Meetup: Matt Cook of Virtual World Society on VR Education in Primary School

Matthew Cook Virtual World SocietyMatt Cook of Virtual World Society will be the keynote at our next Educators in VR Meetup in AltspaceVR on Thursday, September 19, 2019. The Virtual World Society is developing an amazing program at Robert Eagle Staff Middle School in Seattle, Washington, working with sixth graders to work with their after school Engineering Club to train the students to teach VR to others, including the teachers, and a 4-week unit on virtual reality for the sixth graders.

The lessons Matt and his team from the Virtual World Society along with volunteers, parents, and students, will help all of us understand the potential of integrating spatial technologies into primary school, and he will share the lessons he learned from both experiences with us Thursday.

Virtual World Society with students of Robert Eagle Staff Middle School in VR.Matthew Cook is a Senior Advisor to the Virtual World Society (VWS) developing educational programs not only in Seattle but around the globe. Founded by Thom Furness, VWS works with academia and corporations to bring virtual, augmented, and extended realities into the classroom experience worldwide. Their goal as a nonprofit is to build a community of creators to explore the potential for immersive technology to make a positive impact, and indeed one was made with the special research and development program at the Seattle middle school.

Like so many of us, Matt came to VR via a twisting route. He studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of Washington, Seattle, and started with VWS as an intern in 2017. As a self-taught hobbyist and semi-professional Unity developer and with a strong passion for education, VWS brought him in for deeper involvement in VWS and hired him as a Research Engineer with Tom Furness’ engineering consulting business, RATLab LLC, leading to this amazing middle school project.

Many of us in education are eager to learn the lessons Matt and his team have learned by helping the students not only learn about VR devices, apps, and development, but to teach others what they’ve learned. You will not want to miss the invaluable lessons this project and his research have discovered.

Educators in VR hosts a monthly meeting with a keynote speaker on educational and industry topics and weekly workshops and special events exploring VR, AR, XR, and MR techniques and projects in AltspaceVR and other VR social and educational platforms.

Join our Educators in VR Discord group, Facebook, and follow up on Twitter for information on meetups and how to become more involved. We publish member brags and news you can use about virtual reality in education across the entire spectrum of usage from childhood education to health and science to corporate.

Educators in VR Meetup in AltspaceVR

We meet in AltspaceVR, a free virtual reality social app and community. You may RSVP on our events page and AltspaceVR will send you a reminder an hour before the event. AltspaceVR events tend to fill quickly and the limit is currently 40 attendees. We recommend you plan your arrival 2 minutes before the event start time to ensure a spot before the event space fills.

You may attend as a guest or member using the free AltspaceVR mobile app or 2D version. AltspaceVR is available for Samsung Gear, Steam Store for HTC Vive, Windows Mixed Reality, and the Oculus Store for Rift, Go and Quest users. If you do not have a VR device, you may also install the 2D version for use on your Windows desktop computer version. A headset and microphone (quality earbuds acceptable) is required to participate. Otherwise please stay muted during the event as the background noise and echoes can be disruptive. For more information on accessing and installing AltspaceVR, check out their download web page.

Educators in VR Events for September 2019

Educators in VR - June 2019 Meetup in AltspaceVR.We have so many things planned for September with Educators in VR, you might need a road map to keep up with us. To get you started, here is a quick summary for you to add to your calendar. We’ve some amazing diverse speakers and presenters to help you consider a wide range of options for integrating virtual reality and augmented reality into your teaching.

Monthly Meetup

Educators in VR meets monthly in AltspaceVR with a special guest speaker and topic. The one-hour meetup is usually the third Thursday of the month.

September 19, 2019 – Matt Cook of the Virtual World Society: Matt Cook is working with a volunteer group to teach students at Robert Eagle Staff Middle School to develop their own STEM-based eductional VR experiences in Seattle. A graduate in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Washington and Project Engineer at RATLab LLC, he is developing virtual reality curriculum and VR content for research projects to push the envelope on VR in education. He is a senior advisor for the Virtual World Society.

October 24, 2019 – Mina Johnson-Glenberg of Embodied Games : Mina Johnson-Glenberg is a cognitive psychologist, game designer, STEM specialist, and research professor at Arizona State University and president of the award-winning learning technology company, Embodied Games, LLC. The Embodied Games lab has been at the forefront of creating “embodied” and kinetically-active games using sensors and motion capture technologies. Dr. Johnson-Glenberg will be speaking about accessing educational quality of VR modules with a newly developed Rubric Alpha Version. She presents nationally and internationally and has published in peer-reviewed journals on VR and STEM education. Her most recent work was on Frontiers in Robotics and AI. You will not want to miss this meetup.

Weekly Workshops

We offer free weekly workshops in AltspaceVR and other virtual social and educational platforms to encourage educators to expand their knowledge and skills in virtual, augmented, and extended reality. These workshops are free and open to the public. See our information on how to attend Educators in VR events.

September 10, 2019 – Immersive Classroom: Climate Change: Lorelle VanFossen will be presenting another immersive classroom experience in AltspaceVR on climate change associated with oceans and glacial melt. These are open discussion events exploring how to build and teach within immersive environments and discuss the various educational topics such world building spaces offer. The event is free and RSVP is recommended.

September 17, 2019 – Educators in VR 101: Daniel Dyboski-Bryant will be presenting the basics of virtual reality for educators and learners in AltspaceVR. We offer this free program for those considering integrating virtual reality in the classroom and those new to the experience, or a refresher course on the basics. We recommend RSVP soon and arrival two minutes before start time as the event often fills quickly.

September 24, 2019 – Immersive Classroom: EvolVR: Jeremy Nickels of EvolvVR (Facebook) is a long-time educator and leader in immersive education leading meditation and yoga programs weekly in AltspaceVR for over 2 years. He’s worked with world builders to develop custom worlds and event spaces, pushing the limits of virtual and guided instruction in VR. He will be sharing his expertise on developing innovative virtual programs that connect mind, spirit, and body in an immersive experience. Continue reading

Educators in VR Social July 30, 2019

Educators in VR - Social with Balloons

It’s time to party! Tuesday, July 30, 2019, Educators in VR members are invited to the first-ever “Educators in VR Social in AltspaceVR.”

This will be a great opportunity it meet and greet your fellow virtual reality pioneers and get to know them. It’s also a great time to look back over much of the last year to celebrate what we’ve accomplished. And we’ve accomplished much.

Educators in VR had our first meetup in AltspaceVR in November last year. We’ve had monthly meetups featuring some of the most powerful voices in spatial technology education ever since, and in June, added weekly Educators in VR Workshops and an Educators in VR on the Road series exploring various educational and social virtual platforms beginning with Engage. We now have so many events in AltspaceVR, we have an event subscription channel for Educators in VR in AltspaceVR to help you keep track of all the things we are doing there.

We created our website, Educators in VR, a VERY active and engaged Educators in VR Discord group, Facebook group, and Twitter to connect and share information and research on virtual technologies in education, celebrate our member achievements, and to bring great like-minds together to collaborate.

In July, Daniel Dyboski-Bryant (Wales, UK) and Lorelle VanFossen (Oregon, USA) officially created the business of Educators in VR Ltd. in the UK. We are working on an international virtual summit across multiple virtual platforms for November, so stay tuned for news on that. This event needs you to make it a success, so please let us know if you are able to help.

After a very busy past few months, with Daniel and Lorelle speaking at various in-world and virtual conferences around the world, developed new workshops and classes, and developed the business plan, we are taking a short break in August. Get ready for a ton of Educators in VR education and fun in September!

Educators in VR represents educators, trainers, researchers, schools, businesses, and learners integrating virtual technologies into education. To become more involved, join our Educators in VR Discord group, Facebook, and follow up on Twitter for information on meetups and how to become more involved. Consider subscribing to our Educators in VR event subscription channel to receive regular reminders of upcoming events there. We publish member brags and news you can use about virtual reality in education across the entire spectrum of usage from childhood education to health and science to corporate.

Attend the Educators in VR Social Party in AltspaceVR

We meet in AltspaceVR, a free virtual reality social app and community. You may RSVP on our events page and AltspaceVR will send you a reminder an hour before the event.

You may attend as a guest or member using the free AltspaceVR mobile app or 2D version. AltspaceVR is available for Samsung Gear, Steam Store for HTC Vive, Windows Mixed Reality, and the Oculus Store for Rift, Go, and Quest (sideloaded) users. If you do not have a VR device, you may also install the 2D version for use on your Windows desktop computer version. A headset and microphone (quality earbuds acceptable) is required to participate. Otherwise please stay muted during the event as the background noise and echoes can be disruptive. For more information on accessing and installing AltspaceVR, check out their download web page.

Weekly Workshop: Rob Theriault, Paramedic Training in VR

Simulation Training for Paramedics - Rob Theriault.

Our next Educators in VR Weekly Workshop will feature Rob Theriault, professor of paramedics training at Georgian College in Ontario, Canada. A paramedic with over 35 years experience, he teaches paramedic training programs in the real world and virtual reality. Yes, you read that right, and we are very excited to have Rob take us into his virtual classroom to demonstrate how he uses “Online Learning in Immersive VR.”

In this fascinating presentation in AltspaceVR on Tuesday, July 23, 2019, Rob will be showing us his VR worlds to generate discussion on how we might use VR moving into the future. He explained:

Asynchronous online learning is an isolated experience for most students. Adding a synchronous component helps to break that isolation and meets the needs of students in a way that might not be addressed as easily through asynchronous communication. Immersive virtual reality offers an even deeper connection with classmates and teachers. The sense of presence and special audio feels more like a face to face experience than the traditional webcasting platforms used for synchronous online learning. But VR also offers us the opportunity as educators to re-imagine online learning – to make it experiential rather than trying to replicate the classroom experience.

Rob Theriault is a paramedic-educators, author, researcher, EdTech and extended reality provocateur, and what he describes as “shift disturber.” In other words, one of us. A pioneer and innovator in virtual technologies.

You may RSVP for the July 24th event on AltspaceVR and you will receive an email reminding you an hour before the event.

Educators in VR is dedicated to providing educational events, trainings, and workshops for educators and learners to prepare them for the future of spatial technologies in education. We offer weekly workshops in AltspaceVR and other platforms, and a monthly meetup featuring key educators, trainers, and developers in VR, AR, XR, and MR technology and education.

We meet in AltspaceVR, a free virtual reality social app and community. You may RSVP on our events page and AltspaceVR will send you a reminder an hour before the event. Alan has also built several worlds in AltspaceVR that attract a wide range of visitors, developing innovative virtual entertainment and meeting spaces.

You may attend as a guest or member using the free AltspaceVR mobile app or 2D version. AltspaceVR is available for Samsung Gear, Steam Store for HTC Vive, Windows Mixed Reality, and the Oculus Store for Rift, Go, and Quest (sideloaded) users. If you do not have a VR device, you may also install the 2D version for use on your Windows desktop computer version. A headset and microphone (quality earbuds acceptable) is required to participate. Otherwise please stay muted during the event as the background noise and echoes can be disruptive. For more information on accessing and installing AltspaceVR, check out their download web page.

Join our Educators in VR Discord group, Facebook, and follow us on Twitter for information on meetups and how to become more involved. Consider subscribing to our Educators in VR event subscription channel to receive regular reminders of upcoming events there. We publish member brags and news you can use about virtual reality in education across the entire spectrum of usage from childhood education to health and science to corporate.

Educators in VR on the Road: Engage

ENGAGE is a virtual reality education and corporate training platform that Educators in VR have been working with for months, learning how it works, all its amazing features, and providing feedback on improvements as an educational space. The team at Engage have been amazing to work with, and we are eager to showcase it for our first Educators in VR on the Road series.

Engage Platform - Venus Recorded Presentation

Join us Friday, July 19, 2019, in Engage. Educators in VR co-founder Daniel Dyboski Bryant and the Engage team will be introducing us to the platform and giving us a full tour. Here is a teaser:

When it comes to educational and training VR platforms, Engage is pushing the limits for a high quality, realistic platform. Engage has been working with top specialized educators to develop lessons available for immediately study,

Engage - Meeting with Educators in VR

bringing experts right to your classroom. It has a set of shared 360 surround video viewing made simple and easy to use. There are 1,200+ interactive assets ready to use for sharing and manipulating. For educators needing to film their classes or incorporate screen recording and filming into the educational process, Engage’s ability for spacial recording, immediate playback, and in-world editing is ideal.

Engage comes ready to use or they will work with you to build your own educational and training events for live or recorded interaction. It was build for monetizing as a platform, opening up so many possibilities.

We are eager to show off Engage this Friday so RSVP immediately. There are only room for twenty attendees and there are only a few seats left for this free event.

Educators in VR is dedicated to providing educational events, trainings, and workshops for educators and learners to prepare them for the future of spatial technologies in education. We offer weekly workshops in AltspaceVR and other platforms, and a monthly meetup featuring key educators, trainers, and developers in VR, AR, XR, and MR technology and education.

Join our Educators in VR Discord group, Facebook, and follow us on Twitter for information on meetups and how to become more involved. Consider subscribing to our Educators in VR event subscription channel to receive regular reminders of upcoming events there. We publish member brags and news you can use about virtual reality in education across the entire spectrum of usage from childhood education to health and science to corporate.

Weekly Workshop: Creating Educational Events in AltspaceVR

Educators in VR Weekly Workshops bannerThe next Educators in VR Weekly Workshop is Tuesday, July 16, 2019, in AltspaceVR, and will feature Lorelle VanFossen presenting “Creating Educational Events in AltspaceVR.”

Imagine teaching students from around the world in a single virtual space. Or bringing your students to a virtual world where they can explore climate change, Notre Dame, or museums and galleries. Take this a step further and consider the possibilities of encouraging your students to build their own museum, gallery, or homework project in a virtual space. The possibilities are endless, but we are going to start simple and introduce you to step one in creating an educational event in AltspaceVR, a similar process to other social VR platforms, to help prepare for the possibilities. And if you are looking for an easy-to-use platform for educational programs and events, be it high school classes or corporate training, AltspaceVR is an excellent choice. It offers a vibrant community to support public events, and an excellent and professional events team to work with to help you make your event a success.

The hour-long workshop will cover the logistics of creating an educational event in AltspaceVR, event location, layout, structure, and how to integrate video and slides. While she will be touching on some aspects of world building and interactivity in Altspace, stay tuned for a workshop this fall that covers this complex area.

Educators in VR Immersive Classroom Event in the Last Glacier with Lorelle VanFossen.When it comes to credentials for tips and techniques on education and events in Altspace, few come more qualified. Lorelle spent the last year teaching and presenting an average of 3 events a week in AltspaceVR, evaluating it as an educational and social platform. Normally she travels 5-7 months a year presenting keynotes, workshops, and trainings on web publishing and digital storytelling across the planet, traveling more through virtual space than physical this year. Lorelle VanFossen as Relle in AltspaceVR.Pushing AltspaceVR to its limits, she presents topics rarely found with the virtual experience, creative writing, genealogy and family history. She also hosts and moderates social and meetup events along with community service training and world building. She is the co-host for the News & Updates in AltspaceVR every Saturday. Lorelle helped produce several highly successful collaborative projects, including the Halloween VR Maze events that attracted over 3,000 users. News and Updates Studio for Pride Month in AltspaceVR.She works with the AltspaceVR events and community teams to teach, promote, and encourage training, mentoring, and collaborative projects within the AltspaceVR community as part of the Community Helper program.

Educators in VR presents weekly workshops as part of our mission to train and prepare educators and learns for the future of technology with virtual and augmented realities. We offer workshops on the basics of VR with Educators in VR 101, on teaching within an immersive classroom, and workshops with special guest speakers covering the diverse topics of education in spatial technologies. We also have a monthly meetup to discuss the educational industry and network, usually the third week of the month. Coming soon are special event programs like Educators in VR on the Road, journeying to other social and educational platforms, and the Educators in VR Showcase, highlighting products and services in the virtual education industry.

Please note that we will take a break in August, but already have exciting workshops and meetups planned for September.

Join our Educators in VR Discord group, Facebook, and follow up on Twitter for information on meetups and how to become more involved. Consider subscribing to our Educators in VR event subscription channel to receive regular reminders of upcoming events there. We publish member brags and news you can use about virtual reality in education across the entire spectrum of usage from childhood education to health and science to corporate.

Educators in VR Meetup in AltspaceVR

We meet in AltspaceVR, a free virtual reality social app and community. You may RSVP on our events page and AltspaceVR will send you a reminder an hour before the event.

You may attend as a guest or member using the free AltspaceVR mobile app or 2D version. AltspaceVR is available for Samsung Gear, Steam Store for HTC Vive, Windows Mixed Reality, and the Oculus Store for Rift, Go, and Quest (sideloaded) users. If you do not have a VR device, you may also install the 2D version for use on your Windows desktop computer version. A headset and microphone (quality earbuds acceptable) is required to participate. Otherwise please stay muted during the event as the background noise and echoes can be disruptive. For more information on accessing and installing AltspaceVR, check out their download web page.

Educators in VR Meetup: July 18 with Marie Graham

Marie Graham - Mount Vernon Presbyterian School Atlanta GeorgiaThe next Educators in VR Meetup is July 18, 2019, in AltspaceVR, and we are thrilled to host Marie Graham, Director of VR/AR at the Mount Vernon Presbyterian School, Atlanta, Georgia, presenting “Immersive Realities, Design Thinking, and Students Using Technology for Good.”

An immersive technology evangelist, Marie Graham is the director of a high school VR/AR Lab, a teacher of humanities and innovation. She leads and learns with an amazing group of students and faculty at Mount Vernon School. Partnering with Alienware, HTC Vive, and Oculus, her school created a VR/AR lab where students create non-gaming content that positively impacts both local and international communities. In her former life, she was a certified nurse-midwife and family nurse practitioner, and is a passionate writer, painter, and traveler.

Design, creativity, and empathy are key points she makes in her work, and with the presentation she will be sharing with us July 18. Even for students without coding experience, Marie develops innovative, impactful VR/AR content and programs for a variety of industries. She explains:

Almost every industry is impacted by immersive technology, and students have the opportunity now to focus this innovation towards designing a better world. As director of virtual and augmented reality lab in Atlanta, Georgia, a school steeped in Design Thinking, I will share the creation of a unique, thriving VR/AR lab in partnership with Dell/Alienware, HTC Vive, and Oculus that asks students to create non-gaming content with industry leaders to make the world a better place through empathy and design. My students are currently working with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA) creating content for pediatric rehab patients (three current prototypes), designing a VR lab and content for tribal children in Muvalia, India, and filming an immersive 360 video for patrons in a local history museum. Getting out of the way of students allows them to harness this powerful technology that leaves them not only future-ready, but empathizing in a way that leaves them better human beings.

Here are just a few examples of why we are so excited to have Marie Graham be a part of Educators in VR.

Her hour-long presentation will include questions and answers and time for socializing, an opportunity to meet other educators and students with a vested interest in spatial technologies from around the world.

Our next meetup is September 19, 2019. Educators in VR will be taking a break during August, as we hope you do as well, and will be back with a full line of great speakers and weekly workshops on educational topics on VR, AR, XR, and teaching in the virtual world.

Join our Educators in VR Discord group, Facebook, and follow up on Twitter for information on meetups and how to become more involved. We publish member brags and news you can use about virtual reality in education across the entire spectrum of usage from childhood education to health and science to corporate.

Educators in VR Meetup in AltspaceVR

We meet in AltspaceVR, a free virtual reality social app and community. You may RSVP on our events page and AltspaceVR will send you a reminder an hour before the event. Alan has also built several worlds in AltspaceVR that attract a wide range of visitors, developing innovative virtual entertainment and meeting spaces.

You may attend as a guest or member using the free AltspaceVR mobile app or 2D version. AltspaceVR is available for Samsung Gear, Steam Store for HTC Vive, Windows Mixed Reality, and the Oculus Store for Rift, Go, and Quest (sideloaded) users. If you do not have a VR device, you may also install the 2D version for use on your Windows desktop computer version. A headset and microphone (quality earbuds acceptable) is required to participate. Otherwise please stay muted during the event as the background noise and echoes can be disruptive. For more information on accessing and installing AltspaceVR, check out their download web page.

Educators in VR Weekly Workshops: Immersive Classroom

After months of planning, Educators in VR announces the first of our weekly workshops in AltspaceVR and other social VR and educational platforms, Educators in VR Immersive Classroom Workshop, exploring “The Last Glacier” Tuesday, July 2, 2019.

Instead of talking about climate change and the impact of glaciers on our ecosystem or showing videos, imagine climbing a mountain to explore the glaciers, slipping and sliding down to an ice cave as part of your lesson. The Last Glacier is an educational world designed for Earth Day that takes the visitor on a collaborative journey through the geo-science of glaciers and icebergs, and an exploration of an ice cave, representing one of the few remaining on the planet.

Ice Cave - The Last Glacier - Immersive Classroom by Lorelle VanFossen.

The Last Glacier is an interactive classroom experience representing immersive classroom experiences in maths and sciences, humanities, current events, and discovery exercises with multi-modal educational opportunities as well as leadership and team building exercises. In addition to exploring and learning from this virtual classroom, we discuss the benefits and concerns of teaching in an immersive environment and offer tips and techniques for creating your own immersive educational world for your class or as homework.

Ice Cave Tunnels - The Last Glacier - Lorelle VanFossen

This is the first of many weekly workshops produced by Educators in VR. Next Tuesday is our first Educators in VR 101, a workshop and tutorial on the basics of using virtual reality in education, covering terminology, devices, tips, and techniques. Upcoming topics for the weekly workshops include:

  • Creating and Hosting an Educational Event on Virtual Reality Platforms.
  • Creating a Virtual Training Space.
  • Health and Medical VR/AR/XR Technologies.
  • User Experience in VR.
  • Language Learning in VR/AR.
  • Product Showcases.
  • Virtual World Building in AltspaceVR.
  • Pros and Cons of the Virtual Classroom.

Our next Educators in VR Meetup is July 18 featuring Marie Graham, Director of VR/AR at the Mount Vernon Presbyterian School, presenting “Immersive Realities, Design Thinking, and Students Using Technology for Good.”

For information on attending an Educators in VR workshop or event in virtual reality, we have About – Educators in VRattendance information for you.

If you are an educator using virtual and mixed realities, please contact us to discuss presenting a 20-40 minute workshop in virtual reality. We use a variety of educational and virtual social platforms.

Educators in VR Meetup June 6, 2019: Amanda Fox

Amanda Fox of Foxbrite

The next meeting of Educators in VR in AltspaceVR is June 6, 2019. Amanda Fox, Creative Director of FoxBrite LLC (STEAMPunksEdu), is an educational pioneer and author of Teachingland: A Teacher’s Guide to the Classroom Apocalypse. She will be speaking on AR in Teachingland. The meetup event is free, open to the public, and will be in AltspaceVR. Information on access is listed below.

Amanda has taught English Language Arts, Social Studies, Film, Journalism, and now leads STEAM programs via her startup STEAMPunksEdu– in Louisville, Kentucky. Recipient of the 2016 ISTE Emerging Leader Award, recognized as a PBS Digital innovator for her initiatives in enhancing student learning with technology, Amanda also served as President of the Young Educator Network for ISTE, and received the President’s Volunteer Award. Her current project, the Zom-Be kids book series, sees her introducing design thinking to elementary students, and is the first of a series.

She is also host of The Virtual Reality Podcast, interviewing VR and AR industry experts and educators from around the world.

She has an affinity for coffee mugs, nerdy t-shirts, and can always be found in heels. You may connect with Amanda on Twitter @AmandaFoxSTEM.

Join our Educators in VR Discord group for information on meetups and how to become more involved. We publish member brags and news you can use about virtual reality in education across the entire spectrum of usage from childhood education to health and science to corporate.

Educators in VR Meetup in AltspaceVR

We meet in AltspaceVR, a free virtual reality social app and community. You may RSVP on our events page and AltspaceVR will send you a reminder an hour before the event. Alan has also built several worlds in AltspaceVR that attract a wide range of visitors, developing innovative virtual entertainment and meeting spaces.

You may attend as a guest or member using the free AltspaceVR mobile app or 2D version. AltspaceVR is available for Samsung Gear, Steam Store for HTC Vive, Windows Mixed Reality, and the Oculus Store for Rift, Go, and Quest (sideloaded through the APK) users. If you do not have a VR device, you may also install the 2D version for use on your Windows desktop computer version. A headset and microphone (quality earbuds acceptable) is required to participate. Otherwise please stay muted during the event as the background noise and echoes can be disruptive. For more information on accessing and installing AltspaceVR, check out their download web page.

Virtual Reality Pioneer: Tom Furness

Tom FurnessIn November 2015, Tom Furness, considered the grandfather of virtual reality, sat down with the team at Voices of the VR Podcast for an in depth interview called “#245: 50 years of VR with Tom Furness: The Super Cockpit, Virtual Retinal Display, HIT Lab, & Virtual World Society.” It’s still worth a listen and read.

Tom Furness has been thinking about virtual reality longer than most VR users have been alive. He built some of the first helmet-mounted displays for the US Air Force, and what would become the Super Cockpit. Leaving the military, he helped found the Human Interface Technology Lab at the University of Washington in Seattle, and created the non-profit, educational association, the Virtual World Society.

The Super Cockpit design by Tom Furness for the US Military.

From the University of Washington Faculty bios:

[Tom Furness] is the inventor of the personal eyewear display, the virtual retinal display, the HALO display and holds 19 patents in advanced sensor, display and interface technologies. With his colleagues Dr. Furness has started 27 companies, two of which are traded on NASDAQ at a market capitalization of > $8 B (USD). In 1998 he received the Discover Award for his invention of the virtual retinal display.

In addition to his academic appointments, Dr. Furness was the Chairman and President of the first Augmented Reality Company: ARToolworks Inc. recently acquire by DAQRI. He also runs his own ‘skunkworks’ company: RATLab LLC (RAT = rockin’ and thinkin’) where he and his colleagues develop advanced technologies for spinoff companies. His current projects deal with developing pulse diagnosis as an early warning system for cardiovascular disease and the start-up of the Virtual World Society, a non-profit for extending virtual reality as a learning system for families.

Tom is also co-inventor of the SPM (spectral matching) technology licensed to Visualant Inc. He continues to serve as a Senior Scientific Advisor for the company and recently received the 2013 SPIE Prism Award for his invention of the ChromaID technology.

Projects by the Virtual World Society include helping 28 sixth grade students at Robert Eagle Staff Middle School in Seattle, overseen by a team of University of Washington engineering students, build virtual worlds that teach STEM subjects related to gravity, light, scale, and momentum. Continue reading