Obstacles and Conflicts Were Too Much for Lanier’s “VPL Research” Startup

(p. 11) Lanier’s book is, . . . , intimate and idiosyncratic. He carries us through his quirky and fascinating life story, with periodic nerdy side trips through his early thinking on more technical aspects of virtual reality. If you liked Richard Feynman’s autobiographical “Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman” but thought it was rather self-indulgent, this book will prompt similar reactions. You could almost say that Lanier’s vivid and creative imagination is a distinct character in this book, he discusses it so much. Midway through, Feynman himself makes an appearance, and it seems as if we’re meeting an old friend.
Lanier has been credited with inventing the term “virtual reality,” and he founded one of the original companies to produce it, VPL Research. He goes over the technology’s history in detail, outlining not only the obstacles to getting consistent hardware but some personalities and interpersonal conflicts that ultimately led to his company’s breaking up. He also demonstrates the role personal connections and interactions play in Silicon Valley.

For the full review, see:
CATHY O’NEIL. “Enter the Holodeck.” The New York Times Book Review (Sunday, February 4, 2018): 11.
(Note: ellipsis added.)
(Note: the online version of the review has the date JAN. 30, 2018.)

The book under review, is:
Lanier, Jaron. Dawn of the New Everything: Encounters with Reality and Virtual Reality. New York: Henry Holt & Company, 2017.

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