Flow is about optimal experience: moments that go beyond the ordinary; about personal mastery and engagement. It’s about being in the moment. It describes the company and its product.
Virtual Reality, for us, is about flow. Flow is the company name and the product name.
Flow, the product, is about being in the middle of an information flow. Our flat screens have forced us to have small windows into the vastness of the Internet. We suffer from the “tyranny of the frame.” And what do we lose by doing so? We lose context. Meaning and personal engagement come from context: seeing relationships and seeing how ideas relate to each other and to our friends and colleagues. The “infinite screen” of VR enables us to regain that context. Flow describes the feeling of being in that information space, in all it’s wonder and awe, along with the credibility of hard data.
The term “flow” comes from Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Wikipedia describes it well:
In his seminal work, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, Csíkszentmihályi outlines his theory that people are happiest when they are in a state of flow— a state of concentration or complete absorption with the activity at hand and the situation. It is a state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter. The idea of flow is identical to the feeling of being in the zone or in the groove. The flow state is an optimal state of intrinsic motivation, where the person is fully immersed in what he is doing. This is a feeling everyone has at times, characterized by a feeling of great absorption, engagement, fulfillment, and skill—and during which temporal concerns (time, food, ego-self, etc.) are typically ignored.
In an interview with Wired magazine, Csíkszentmihályi described flow as “being completely involved in an activity for its own sake. The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz. Your whole being is involved, and you’re using your skills to the utmost.”
Jason read his book many years ago, and even incorporated the ideas about intrinsic motivation into the curriculum for the school he started, Sierra Montessori Academy. Obviously we’re big fans of the concept of flow and how it relates to Virtual Reality.