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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.

Your Doctor Can Now Examine an Exact 3D Replica of Your Heart in Virtual Reality

Not so long ago, the only way to see what was going on inside a person’s body involved something sharp. Now, we can image the body’s organs without a single incision. However, though we’ve made...

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...
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Beyond Sight: The Gadgets Bringing Our Bodies Into Virtual Reality

When it comes to virtual reality, seeing is believing. But after those first few fascinated moments, you realize something: Seeing is often all you’ll be doing. Although nailing virtual visuals is very likely the tipping...

Will Virtual Reality Headsets Transition from Gaming Accessories to Cybernetic Devices?

“A well designed game can even transcend reality and transplant the player into the world of the game, putting us into different bodies, different times, and different places.” — Dave Beaudoin It’s hard to discuss the...
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Experience These Four Cutting-Edge VR Demos For Yourself

As part of our month-long Future of Virtual Reality series, we want to highlight the most interesting, innovative work in VR today; and we want you to try it for yourself. Chris Milk’s content company VRSE...
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Stories From Around the Web: Virtual Reality Is the Ultimate Empathy Machine

From the earliest plays and novels, artists have created mediated experiences for their audiences to entertain, teach and expand perspectives. The best of these have catapulted audiences into magical worlds and deep into the...

How Virtual Reality Can Unleash the Greatest Wave of Creativity in Human History

“Think about virtual reality like uranium. It can heat homes, and it can destroy nations.” – Jeremy Bailenson What would you do if you could do anything? Would you be a rockstar, playing a sold out arena?...

Is It Really So Bad If We Prefer Virtual Reality to Reality?

As I've been developing this series, I've gotten to spend time with people who are working on the coolest innovations in virtual reality. Surprisingly, whether they're the CEO of a haptics company or an academic...

3D Computer Interfaces Will Amaze—Like Going From DOS to Windows

Today, we spend as much time immersed in the digital world as we do the real world. But our computer interfaces are flawed. They force us to work in 2D rectangles instead of our...

Virtual Reality Will Let You Experience the Awe Only Astronauts Have Known

Virtual reality will entertain us, connect us, open up new digital worlds—but can it revolutionize our view of the real world too? Maybe. By making us all astronauts for a day. The Overview Effect is...

Should You Buy the Hype? An Inside Look at the Virtual Reality Landscape

When 19-year-old Palmer Luckey launched an ambitious virtual reality Kickstarter campaign back in 2012, in no way could he have dreamt up a scenario that involved reawakening a billion-dollar industry, grabbing Mark Zuckerberg as...

Future of Virtual Reality Series Launches Today

If you’ve ever watched someone experience virtual reality for the first time, you know it can involve screaming, flapping arms, and occasional falls. On one level people know their bodies are safe on the stable...

Which Way Next? A New Singularity Hub Channel to (Re)Imagine the Future

Every moment is a crossroads. Every day we make countless seemingly unimportant decisions, which linked together over weeks, months and years make up the fabric of our lives. This is true from the micro...

The Future of Transportation: Flying Cars, Hyperloop, and Virtual Worlds

Four revolutions in transportation are taking place this decade. This post is a look at how they will shape your life, your business and our world. In 2011, Peter Thiel famously said, "We wanted flying cars, instead...

This Touchable Midair 3D Laser Display Is Pretty Magical

If you’re a science fiction fan—you are well familiar with holographic displays floating in midair. Maybe it’s Princess Leia materializing above R2-D2 or Tony Stark designing his Iron Man suit with a few cinematic...

Are People in Silicon Valley Just Smarter?

Why is Silicon Valley better at innovating than most of the world? Why are the number of successful startups so high there? Where is the next Mecca of tech-startup success going to emerge? This post is about where...
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Virtual Worlds: Visit Van Gogh’s Masterpiece ‘The Night Café’ in Virtual Reality

I open my eyes to a gritty, urban skyline dotted with airships. Looking down, I find my feet, the rooftop’s edge, and a vertiginous drop to the street below. Seconds later, I’m transported to...

What Is the Metaverse? Philip Rosedale’s Big Dream for Immersive Virtual Worlds

What is the metaverse? It’s Philip Rosedale’s second crack at playing god—at least in the virtual sense. Rosedale created his first virtual world, Second Life, in 2002. Now, he and his new company, High...

First Look: Oculus Rift Shipping in Early 2016

Since the first Oculus Rift virtual reality headset prototype, people have breathlessly asked, “When will a consumer version be ready?” Oculus played coy and stuck to its guns. When we think it’s ready, they said. Well,...

Virtual Body Swap Experiment Maps Out-of-Body Illusion in the Brain

With the help of modern brain scanning technology, scientists have begun methodically mapping the brain by asking people to perform tasks or inducing experiences in a scanning machine and recording brain activity to see...
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Stanford Virtual Reality Lab Ditches $40K Rig for $350 Oculus Rift

Ever since the Oculus Rift first started blowing minds a few years ago, virtual reality hasn’t just been a hot topic, it’s inspired a $2 billion Facebook acquisition and a mob of competitors. Immersive...

Here’s How We Can Reinvent the Classroom for the Digital Age

When I was in elementary school, about 50 years ago, teachers used to stand in front of a class of 40 or 50 children and write on a blackboard with chalk. To make sure...

Signs Virtual Reality and Crowdfunding Are Going Mainstream

Three exciting developments — that I believe you should know about — happened in technology this week. In this blog, I want to share them with you and give you context. Pebble Time Crowdfunding > $20 million A few...

Disrupting Real Estate

How you buy real estate is changing. Forever. This post is about the two key exponential technologies converging to eliminate the middle-man (i.e. the real estate broker) and the headache of shopping for a home. If you’ve...
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Virtual Reality Is Coming: But What Will Make It Worth Visiting?

Morpheus, Gear, Rift, Vive—the list of prospective virtual reality devices is growing longer. And although this latest chapter in virtual reality was born in Oculus founder Palmer Luckey’s garage a few years ago, now...

Ray Kurzweil’s Mind-Boggling Predictions for the Next 25 Years

In my new book BOLD, one of the interviews that I’m most excited about is with my good friend Ray Kurzweil. Bill Gates calls Ray, “the best person I know at predicting the future of...
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Virtual Reality to Push Limits of Storytelling at Sundance Film Festival

After decades of setbacks, false promises and unfulfilled expectations, virtual reality is finally on the tipping point of becoming a widely adopted technology and artistic medium—and it would appear filmmakers are embracing VR's potential. Later this month,...

Global Citizenship: Technology Is Rapidly Dissolving National Borders

Besides your passport, what really defines your nationality these days? Is it where you were live? Where you work? The language you speak? The currency you use? If it is, then we may see the idea...

How Technology Brought Us Closer to the Future in 2014

As the year draws to a close, it’s worth glancing over our shoulder. What technologies and themes were brightest in 2014? Read on. (And keep in mind, attempting such a summation is ambitious to the extreme—let us...

Disney’s Exquisite Digital Eyes Bring Avatars to Life

When you meet someone, where does your gaze first fall? Usually, you’ll find you look for their eyes. And maybe this is partly why some digital characters can seem alien—their eyes are approximations of...
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Short Film “Memories 2.0” Envisions Reliving the Past Through Virtual Reality

One of the hard truths of human existence is that though we are able to move freely through space, we are mercilessly constrained by time. Each moment of life arrives then rapidly passes, seemingly lost forever. In an attempt to capture information...

Optics Matter: New Vision Research Suggests Peak Performance Is Only A Jump To Warp Speed Away

Scientists from Scripps Research Institute just discovered that optic flow—the technical term for the temporal rate at which objects move past the eye—helps us map our world. And their discovery sheds new light on...
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In the Future, Everyone Will Play Video Games

One needs only to look at how far videos games have come in a short period of time to appreciate how bright their future looks. Released this past summer and recently made available on Netflix, Video...

Virtual Reality May Become the Next Great Media Platform—But Can It Fool All Five Senses?

Jason Silva calls technologies of media “engines of empathy.” They allow us to look through someone else’s eyes, experience someone else’s story—and develop a sense of compassion and understanding for them, and perhaps for...

Our Growing Addiction to “Cognitive Ecstasy” Drives Technology’s Progress…And That’s Okay

Why are humans so damn curious? Because discovery is pleasurable. Jason Silva, in his latest video, says humans don’t care about spectacle—what we care about is ecstatic understanding: “In other words, cognitive ecstasy defined as...

How to Virtually ‘Possess’ Another Person’s Body Using Oculus Rift and Kinect

Virtual reality can put you in another world—but what about another body? Yifei Chai, a student at the Imperial College London, is using the latest in virtual reality and 3D modeling hardware to virtually...

NBA Courtside at Home? Live Action Virtual Reality is Here and Better than Expected

William Gibson famously said, “The future is already here – it’s just not evenly distributed.” I’m guessing Gibson was probably referring to the coming world of live action content for the Oculus Rift, and...

What’s Missing from Virtual Reality? Immersive 3D Soundscapes

When you imagine virtual reality, chances are you’ve got visuals in mind. Or maybe you fantasize about a virtual sense of touch. Another key component? Immersive audio. Tom Simonite of MIT Technology Review recently got...

No More Malls: 5 Disruptive Techs Transforming Retail

Five technologies are converging to transform the retail shopping experience forever. This is big. This isn't Amazon, it's Amazon x100. Very social, very local and very efficient. This will impact multiple industries. Though it applies to other...

GravitySketch Tablet Is a Portable 3D Augmented Reality Sketchpad For Designers

There’s an imposing wall dividing real world creation and digital design. To transfer a paper design to a computer, you need training and experience in technically demanding computer assisted design (CAD) programs. Instead, imagine if...

Unlike Samantha in the Movie Her, Artificial Intelligence Will Have a Body

The recent movie, Her, chronicles the romantic relationship between a man, Theodore Twombly, and an intelligent operating system named Samantha in the year 2025. Samantha is not just smart, she’s empathetic. She’s not static,...

DARPA Explores Virtual Reality as the Future of Cyberwarfare

In William Gibson’s sci-fi novel, Neuromancer, hackers jack-in to an internet-like virtual world called the matrix. Instead of working with lines of code, they’re digitally embodied in a realm where computers, programs, and the...

Neurogames are Ready to Take Flight — Expect a Breakout Year Ahead

“We’re very close.” In just three words, Palmer Luckey of OculusVR fame, perfectly summarized not only where virtual reality stands, but perhaps the entire neurogaming industry. Luckey was on hand to present with other industry...

Virtual Arm Eases Amputee’s Phantom Limb Pain

Swedish researchers created an augmented reality system in which myoelectric electrodes on an amputee patient's stump indicated his attempted muscle movements for the missing arm, and an arm image on screen reflected those movements back to him. The patient reported that his chronic phantom limb pain diminished dramatically.

Legal Heroin: Is Virtual Reality Our Next Hard Drug?

So video games are addictive—this we know. It comes down to dopamine, one of the brain’s basic signaling molecules. Emotionally, we feel dopamine as pleasure, engagement, excitement, creativity, and a desire to investigate and make meaning out...

Will Oculus Bring Immersive Virtual Reality to Consumers for $300 in 2014?

The Oculus Rift is a virtual reality headset. Though it is still a prototype, each time Oculus unveils a new update, the applause grows louder. The most recent version, dubbed Crystal Cove, received almost uniformly awed reviews after the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this month.

Oculus Rift Virtual Reality Headset Gets $75M Investment: Coming To ‘Consumers Everywhere’

Virtual reality, long a dream of gamers and science fiction buffs, has moved much closer to reality since Oculus burst onto the scene earlier this year. The company got a significant vote of confidence recently, in the form of a $75-million investment round led by one of Silicon Valley’s most highly regarded venture capital firms, Andreessen Horowitz.

‘Doom’ Developer John Carmack Joins Oculus to Take Virtual Reality Mainstream

Over the last year, the Oculus Rift, a virtual reality headset, has flown from duct-taped prototype to massively anticipated gaming system. The firm has raised $2.4 million in a Kickstarter, oversubscribed ten to one, and $16 million in venture capital. They've got the funds, a working prototype—and if they didn't have enough talent before, they most certainly do now. The firm recently announced John Carmack will join up as Chief Technology Officer. For those who’ve followed Carmack’s career and are itching to get their hands on a consumer-ready Rift—that’s huge news.

How Serious Is Virtual Reality Headset Oculus Rift? $16 Million ‘Series A’ Serious

A year and a half ago virtual reality was yet an elusive technodream. It may still be, even today. But the Oculus Rift, VR’s latest great hope, is winning over developers and newbies alike, accruing accolades, awards—and now cold cash.

Oculus Rift Is Breathing New Life Into the Dream of Virtual Reality

Palmer Luckey wasn’t exactly a household name this time last year. He’s a young guy from Long Beach, California, smart as a whip, and obsessed with virtual reality. After building a massive collection of the day’s top virtual reality tech, he realized nothing came close to the experience he wanted. So, he decided to build it himself. Say hello to the Oculus Rift, the virtual reality headset causing quite a stir in the tech and gaming communities.

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