Prepare to Design the Future
March 19–20, 2017: Training
March 20–22, 2017: Tutorials & Conference
San Francisco, CA

Virtual reality beyond entertainment

Jody Medich (Singularity University)
3:35pm–4:15pm Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Beyond the screen
Location: California East
Level: Non-technical
Average rating: *****
(5.00, 1 rating)

Who is this presentation for?

  • Product designers, product managers, and medical device manufacturers and designers

Prerequisite knowledge

  • A very basic understanding of virtual reality

What you'll learn

  • Understand what is so unique about VR compared to existing technologies
  • Learn how the brain processes VR
  • Explore the applications of VR beyond entertainment


Virtual reality has great entertainment potential, but that’s just the beginning. It provides all of our visual sense, which is 70% of our sensory input and the primary reference for interpreting all of our other senses, from touch to smell to sound. In fact, our visual cortex is key in 85% of our innate cognitive abilities. By manipulating that visual sense, we can rebuild and generate new neural pathways like never before. This magical ability to actively rewire the brain provides superhuman healing powers for everything from PTSD to paralysis to recovery from strokes. Jody Medich discusses how this happens and why it works and explores case studies and the untapped potential for this technology beyond entertainment.

Photo of Jody Medich

Jody Medich

Singularity University

Jody Medich is director of design for Singularity University Labs, where she incubates solutions to Global Grand Challenges using exponential technologies. Drawing on over 20 years of experience in human-driven design, Jody works at the bleeding edge of new user interfaces, research, and development. As the barriers between people and technology dissolve, Jody’s grasp on physical narrative and the power of “speaking human” serves as a natural lens with which to transform everything from healthcare to virtual reality. She’s spent the last seven years on AR/VR, most notably as principal experience designer on the HoloLens Project at Microsoft and principal UX designer at LEAP Motion. Previously, she cofounded and directed Kicker Studio, a design consultancy specializing in natural user interfaces and R&D for companies such as Intel, Samsung, Microsoft, and DARPA. Jody is also a practicing artist and a collaborator with the art crew Five Ton Crane. Jody holds an MFA in painting and design and technology from the San Francisco Art Institute. In her spare time, she makes her own clothes and builds robots and rockets.