#DIMENSIONSXR2020 : Honorary chairs – XR PIONEERS

They are the REAL XR pioneers. They created or helped in creating these breakthrough technologies.


Tom Furness

For 54 years I have been building interfaces between humans and machines that unlock human intelligence and link minds.

This has led to the invention and development of what we know today as virtual and augmented reality.

Along with a few dozen inventions, my students and colleagues have spun off more than 25 companies working in the VR/AR space. I have also been fascinated with the interaction of light and matter and the whole subject of how we can use light, not only to communicate information to our senses, but also to probe the inner reaches of our bodies to assess health and well-being. During my journey I have worked with many wonderful people, students and colleagues, who have become good friends. I am excited about life and the future and want to help turn the hearts of the children into making the world a better place. I just celebrated my 77th birthday!

About the Virtual World Society (https://www.virtualworldsociety.org)

Being the grandfather of virtual reality (https://vimeo.com/113259572)

An audio interview on Patterns of Success (http://patternsofsuccess.com/3/)

Another audio interview on Voices of VR: (http://voicesofvr.com/245-50-years-of-vr-with-tom-furness-the-super-cockpit-virtual-retinal-display-hit-lab-virtual-world-society/)

My Augmented World Expo – 2015 Talk: Being the Future (https://youtu.be/zr89F88AuUI)

Interview with NPR (http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2015/12/17/459839163/grandfather-of-vr-the-virtual-can-show-the-beauty-of-the-real)

2016 Proto Founders Award

Please note that only 10 patents are listed here out of 22 issued and 9 pending.


Water Greenleaf

I am a research scientist, trained in Neuro and Behavioral Science. I am also a medical product developer, with a specific focus on virtual reality and digital health technology. I'm proud of the products that I and my colleagues have developed and brought to market. I've been active in developing Clinical Virtual Reality Systems for more than 30 years.

I recently served as the Director of the Mind Division, Stanford Center on Longevity. I am currently a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Stanford University’s MediaX Program and a Visiting Scholar at Stanford’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab. In addition to my work at Stanford, I am SVP of Strategic & Corp. Affairs to MindMaze and Chief Science Advisor to Pear Therapeutics. I am a VR technology and neuroscience advisor to several early-stage medical product companies.

My doctoral research at Stanford in Neuro & Behavioral Science focused on the interaction between hormones and human behavior. While working on my dissertation I founded the first of several successful medical product companies. I have since maintained this dual-role in academics and business – lecturing, conducting research and publishing, while concurrently developing and bringing medical products to market.

As a pioneer that has remained active in the development of medical applications of Virtual Reality Technology, I also frequently contribute to the field as keynote speaker, as an editor for a leading journal, and as a conference organizer.

Specialties: My product designs include applications in; surgical simulation, 3D medical visualization, telerehabilitation, clinical informatics and decision support, ergonomic evaluation technology, automatic sleep-staging, psychophysiological assessment, as well as simulation-assisted rehabilitation technologies.

In behavioral medicine I have developed and helped bring to market systems for the treatment of PTSD, anxiety disorders, autism spectrum disorders and addictions.


Bob Stone

A VR veteran of over 34 years, Bob is an Emeritus Professor at the University of Birmingham and an independent consultant in XR, Telepresence and Human Factors. He is a Chartered Psychologist, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics & Human Factors and an Honorary Cossack! In the 1980s he specialised in Human Factors for defence and teleoperated subsea, nuclear and space systems, including research at the UK’s National Advanced Robotics Research Centre.

One of the first Europeans to experience NASA’s VR system in 1987, he established the UK’s first industrial VR team at the Centre, developing the world’s first tactile feedback glove, "Teletact" and a unique keyhole surgery simulator, MIST, marketed for over a decade by Mentice of Sweden.

After appearing on the BBC in 1993, he launched the world’s first industrial VR collaborative project, fully funded by industry. In May 1996, he became an Academician of Russia's Higher Education Academy of Sciences and was recognised by the Cosmonaut Training Centre's Director for “introducing VR to the cosmonaut space programme”.

Later, he was made an Honorary Cossack at a ceremony near Starocherkassk in South Russia! He works closely with the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine and hospitals across the UK, evaluating VR technologies for mental and physical rehabilitation. Bob was the UK Human Factors Integration Defence Technology Centre’s Research Director for over 6 years; many of his team’s current simulation projects originated here, including mixed reality for future military command systems and defence medical training, IED disposal training and the exploitation of small unmanned air, subsea and land systems.

His Team also specialises in Virtual Heritage, undertaking innovative VR archaeology, maritime and drone-based survey projects in the West Country (he is a proud born-and-bred Plymothian!). He has received numerous national and international VR/Human Factors awards, including the MoD Chief Scientific Adviser’s Commendation for contributions to Defence Science & Technology.

Specialties: Human Factors / Ergonomics; simulation, Virtual Environments and "serious games". Applications in defence, medicine and heritage.


Carolina Cruz-Neira

Dr. Carolina Cruz-Neira, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, is a pioneer in the areas of virtual reality and interactive visualization, having created and deployed a variety of technologies that have become standard tools in industry, government and academia.

She is known world-wide for being the creator of the CAVE virtual reality system.

She has dedicated a part of her career to transfer research results into daily use by spearheading several Open Source initiatives to disseminate and grow VR technologies and by leading entrepreneurial initiatives to commercialize research results. She has over 100 publications as scientific articles, book chapters, magazine editorials and others.

She has been awarded over $75 million in grants, contracts, and donations. She is also recognized for having founded and led very successful virtual reality research centers, like the Virtual Reality Applications Center at Iowa State University, the Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise and now the Emerging Analytics Center.

She has been named one of the top innovators in virtual reality and one of the top three greatest women visionaries in this field.

BusinessWeek magazine identified her as a “rising research star” in the next generation of computer science pioneers; she has been inducted as a member of the National Academy of Engineering, an ACM Computer Pioneer, received the IEEE Virtual Reality Technical Achievement Award and the Distinguished Career Award from the International Digital Media & Arts Society among other national and international recognitions.

She had given numerous keynote addresses and has been the guest of several governments to advise on how virtual reality technology can help to give industries a competitive edge leading to regional economic growth. She has appeared in numerous national and international TV shows and podcasts as an expert on her discipline and several documentaries have been produced about her life and career.


Louis Rosenberg

Founder and Chief Scientist

Dr. Louis Rosenberg founded Unanimous AI to pursue a crazy idea – that we can amplify the intelligence of human groups by developing a new form of AI based on the biological principles of Swarm Intelligence.  The idea panned out, resulting in Swarm AI technology, a powerful method amplifying group intelligence that has been validated by over 20 academic papers, has been funded by NSF, and was named “AI Innovation of the Year” at SXSW.

Rosenberg began his technological career at Stanford University where he earned his Bachelor’s, Master’s, and PhD degrees. His doctoral work focused on robotics, virtual reality, and human-computer systems. While working as a graduate researcher at the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (Armstrong Labs) in the early 1990’s, Rosenberg created the ‘Virtual Fixtures’ platform, the first immersive Augmented Reality system ever built.

Rosenberg then founded Immersion Corporation to pursue virtual reality technologies.  As CEO of Immersion, he brought the company public (NASDAQ: IMMR) in 1999. Rosenberg also founded Microscribe, maker of the world’s first desktop 3D digitizer – the Microscribe 3D – which has been used in the production of countless feature films, including Shrek, Ice Age, and A Bugs Life (acquired in 2009).

Rosenberg also founded Outland Research, a developer of advanced interfaces for mobile devices and augmented reality (acquired in 2012).  He has also worked as a tenured Professor at California Polytechnic (Cal Poly), teaching engineering, design, and entrepreneurship.

A prolific inventor and researcher, Louis Rosenberg has been awarded more than 300 patents worldwide for his technological efforts in virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and human computer-interaction.

He currently lives in sunny California with his wife and kids, as a longtime vegan and friend of all animals, big and small.

Check out his recent TED TALK on the power of Hive Minds here.