'The father of Virtual Reality ... a high-tech genius' (Sunday Times) explains why virtual reality presents the ultimate test for humanity
Jaron Lanier is a philosopher and computer scientist who has spent his career pushing the transformative power of modern technology to its limits. From coining the term 'Virtual Reality' and creating the world's first immersive avatars to developing cutting-edge medical imaging and surgical techniques, Lanier is one of the premier designers and engineers at work today. He is also one of the most celebrated technology writers in the world, whose previous book Who Owns the Future? was named the most important book of 2013 by Joe Nocera in The New York Times and whose first book You Are Not a Gadget was named one of the ten best books of 2010 by Michiko Kakutani in The New York Times. He was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time, one of the 100 top public intellectuals by Foreign Policy, and one of the top 50 World Thinkers by Prospect. He is currently Interdisciplinary Scientist at Microsoft Research and a highly accomplished musician with one of the largest and most varied collections of rare instruments in the world, all of which he plays.
A terrific book by a supremely intelligent guy ... vivid and
absolutely extraordinary * Evening Standard *
Essential reading, not just for VR-watchers but for anyone interested in how society came to be how it is, and what it might yet become * Economist *
A studied and nuanced interrogation of VR's potential, as well as a gentle critique of what he sees as a failure of imagination when it comes to the medium's current proponents ... interspersing the general ideas, principles and promise of VR with intimate autobiography ... aided by the fact that Lanier's childhood was preposterously unusual ... combin[ing] tragedy, whimsy and peril in ways that might seem far-fetched for even a David Lynch film * Observer *
Lanier is a visionary who sees a world suffused with the possibility of good ... As with William Blake, you might first be repelled by the strangeness of it all, the sense of teetering on the edge of madness, but, on looking closer, you realise you are in the presence of a gifted truth-teller -- Brian Appleyard * Sunday Times *
Fascinating as life itself ... a modern history of the industry that changed the world -- Hugo Rifkind * The Times *