The world’s longest running conference on Virtual Reality, VSMM, today welcomed Pádraig and myself to give a talk, together with Prof Lizbeth Goodman of UCD’s SmartLab, at their 26th annual conference taking place this week in Kerry, Dublin and Belfast. We highlighted our collaboration and plans to use virtual reality for survivors of severe acquired brain injury and the people supporting them. Pádraig gave his first international conference speech using the Tobii Dynavox.

Talking about our collaboration with Prof Goodman… RTÉ will start broadcasting a new series on Mondays, starting on 13 November at 20.30, called “Ten things to know…”. It will feature Prof Goodman and Pádraig flying a drone (!) on 20 November.

Exciting times and a testimony to what can be achieved if we work together starting to make the impossible possible.

Mark Pollock said at today’s event that sometimes we choose challenges, sometimes the challenge chooses us. It’s what you do about it that counts. History is full of accounts of making the impossible possible. Check these and other examples out here:

  • 1876: “The Americans have need of the telephone, but we do not. We have plenty of messenger boys.” — William Preece, British Post Office.
  • 1889: “Fooling around with alternating current (AC) is just a waste of time. Nobody will use it, ever.” — Thomas Edison
  • 1959: “Before man reaches the moon, your mail will be delivered within hours from New York to Australia by guided missiles. We stand on the threshold of rocket mail.” — Arthur Summerfield, U.S. Postmaster General.
  • 2007: “There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share.” — Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO.

One day soon, we will wonder how anybody could ever have thought, never mind said, that persons with severe acquired brain injury couldn’t and shouldn’t be supported with dedicated rehab programmes for the rest of their lives.