Welcome to a long overdue newsletter. I am excited about sharing my latest findings in the VR space! The industry continues to grow as fast as the assembly lines are able to churn out headsets. We are moving into a Ready Player One Metaverse that has been a joy to participate in, both as a consumer and creator. My perspective recently shifted to a full understanding - that VR is the most influential change in communication mediums in the last 130 years, since the first motion picture film was released in silent theaters!
A friend explained our shared passion in this way- Machine learning, AI, blockchain, quantum computing, VR, AR, robotics; these are the industries of the future. Virtual Reality just happens to be the most fun ;)
What's next? And why is it important? Let's find out together.
Question I Have Been Pondering
What does the future of virtual education look like?
We have seen a massive shift in the last 20 years into virtual learning. How-to videos, Youtube University, the massive popularity of TED talks, and now websites like Masterclass, Coursera, Kajabi, and MindValley fill every educational niche possible. This is intensified by the Covid global lockdowns as children and adults from every culture look to remote communication and learning as a necessity.
The technology is continually evolving.Instead of just watching videos and filling out worksheets, we’re seeing the rise of desktop virtual spaces (No VR headset required) like High Fidelity, Virbela, and Topia. These companies are focused on creating community and spatializing the existing flat-screen experience. In these experiences you can move around to different stages, explore art installations, and sit down at a table with people that share your interests. It is the dawn of a truly democratized educational experience that's just beginning to be explored. The applications are endless; if you’re struggling in your virtual math class, just walk over to a tutoring table and sit down with an expert to talk through your specific problem. If you’re interested in finding a mentor or business partner, you can see who’s a part of a conversation in a roundtable mindshare; an overhead view shows you what table to approach, populated by masters of your industry. You can also look at someone's bio and interests as your avatar approaches them to understand what common thread you share before face timing. Deciding beforehand and avoiding that awkward, painful sting you feel in “real” life when deciding to cut a conversation off early!
These emerging companies are all thriving in making digital space, well, more spacious. And it doesn’t end there, The company, Clubhouse, has been creating waves since the beginning of Summer. They received a shockingly high valuation, with a tiny user base. This is likely due to them filling the niche of the open world, crowd sourced, education economy.
Liminalia is an online event company that was part of the virtual Burning Man experience, as well as MAPS digital summit.They bring very smart, innovative features including trained “safe psychological space managers.” These avatars roam around the events as moderators for bullying, harassment, and as emotional support as needed inside the virtual world.
And of course Alt Space, Rec Room, and Facebook Horizon are all well positioned to support virtual learning and interactive education, but they have yet to fully take advantage of this growing demand.. With VR, the ability to learn, retain and apply information can be multiplied exponentially. Not only is it quickly becoming the most entertaining learning option, it is actually better for our brains to be in a virtual reality environment with real time tactile feedback and all encompassing immersion!
There are still a lot of hurdles to jump over in this space, and a lot of problems to be solved.The Department of Education NYC just created a “Parent University” to address the struggles of having children at home all day learning via Zoom. The 2D, traditional desktop learning experience is not cutting it. Articles about children struggling to pass their classes flooding my inbox. This highlights the new problem that will become a major focus for technology companies over the next couple of decades. Mastermind groups, online coaches, K-12 education and Universities will be fully reimagined., Michael Crow, Dean of Arizona State University says,
“What we’ve been trying to do is find ways to create more learning pathways than the ‘desk bolted to the floor.If we accept the model that there are multiple types of intelligence — emotional, tactile, spatial, verbal, etc., then why is our entire college system built on only two — verbal and analytical?” With VR/Dreamscape Learn, we are coming full circle and getting back to how we were naturally meant to learn — how we learned for thousands of years — with more emotional attachment.”
The final stage in the rise of the e-learning VR metaverse is commerce as Peter Diamandis elegantly explained-
"Multiple Worlds, Multiple Economies. We no longer live in only one place. We have real-world personae and online personae. This delocalized existence is only going to expand. With the rise of AR and VR, we’re introducing more layers to this equation.
You’ll have avatars for work and avatars for play and all of these versions of ourselves are opportunities for new businesses. Consider the multi-million-dollar economy that sprung up around the very first virtual world, Second Life. People were paying other people to design digital clothes and digital houses for their digital avatars.
Every time we add a new layer to the digital strata, we’re also adding an entire economy built upon that layer, meaning we are now conducting our business in multiple worlds at once.”
Projects I Have My Eyes On
VR embodied, taken quite literally. This project has been honored with the 2020 Lumen XR Award. “The point of (un)Balance is to propose an alternative reality where you are provoked into breaking habitual movement patterns and rethink immersive interactions.” This experience is one step closer to using full body VR as entertainment, immersion through art and also deepening our understanding of our body’s capacity for movement, flexibility, and balance.
Another experience in the wave of FDA approved digital therapeutics that are emerging from the VR space! "The tool combines a VR headset with visual and audio programs that deliver cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), relaxation, and mindfulness training, as well as other behavioral methods to give what it calls “self-management skills” to its users. In July, JMIR Formative Research published a study that found that patients with lower back pain or fibromyalgia using the technology had a significant reduction in pain.”
I recently dove into the literature and interviews of Jane Mcgonical. This ground-breaking woman and her hugely successful Gamification For Good project- SuperBetter has inspired me to think bigger. She has a total of three TED talks, the latest one being a short, well-summarized journey through her reproach.
Tech Improving The World
Using just their smartphone camera and a pair of headphones, the visually impaired find a tool for independence.. “A first video posted by Google shows impressive results, empowering and freeing visually impaired walkers and runners. In the future, this technology could go beyond sporting activities and be adapted to everyday outings."
This headline really caught my attention, for obvious reasons. A gamified platform that encourages the young and old to address their chronic pain and lifestyle disease, is right up my alley. The future is bright for the digital therapeutics industry.“Our market, digital health in general and our part of it, which you can either call digital care or digital therapeutics, has been fast growing over the past few years,” says CEO and co-founder Dr Tryggvi Thorgeirsson. “Obviously with the pandemic the whole trend has just been accelerated. That means accelerated adoption by more or less all the stakeholders in the market. And maybe especially by payers and providers.”
Someone recently sent me this article and I thought it really encapsulated where video games and wellness tech is heading. Crazy that this was published 7 years ago! Here’s to the first wave of pioneers and to the many more to come! *clinks glass*
What’s New at Andromeda
Calling all Psychedelic Therapists!
Oregon was a breakthrough, but we have a lot of work ahead of us overcoming regulatory hurdles and generational resistance to these medicines.
Andromeda Entertainment has developed the immersive biofeedback experience SoundSelf: A Technodelic to give people introductory access to heightened states of consciousness.
And yes, it really works! Read the study here! . Users report experiences of oneness from just fifteen minutes of use, and are working with the Usona Institute to develop best practices for it as both a psychedelic appetizer, and an integration tool.
Here is your opportunity to participate: my team is looking for a select group of psychedelic therapists to closely collaborate on building out this powerful psychedelic toolkit.
Actively working as a psychedelic therapist?
Interested in tools to make psychedelic therapy safer and more accessible?
Ready to collaborate on cutting-edge psychedelic solutions?
Please reach out to me as soon as possible. We only have room for nine more therapists in this program, and are looking for the right partners. You can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are in a new round of fundraising to take Andromeda into the multiverse!
Our goal for this round is 4M, which will be allocated partially towards publishing another three titles(one with Funktronic Labs that I am extremely excited about and will have more information on soon!), as well as our clinical approach to the psychedelic therapy market and FDA trials for Digital Therapeutics. If you are interested in our next round of fundraising or have any questions please feel free to email me directly. It’s time to scale transformational entertainment to the next level!
We’re working on a new Audio-Visual Stim version of SoundSelf! This is an early prototype: but I’m thrilled to share it with you because this combination elevates the experience to an exquisite level! We will have light therapy glasses and a therapeutic version available on our website soon. Please share your experience with us, or ask for support, on our discord
This recent upgrade in hardware is in response to the growing excitement from psychedelic therapists and our team's personal desire to be involved in this beautifully healing space. There are two major changes to this experience worth noting-
Creating SoundSelf visuals inside your own mind. This is a game changer, the glasses create a hypnagogic state, a state between waking and sleep where vivid hallucinations and imagery appear in your mind.
The price point is radically reduced. Before you would need a high-end gaming computer and VR headset, total cost ranging around $2K minimum. Now for $250 and a subscription to the SS therapists program ($20 a month) you can have an even more impactful experience, possibly using the extra cash to upgrade to a haptic vest or Sound Lounge for the most immersive experience possible
Coming off our most successful month of sales, to date, we are feeling ON FIRE with the IMPACT Audio Trip is making. Currently focused on adding another few songs to the roster, and a Cardio Mode that will allow users to sweat more than ever before; activating your glutes, obliques, and shoulders through more barriers and gems to dodge and grab than ever before!
Until next time,
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