Love is Understanding

AUGUST 09 2015

A human can never be truly complete without love---they will never reach their full potential without it.

As I've gotten older, I've started to think in longer term stretches. When I was young, I'd only be able to think about when the next recess would be. Now that I'm in my mid-30s I'm finding myself thinking about life in 5, 10, and 20 year stretches.

Thinking in longer-term stretches helps me think more deeply about things I care about: Our planet, technology, and the surrounding people. Technology gets much more exciting when you think about its effects 20 years in the future.

Although we've made great advances with technology, somehow we're feeling more isolated than ever. Facebook and Instagram have become platforms for curated lives and perfect appearances. When was the last time you had a worthwhile conversation via Facebook? When was the last time you experienced sorrow via an Instagram feed?

This is where I get most excited about VR.

In its current state, VR has a stigma of a technology that will make games more immersive. Sure, that will happen, and I think it will revolutionize the way we consume entertainment; but that's the "next recess" way of looking at it. What will VR be in 5, 10, or 20 years?

Hardware manufacturers like HTC and Oculus are fighting to up the resolution, reduce the screen door effect, work on physical motion tracking, all in the name of achieving presence: the moment when you aren't thinking you're there. It's when your body, deep down, feels like it's there.

It's the moment that your body will go into fight or flight mode because it really thinks you're on a rollercoaster about to careen down a huge hill. I've felt this sensation with a pair of development Oculus goggles. At the touch of a trigger I was 100 feet in the sky and my body gasped for air as I was launched 100 ft in the air.

It's inevitable that one day you'll be able to put on some VR goggles and the hardware will melt away, leaving you with presence.

What will happen when I feel present in the middle of a war, able to experience, down to the core, the atrocities of war?

I feel that VR will someday bring true understanding to the human condition and be able to allow anybody to step into the shoes of other people in the world.

And only then will we really be able to love each other. And maybe then will we have a better place to live.