Alex Hern Breaks Down the Ins and Outs of VR

While virtual reality has long been a lightly implemented concept in the video game world, developments in the last decade regarding the tech have allowed many of its more fantastic elements to begin coming to fruition. The Term, “virtual reality” can have a variety of implications, but one of the more common and accurate definitions states that it is “a computer-generated artificial environment,” which, when functioning at its highest capacity, allows the user to suspend disbelief, taking in an alternative reality that seems real. Although senses such as taste and smell are often excluded from the virtual reality experience, leaders in the sector, such as Alex Hern, are beginning to takes steps in that direction. Learn more about Alex at

Today, the most popular way to experience virtual reality is through HMD’s, or head-mounted displays, which have gained considerable popularity through brands such as Oculus, and Sony PlayStation. In 2015, the team at Oculus broke considerable ground in their ability to create a top-level product at a reduced price, introducing the Oculus Rift, which “debuted a 110-degree diagonal field of vision.” The $600 price tag gave it mass availability to consumers, as well as developers. While virtual reality was originally intended for gaming, the rapid adoption of head-mounted displays has allowed the medium to expand to areas such as aviation, medicine, engineering, and workplace solutions.


The VR of the future – one that fully incorporates all five of the senses, is rapidly approaching, and with audio and visual virtually perfected, touch seems to be the next sensory field to be tackled. Suits that can mimic sensations such as a temperature change, or a forceful impact, are currently being developed as Electro Muscular Stimulation wearables – a far cry from the vibrating rumble motors made popular in the 1990’s by the Nintendo 64. Learn more about Alex Hern at Bloomberg.

Robert Ivy: A Lifetime of Achievement

Robert Ivy went to school at The University of the South where he pursued a Bachelor of Arts in English. He supported that degree by going to Tulane University to study architecture and eventually receive a Master of Architecture degree from the School of Architecture. While he was there he joined Alpha Rho Chi – the national architecture fraternity – and was recognized for being able to communicate the importance of design. He also received the designation of Master Architect, one of only seven in the 100 year history of the fraternity, and the only selected after 2000. Visit the website Architectural Record to learn more about Robert Ivy.

During his ongoing career, he became the Editor in chief of McGraw-Hill’s architectural journal: “Architectural Record”. Robert Ivy led it to being the most wide spread architectural journal in the world and has been recognized for his contributions in getting it translated into several new languages and opening distribution lanes around the world. He pushed very hard to create the best product he could for as many people as possible, helping drive interest in the architectural arts. Learn more about Robert Ivy at

After leaving McGraw-Hill, Robert Ivy was hired as the Executive Vice President (EVP) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for AIA, or the American Institute of Architects in 2011. As EVP and CEO, Ivy has led AIA to a new high in membership numbers in the hundred and fifty years of the AIA’s existence, and has another record of having 7 internationally based chapters of the organization as well now. Somehow, he also found the time to write a book and engage communities to embrace architecture.

As a Mississippian Robert Ivy is the first practicing architect to receive the Polk Award and he is considered to be a worthy ambassador for architects everywhere. He received the award at a Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters event in 2018. “When it comes to making architecture more accessible to the general public, there’s really no one else from Mississippi like Robert Ivy.” said Nancy LaForge in a press release. The award is giving to artists and patrons with a connection to Mississippi and Ivy will be joining the likes of actor Morgan Freeman (Awarded in 2007) as an honoree.