Here’s the Science

In a recent interview at the Code Conference in California, technology entrepreneur Elon Musk suggested we are living inside a computer simulation. On first hearing, this claim seems far-fetched. But could there be some...

This Is the Tech That Will Make Learning as Addictive as Video Games

The way we learn today is just wrong. Learning needs to be less like memorization, and more like…Angry Birds. Half of school dropouts name boredom as the number one reason they left. How do we get our kids to...
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‘Hyper-Reality’ Is a Psychedelic Glimpse of Our Future on Digital Overload

If you could choose between a countless number of realities — would you choose this one? The visceral experience of hopping between and mixing digital and physical worlds is beautifully depicted in a new...

A Virtual Reality Manifesto: The Good, Bad, and the Ugly

“I can’t wait to see the art that people make with this.” Those were the first words from my friend Ryan after spending ten minutes in virtual reality. He’d just tried Tilt Brush, an incredible...
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New Digital Face Manipulation Means You Can’t Trust Video Anymore

What if you could alter a video of anyone to emulate facial and mouth movements that never existed in the source video—by yourself, at home, using a cheap webcam? Meet Face2Face. Using RGB input...
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Mixed Reality Is How We’ll Escape the Tragic Future in Short Film ‘The Nostalgist’

Not too long ago, virtual reality was stuck in the lab, an elaborate, expensive rig that worked okay, sure, but was a far cry from anything dreamed up in the movies. Now, it’s no longer...

VR Developers Have High Hopes for This Year—But Are They Right?

As much as the headlines proclaim “virtual reality is here,” it has also only just arrived. Samsung Gear VR was released in November; this month is the initial launch of the HTC Vive and Oculus...

Augmented Reality, Not VR, Will Be the Big Winner for Business

Sometimes exponential technologies hide in plain sight. Their innovation speed, market size, and number of practical uses seem to be progressing linearly, until suddenly they tilt upwards and turn on the boosters. A case can...

How to Perfect VR Storytelling? Measure What People Watch

We go to the movies to immerse ourselves in film. Cinematic surround sound, huge high-definition screens, total darkness. But it’s not full immersion. To really step into a movie, you need virtual reality, and...

Virtual Reality’s Moment of Truth Is Finally Here

On March 28, 2016, three years, seven months and twenty six days will have passed since Oculus blew through their Kickstarter goal and reignited the dream of virtual reality for so many people around...

The Near Future of VR and AR: What You Need to Know

Unexpected convergent consequences…this is what happens when eight different exponential technologies all explode onto the scene at once. This post (the third of seven) is a look at virtual and augmented reality. Future posts will look at...

When the World Is Wired: The Magic of the Internet of Everything

Unexpected convergent consequences: This is what happens when eight different exponential technologies all explode onto the scene at once. An expert might be reasonably good at predicting the growth of a single exponential technology (e.g.,...

Virtual Workplaces Will Liberate Talent, Dissolve Borders, and Rewrite the Source Code of Innovation

Innovation is the currency of the modern world. Naturally, we want to figure out how innovation happens and how to get more of it. The current recipe is to gather smart, passionate people together...

Greenlight VR Report: Consumers Are Surprisingly Unaware of Virtual Reality

After our latest US consumer research in October 2015, we wanted to find out if the trends we were seeing in the survey data held for a larger, more international pool. In December, we...
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How Amnesty International Aims to Bring Technology and Human Rights Together

Technologies will advance and take hold long before our governments and laws are ready for them. To keep up with the needs of billions of people around the world, it’s important to balance technical...

Why Digital Overload Is Now Central to the Human Condition

A mom pushes a stroller down the sidewalk while Skyping. A family of four sits at the dinner table plugged into their cell phones with the TV blaring in the background. You get through...

The Top Technology Stories You’ll Be Reading in 2016

For the past century, the price and performance of computing has been on an exponential curve.  And as futurist Ray Kurzweil observed, once any technology becomes an information technology, its development follows the same...

Technologies We’re Excited to See Bloom in 2016 and Beyond

An important component of being optimistic about the future is maintaining a healthy dose of skepticism. It’s a delicate balance we’re always exploring at Singularity Hub while covering emerging technology and its future implications. But...

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