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FRESH Encounters: Rylan Daniels

The future is what you make it and freshman Rylan Daniels envisions one where AR/VR technology brings people together in ways yet unknown. For him, invention is not only a way to contribute to society, it’s also a bit like making magic. Read on…

What does being at IYA mean to you?

Being at IYA is preparation for a job that doesn’t exist yet, and perhaps even enabling one to invent what that job will be. IYA channels the ability to articulate imagination towards real-world disruption, through effective communication and collaboration.



What is something about the way the world works that you'd like to disrupt?

Healthcare and communication issues recently caused by COVID-19. I hope to use VR and AR to democratize life-saving technologies that can impact people’s lives and progress humanity’s quest for connectivity.



What are three goals you have this year?

Capitalize on the potential of remote collaboration, learn from great innovators and disruptors, and make something awesome!

Who is the most impressive entrepreneur alive today? Why?

Elon Musk. He disrupts some of the most difficult industries, while fundamentally using entrepreneurship for the betterment and survival of humanity. Musk is a maker who is passionate about creating amazing things. He is willing to take great risks to achieve his dreams, and I admire his curiosity and determination to invent things that can impact society. Musk has compared making technology to making magic. In the future, I hope to be part of bringing more “magic” into the world, in the form of new disruptive inventions.



What are some things you want to know about your future senior self?

How will I have changed? What will I want my contribution to humanity to be?

Describe one thing most people don’t know about you?

The LA Philharmonic Orchestra premiered my original music compositions at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Also, Snapchat invited me to make a few AR lenses for their new developer tools.



What is one thing your parents taught you that you’d like to share?

Never be afraid to make mistakes because that is how we learn. Keep moving, no matter how daunting the challenge.



What is a recent project you’ve worked on that you’re really proud of?

This summer I gave the keynote presentation about the “Future of VR/AR” for a VR/AR social-impact conference which was held entirely inside of VR due to COVID-19. The innovative conference format enabled me to virtually present to about 150 virtual participants from all around the world. I believe VR and AR collaboration scenarios are the future of communication and social connectivity.

FUN FACTS

What are the essential things you always keep in your backpack?
Laptop, VR headset, and a towel (like Ford Prefect in Douglas Adams’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy)

Favorite app, service or website?
roadtovr.com

If you could be best friends with one fictional character who would it be?
Klapaucius (the inventor from The Cyberiad by the great Polish sci-fi author Stanisław Lem)