Zero Hedge
All posts from Zero Hedge
Zero Hedge in Zero Hedge,

VR and the Future of Science

For centuries, scientific thought has enabled us to answer questions we have about our universe. Like Sir Isaac Newton’s question of why the apple fell from the tree and Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity, breakthroughs in the areas of science, but also technology, engineering, and math (STEM) have allowed us to push forward with an improved understanding about how the universe works.

Today, we reside on the digital plane in a constant state of flux. As we continue to research life and the world around us, we create data at a fast pace, and constantly require better ways to track and store it. Tablets, digital pens, beacons, sensors, and tracking devices are being used in the scientific world for us to collect data and gain deeper insights.

The Virtual Revolution

STEM researchers around the world have found a new way to delve into their fields with the use of virtual reality. VR interfaces let users visualize complex systems in any field, and is making research more immersive. One can use their hands and other tools to manipulate three-dimensional models of things like DNA, the human body, and intricate engines, or travel to the bottom of the ocean floor. Scientists are using data collected in these virtual environments to advance human thinking.

Sensors, beacons, and tracking devices all play a role in collecting data that can be used in the three-dimensional world of VR research.  New hardware devices like Microsoft’s HoloLens, the HTC Vive, and Oculus Rift enable us to interact with unique virtual worlds built for us, and create a familiar interface to do so – sight, sound, even touch. As the scope and volume of research expands, it becomes crucial to keep the world’s big thinkers on the same page.

Even so, scientific research tends to be fenced off in many cases behind proprietary walls, paid research journals, and a lack of open communication tools for interdisciplinary studies. This is partly the result of centralizing data, allowing for a few to control the information of many. However, blockchain could disrupt the status quo. Blockchain’s ease of communication and decentralized networks can create open and transparent networks for researchers to communicate their findings and have ownership over their discoveries.

Companies such as Matryx, which offers a shared knowledge base that creates incentives to continue collaboration and shared problem-solving via its tokens, have taken the lead in finding new answers to old problems. With VR, companies could take this sharing a step further by creating online rooms to sit and discuss in a more immersive way than a Skype call. Additionally, VR could play a large role in shared research across borders, as collaborators could work side-by-side at any time with a headset.

In October Matryx launched Calcflow, the world’s first VR graphing calculator.

“Throughout classroom, business, and public demos alike, we’ve found that first time users of Calcflow immediately start viewing math in new ways. They become privy to a world in which intuitively understanding complex numerical relationships does not necessitate jumbled symbols and extreme abstraction. Two-dimensional visualizations of vector calculus have existed for decades, and while computers have improved the quality of these images, they simply don’t compare to immersive toolkits like Calcflow,” wrote Adam Simon in a blog post.

Blockchain and VR are a Power Couple

Blockchain can accurately collect and organize the data that a decentralized system creates, making it the best way to find the vanguard of a new field like virtual reality. Someone working on a 3D math problem can immediately find the most recent and relevant data, and no one is afraid to publish their findings because the ledger is indisputable. It tracks all your work, but also gives you undeniable credit for anything and everything that you do. Creators who participate in the blockchain movement will be able buy and sell digital assets for use in their personal discipline, whether it be design, architecture, bioengineering, or other virtual world-building.

Cryptocurrency is a blockchain component that is well-suited to the STEM environment and a newcomer to the VR scene. There is currently a reliance on funding to conduct STEM research that involves expensive equipment, and an undeniable disproportion as to how it’s received. Blockchain cryptocurrency allows projects to  find financial support from the community. Those with access to state of the art laboratories can receive credit for their work, and those without can benefit directly from the work those creators have posted. This is a win-win for the world, as the crowd can exponentially increase rate at which we solve our collective problems.

VR is Offering New Solutions in Science


Issues of science, health, engineering and other progressive fields face us all. Within the last decade or so, virtual reality devices have developed alongside these fields and are proving to be integral. Together, STEM and VR have made great strides. As they slowly merge, humanity will witness the speed at which scientific progress pushes forward. The biggest and most exciting of discoveries will surely be watchable on your own VR device, along with others around the globe.