Having always been an avid learner and explorer, my personal journey has been one of understanding the world around me and sharing its natural beauty with others. Right now, I believe extended reality (XR) is the most engaging and effective manner of doing so.
Earlier, I had a research opportunity in neuroscience, where my team explored spatial navigation and learning. While growing my understanding of psychology in the areas of sensation, perception and processing, my mission of solving purely technical problems began to fray. This coincided with my wife’s study of addiction counseling. Here the black and white mantra of technological innovation began to feel hollow.
Taking an opportunity to explore the world more, my wife and I left work and went backpacking through South America for half a year. When you see in person how subsistence farmers struggling in rural Venezuela value so many of the same things as business owners in Buenos Aires, but lack the same opportunities to innovate, the WHY of WHAT we do becomes a burning question.
In one of my first virtual reality experiences back home in Alberta, I flew in Google Earth VR over Rio de Janeiro. I was struck by my feelings of nostalgia; as though I was back in South America, where we had been hang gliding. In that “VR moment”, I saw the power of immersive experiences, and brought it back to the organic chemistry students I had been tutoring.
Combining my background in neuroscience research and analytical chemistry, I am now privileged, as the president of Collaborative Edge XR, to work with innovative companies seeking to integrate immersive technology into their human workforce.
However, because of societal and economic norms, organizations can find it challenging to consider why their teams do the tasks, before figuring how immersive technologies can simplify and enhance these tasks. As such, my goal as an educator and consultant, is to ask how XR implementation can bring more meaning to work.
Lethbridge Alberta Canada