Speaker: Jaron Lanier, Microsoft Research
Location: Warren Weaver Hall 1302
Date: March 8, 2016, noon
Host: Ken Perlin
In the summer of 2015, the speaker led a team at Microsoft Research, comprised primarily of research interns from seven universities, to demonstrate a social, ambulatory, Mixed Reality system. When these qualities are combined together, the requirements for components and architectures change, and new types of experiences and applications are enabled. For an example of how components must change, the headsets must be untethered, and must have sufficient field of view for people to see augmentations on each other and in nearby shared spaces. No prior headsets met these requirements, so the team developed a new headset design, the Reality Masher. For an example of new categories of experience, users can augment their own and each other’s bodies, so a mixed reality variant of the avatar is now defined. These are only two examples among many of the research tracks that were coordinated in the COMRADRE lab.
Jaron Lanier is a computer scientist, writer, and musician. He coined the terms Virtual Reality and Mixed Reality. His primal startup VPL created the first commercial VR products, first avatars, first multi-person virtual world experiences, and initial prototypes of surgical simulation and other major applications. Lanier has founded or been a core partner in startups that were acquired by Oracle, Adobe, Google, and Pfizer. He is currently Interdisciplinary Scientist at Microsoft Research. He was previously Chief Scientist of the Engineering Office of Internet2. Both of his books (“Who Owns the Future?” and “You Are Not a Gadget”) have been international bestsellers and prominently hailed as among the most influential books of recent years. Lanier was awarded the 2014 Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, one of the highest and most visible honors in Europe. He’s also received honorary PhDs, a lifetime career award from the IEEE, and many other honors. Lanier maintains one of the largest and most varied collections of actively played rare musical instruments in the world. He’s written major symphonic and other works under commission and has performed with Philip Glass, Ornette Coleman, and many others.