Monthly Archives: January 2015

Is Your Reality Too Much to Take? Virtual Reality May Save You.

Palmer Luckey Virtual Reality

Virtual reality has been in movies for awhile. In fact, my first exposure to virtual reality was in the 1983 movie “Brainstorm” starring Natalie Wood and Christopher Walken. Here’s the plot: “Brilliant researchers Lillian Reynolds and Michael Brace have developed a system of recording and playing back actual experiences of people.”

It works so well that it soon becomes obvious that the government is interested in more than just missile guidance systems. The lab starts producing mind torture recordings and other psychosis inducing material.

One of the things I remember from that movie is how one of the characters wound up a twitching, nearly brain dead shell of himself, after wearing the headset for a record number of hours. You see, he had spliced together erotic scenes and watched them nonstop.

This is not unlike today’s gamers who play an online game non-stop and sometimes cause harm to themselves from lack of sleep and nourishment.

My second exposure to virtual reality was in the 1990 movie “Total Recall” starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sharon Stone. The plot of the movie is about a man who goes for virtual vacation memories of the planet Mars, then an unexpected and harrowing series of events forces him to go to the planet for real, or does he?

Peter Luckey and Oculus Rift

In 1983 and in 1990 virtual reality seemed futuristic.

Enter Palmer Luckey. He wasn’t a striving Stanford grad or dot-com refugee; he was an obsessed teen, son of a Long Beach car salesman and stay-at-home mom.

The Luckeys chose to homeschool the precocious Palmer and his three sisters. In doing so, they encouraged them to pursue their passions.

His passion led him to invent the virtual reality headset. He started making virtual reality headsets when he was 16.

At 19 he founded his company, Oculus VR.

At 21 he sold it to Facebook for $2 billion, despite the fact that it had practically no revenue, or even a commercial product–it was little more than a prototype.

Now, just 22 years old, Palmer Luckey is on the verge of doing what generations of technologists before him tried and failed–bringing virtual reality to the masses.

I chose him to be my first blog post of 2015 not only for his entrepreneurship, but also as a commendation on his parents ability to raise and home school this genius.

Your comments as always are welcome.

Known as a highly effective teacher, public speaker, and communicator, Yvonne F. Brown has taught seminars on team building, leadership, communication, & management in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada.
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