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April 15, 2020

Building New Realities ep1 with Charles Nduka: What happens when surgery meets immersive collaboration?

Welcome to our new bi-weekly podcast, Building New Realities. Future Visual’s new fortnightly podcast discusses ideas and stories around building new realities with today’s XR thought leaders.

First up is Charles Nduka, the highly respected consultant for plastic, reconstructive and cosmetic surgery, technologist and co-founder/Chief Science Officer at Emteq – A biofeedback enabled VR therapy platform for the objective measurement and personalisation of training and treatment.

What Makes Charles Nduka curious and why does he think VR training and remote experience and virtual collaboration are tools of the future? Tune in to find out.

NOTES ON EP 1: In conversation with Charles Nduka BY TIM FLEMING

On 20th March I had the pleasure to interview Charles Nduka reconstructive and cosmetic Surgeon and founder of Emteq virtual reality startup founder. 

Charles gives a fascinating account of how he was inspired to become a surgeon, talking about how the experiences he had growing up gave him an awareness of our tendency as humans to make judgemental decisions based on appearances and how this can be debilitating for people who are suffering from physical scars which as he discusses can be real or mental perceptions. 

This led us into an area that is a consistent source of inspiration which is the gap between reality and our mental construction and experience of the perceived reality. 

As practitioners of cross-reality experiences using immersive technology (VR/virtual reality and AR/augmented reality)  this is an area and construct that we must regularly explore. Whether we are building simulation training for high-risk high-value scenarios or we are building collaborative remote meetings and experiences that enable users to meet up in VR the notion that we can build an experience approaching the feeling of reality whilst simultaneously having the freedom to create completely new creative possibilities that bend the arbitrary laws of physics and allow us to take part in building new realities. Building new realities in virtual reality seems a phenomenon of technology that we have all been well versed with decades from the early cyberpunk writings with descriptions of the metaverse and oasis to familiar marketing shots of slack jawed models gasping at the new world they are viewing in a brand of head mounted device. 

What Charles describes is how reconstructive surgery is really the final act in the patient’s journey of perception. Patients have typically had a view that they are “injured” “damaged” or that “something is wrong” and typical because the patients have been involved in what are known as life changing events either on the battlefield or high-impact civilian accidents. 

A lot of the work that Charles has been involved in with patients is the mental preparation leading up to the point of surgery which is really the final part of a reconstructive journey but significantly so much of the reconstructive journey is a mental one. 

A lot of what we do to prepare mentally is forward planning but also reconstructive in terms of healing/tidying up past mental traumas, we are all building new realities all the time but what immersive technology allows us to do is to define what these environments might look and sound like, to be selective and have agency in the landscape and forward planning of mental constructs.


Thermodynamic state of the world: We absorb / integrate / accept experiences and this either puts us in balance or not (entropy is vicious?)

Book recommendations

Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything by BJ Fogg 

Remote: Office Not Required Paperback by David Heinemeier Hansson 

Emotion and Consciousness by Lisa Feldman Barrett, Paula M Niedenthal, Piotr Winkielman

Loneliness: Human nature and the need for social connection by John Cacioppo

Papers Published:

Loneliness Matters: A Theoretical and Empirical Review of Consequences and Mechanisms 

Our podcasts will be published every 2 weeks on: 

Soundcloud, Stitcher, and Apple Podcasts

Building New Realities Episode 1 was presented by Tim Fleming, Founder of Future Visual, the award winning VR & AR company. Future Visual helps teams achieve faster routes to competency at a reduced risk with Virtual Reality Business Solutions. Ground breaking immersive experiences delivering ROI. Future Visual’s VR collaboration tool, VISIONxR™ extends your workplace to join remote VR team meetings from remote global locations to collaborate and learn, enhancing high value productivity.