Virtual Reality for the People

Virtual Reality is not only the ultimate empathy machine (a term coined by Chris Milk), it is also heralded as the wild frontier of new media. The industry is scrambling trying to get ahead of the game.

To help give the virtual reality industry the power boost it needs to become a multi-billion dollar business here in New York City is to make sure everyone has access to it. Simon Cowell got America texting by getting people to vote for their favorite contestant via texting on America's Got Talent. Overnight, America was texting each other. The same principle can be applied towards VR. It's important to encourage a new industry such as this because the potential for it to become an overnight success at no cost to the taxpayer.

VR 311

To make sure everyone has access to virtual reality I am proposing that advertisers pay for the construction and shipping of a small and large pair of VR 311 Google Cardboard to be sent to every home in the five boroughs. Google cardboard is the open-source VR mechanism you need to view virtual reality with your smartphone. The advertising printed on the outside and within the 311 App will pay for the production of the Google Cardboard and mailings. It won't cost the taxpayers anything.

The 311 VR system will allow New Yorkers to see a virtual reality version of our city's 311 system. The caller uses the VR 311 Google Cardboard to call 311 in virtual reality. The caller is greeted by an actual person or A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) Operator seated at a computer generated 311 Info Center. Maps, listings, charts, photos, or whatever info being sought can be viewed by the caller and downloaded to their phone or sent as a text or email.

The VR format will revolutionize the way New Yorkers order meals and products online as well as interacting with brand VR websites. Jumpstarting the industry by making available the mechanism required to view virtual reality will catapult this industry into a profit-driven force very quickly creating new jobs and taxes for the city.

The coding will be a collaboration between the existing 311 system, our NYC Smart City School Coding Program, and collaborating local businesses and sponsors.

NYC Smart City VR Studios

I am also proposing a massive VR studios for large scale VR movie and tv style productions and newscasts. These studios will be paid for by the proposed voluntary Entertainment News Tax.

NYC Smart City Members can have access to these studios to help build websites, promotional materials, and VR productions to promote their brands. A centralized staff of VR video and editing crews will be available via the NYC Time Bank to ensure top quality productions are being made.

The VR studios are also used by the NYC Smart Schools Journalism and Media Programs also funded by the Voluntary Entertainment News Tax. These classes and after school programs allow the kids access to the VR Studios to work on their entrepreneur portfolios and to create thought provoking journalism programming about issues in their community and what kids and adults are doing to make a difference.

NYC Smart City VR Traffic Lights

The NYC Smart City VR Traffic Lights will revolutionize emergency response times especially when combined with solar roads (with LED directional indicators).

The NYC Smart City VR Traffic Lights are special in that whatever police car, ambulance, fire truck, or emergency response vehicle is in need of a clear stretch of road all with green lights they now can with this app in place. Dispatch or the unit itself can flip to ER Mode and the lights will automatically sync with the GPS and map route selected via the digital map to automatically green light their path while also reconfiguring other traffic signals to keep traffic moving and to prevent traffic jams.

Each NYC Smart City VR Traffic Light comes with with VR Cam offering realtime 360 footage of the street level. If there is ever a shooting, a robbery, or terrorist attack these VR cameras will offer block by block footage to track the origin and destination of the suspects.

Each traffic pole at every intersection should have a panic button as well as the new digital meter boxes found mid block where crime is more likely to happen. Upon hitting the panic button a series of VR cameras along the routes leading away from the panic are engaged to capture any footage for human and A.I. instant survelliance of the area and nearby emergency services are dispatched after the nature of the emergency is established with the person pressing the panic button. 

NYC Smart City VR Police Car and Body Cams

Every police car and body armor requiring video should be replaced with 360 VR Cams to offer a full representation of the crime scene rather than just what's going on directly in front of a single camera. Advanced features could include an A.I. system that can scan the 360 VR video and offer instantaneous feedback via an earpiece in terms of tracking movement from behind a police officer or monitoring facial indicators to help determine witness and suspect reliability.


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