Jaron Lanier, the widely regarded father of virtual reality, recounts his early experience introducing virtual reality to Hollywood and how his vision of his own technology differed from what some people wanted. Our interview with Lanier about his book, “Who Owns the Future?”, and how technology is widening inequality can be seen here. An excerpted transcript of Pauls conversation with Lanier about virtual reality follows.
Paul Solman: I remember when I first became aware of you in the 1980s. You were pioneering virtual reality and you were suggesting that it was right around the corner. And here we are, 25 years later, and it still hasnt really arrived.
Jaron Lanier: Virtual reality has become an almost universal industrial technology. Every single vehicle you’ve used in the last 10 years was designed in virtual reality first, so it actually has happened — just not for consumers. I’d always predicted that around 2020, so I still have a few years to be proven wrong on virtual reality.