3. Spotlight: Women in VR - Heather Raikes
By Alice Bonasio
Immersive media artist Heather Raikes is Mixed Reality Creative Director at Microsoft and founder of Neopoetics, a catalyst for innovation in immersive media and kinesthetic experience design. She has a doctorate in digital arts and experimental media and has spent the last two decades pioneering innovation in art and technology, probing, discovering and creating next-generation sensory experiences.
"When it became evident in early 2015 that VR was ready to emerge as a mainstream and commercially viable platform, I was just incredibly excited and thought that this is the medium that I have been waiting for and, in many ways, preparing for. In essence, my work is based in a kinetic flow; it explores myth, metaphor and embodied poetics. I focus on exploring and discovering experiences and composition techniques that are completely unique to VR and couldn’t be actualized in any other medium," she told WIVR.
She believes the industry is still too male-dominated and would love to see as many women as possible working and thinking and brainstorming in the immersive space, and to take an active part of it emerging and coming of age as the next major computing platform and communications medium.
"Women have so much to offer VR because fundamentally, this medium revolves around holistic experience and holistic awareness and being able to synthesize a number of different sensory modalities simultaneously. As a creator, I think the holy grail is to harness that potential to produce an exquisite experience in which your senses are simultaneously and harmoniously activated. I think there is something unique about feminine intelligence — and that could be an expression of either a man or woman –that aligns with the fundamental nature of virtual reality, and that can really unleash its potential."
Every Tuesday we'll shine a spotlight on the female trailblazers making their mark in immersive tech and their work. If you have a story you think we should feature, just hit reply to this email or tweet me @alicebonasio.