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Thong Nguyen Gives a Talk about Virtual Reality Impacts

 - Nov 24, 2018
References: ted & youtube
Thong Nguyen is an entrepreneur that focuses on future experience and he explains this with his TED talk about virtual reality impacts and how that can change the way that we perceive things. Roomera is a company founded by Nguyen and it aids people with experiences that test and learns from the future by applying virtual reality elements to conduct research and prototype ideas -- this, in end, drives learning and supports sales development. Nguyen has a strong interest in exploring the reactions of human behavior and how technology plays into it, especially how we understand one another and react through strength and empathy.

Nguyen explains that he has the opportunity to introduce many people to VR for the first time and find that many people don't realize that it can be used for areas beyond gaming and entertainment -- it is used for training athletes, for car design and experiences, alleviating stress for the elderly, and as an alternative to morphine. He explains that an important concept to VR is 'presence,' the feeling of being somewhere, which is our brain's distinct way to understand an experience as real -- VR activates the motor cortex in our brains to give that similar sense. Nguyen shares the statistics that show improvements of reaction, which makes the technology perfect for replicating experiences that are too dangerous to actually perform. He also notes that specific experiences can be designed to address a host of different conditions including phobias, anxiety, speech therapy, and more -- this stresses the fact that VR should not be understated in the role it can play as a viable solution to health challenges.

He explains that embodiment is something we encounter everywhere, yet it isn't a conscious factor that is consistently taken into consideration -- whilst it makes a large impact on both ourselves and the world around us. The rubber hand experiment showcases this as it tricks people to think that their hand feels the same interactions as the rubber hand without visual contact. Nguyen emphasizes that VR can usher change, provide progressive insights through the simple power of perspective. He ends with some questions, "what would happen if VR allowed us to experience and try out different future, what if we had the ability to virtually walk a mile in someone else's shoes, how will our lives change if we can see our own minds, egos, and vulnerability from a different perspective?"