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Ugly Lies The Bone gets COOL! @NationalTheatre, London

Ugly Lies The Bone: Royal National Theatre, London –  March 1 – June 2017
Come and experience COOL! VR – the latest progeny of SnowWorld
Presented by Firsthand and HTC Vive

Playwright Lindsey Ferrentino’s highly acclaimed Ugly tells the story of Jess, who returns from her third tour of duty in Afghanistan to her home in Titusville, Florida, with extreme burns and mental scars from the trauma she suffered on the battlefield. In the play, Jess uses virtual reality to help overcome her pain and PTSD. Lindsey was energized to write this play after hearing the story of VR pain therapy and SnowWorld (created by Firsthand). When Roundabout Theatre in NYC first staged the play, they contacted Firsthand to learn more about VR and the real stories behind the play. It’s been very exciting, and humbling to see this story that we are so intimately connected to brought to life on stage. Ugly Lies the Bone is a coming of age story for VR, bringing it finally from the realm of science fiction, into a more real and authentic place in our culture and the public psyche.

The Biggest and Boldest at Fortune Brainstorm Health

“Entrepreneur Arianna Huffington took a trip inside virtual reality and learned how the immersive tech can help ease physical pain. Howard Rose, CEO of DeepStream VR, had Huffington place her left hand into an ice bucket; the minute-long bath proved a painful experience. But when she dipped her hand again in the chilly water, this time donning a VR headset and playing a game, she barely felt any discomfort. “That was amazing,” Huffington said. —”

Fortune Magazine: Report from Brainstorm Health Conference

Hey, Howard here. It’s not every day that I get the chance to inflict pain on celebrities in the name of science, especially not ones as charming and affable as Arianna Huffington. Thanks to Fortune Magazine, I got this rare chance to do just that, on stage in front of a room full of top thought leaders from accross the healthcare arena. The Fortune Brainstorm Health conference was an exceptional gathering that illuminated the huge challenges and the fantastic opportunites we face to keep this planet alive and healthy.

But you don’t want to hear about that, you want to hear about the ice bucket.


It was cold. Very cold.

Arianna toughed it out for 60- seconds…and rated her pain a SIX on a scale of ZERO to TEN.

While warming up her hand for round two, we chatted about Arianna’s new company, Thrive Global. Arianna also offered to take our VR show on the road. We are definitely following up with her on that, so stay tuned.

For Round 2, Arianna put on the VR helmet and dove into our VR game, COOL!

She was off and running before I could get the helmet all the way on her.

Then the hand back in the ice water. My part was painless giving the play by play to the audience.

After leaving her to chill for a good minute, Huffington emerged saying “That was amazing,”  Her pain went from a SIX in round 1 down to a TWO. Two-thirds less pain with VR than without. And she really looked like she could have stayed in COOL! chasing otters all day.

So there you have it. That was my day at work last week. But the story isn’t over…

Thank you so much, Arianna, for playing along, and braving the cold in the name of health and wellness.

Virtually Yours,


We’re Teaming with Thrive Global to Improve Your Life

OK, free associate for a minute with me about the word, Health?  What comes to mind? Freedom? Responsibility? Excitement?  Hard Work? Tasteless vegetables? Likely, for most of you, “virtual reality” was not on your list. But VR could be the key that unlocks your untapped ability to be healthier. Hang with me here.

I’m really excited that Firsthand is teaming up with Arianna Huffington and her new company, Thrive Global. From the first time I met Arianna, it was clear that she deeply cares about people. And she’s passionate about inspiring folks to really thrive, not just spend their time on this earth “getting by.”

So we really appreciate that Arianna invited us to join in Thrive’s coming-out party in NYC, December 2016. We brought along COOL! and GLOW! to help get the party going. Very pleased to see Arianna is thinking way out of the traditional box of wellness, and is actively promoting VR as a means to help people Thrive.

I want to give big THANK YOU to our partners HTC Vive and AVA Direct who helped succeed at Thrive with the best damn VR equipment on the planet. Thank you, Travis Bortz, Chris Chin and JB in particular.

What’s next? You’ll have to watch in this space to see the exciting directions this Thrive/Firsthand partnership is going. Stay tuned, and in the meantime do whatever you need to do to thrive.

Virtually Yours,


More photos of the Thrive opening on our Facebook page