Blair is a Principal Research Scientist at Mozilla and a Professor in the School of Interactive Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he has directed the Augmented Environments Lab since 1999. His research focuses on developing the potential of augmented reality as a novel technology and new medium for games, entertainment, education and work. Since 2008 he has directed the Argon project to explore the potential of the web as a platform for Augmented Reality, and is currently working in the Emerging Technologies group at Mozilla to bring this vision of WebAR to life. He has published more than 100 research papers, is actively involved with industry as a consultant and speaks regularly about augmented reality, games and mobile technology.
Elizabeth Baron is a Technical Specialist in Virtual Reality and Advanced Visualization at Ford Motor Company. She has been the driving force in the development and deployment of immersive vehicle verification technology at Ford Motor Company. She is the principle inventor of the Ford immersive Vehicle Environment (FiVE) process and technology. Elizabeth became the first Virtual Reality Technical Specialist at Ford, a position she asked to create so that she could grow the technology with the Company. Elizabeth was awarded the highest technical award in Ford Motor Company, the Dr. Haren Gandhi Research and Innovation Award, honouring her career in immersive visualization and her technical leadership.
Mark Pesce is an inventor, author, educator, broadcaster and entrepreneur. In 1991 he founded Ono-Sendai Corporation, the first consumer virtual reality startup, inventing a orientation sensor (US Patent 5,526,022) for low-cost virtual reality applications, adopted by Sega Corporation for their Virtua VR head-mounted display.
In 1994, Pesce co-invented the Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML), the first standard for interactive 3D graphics on the World Wide Web. While running the VRML Architecture Group, a consortium of industry and academic stakeholders furthering VRML standards development, Pesce founded BlitCom, the first startup to use VRML to deliver streaming entertainment.
In 1998, Pesce was invited to found the Graduate Program in Interactive Media at the University of Southern California’s world-famous School of Cinema-Television, teaching the next generation of creative professionals how to master emerging technologies for storytelling. In 2003, Mark was invited to Sydney to establish the Program in Emerging Media at the Australian Film Television and Radio School, and continues to work with students through his Honorary Appointment in the Digital Cultures Program at the University of Sydney and his recent appointment as Honorary Adjunct at the University of Technology, Sydney.
Pesce writes fortnightly a column for the internationally respected tech publication The Register, and for seven years was a panelist and judge on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s hit series The New Inventors, celebrating Australia’s newest inventions and inventors. He currently hosts This Week in Startups Australia, the nation’s leading tech podcast.
In 2016, Pesce launched an initiative to create Mixed Reality Service (MRS, mixedrealitysystem.org), an Internet-wide standard to connect geospatial coordinates with relevant metadata. MRS has applications in many areas including gaming, autonomous vehicles, affordances for the disabled, and safety.
Tony Parisi is a virtual reality pioneer, serial entrepreneur and angel investor. Tony is the co-creator of 3D graphics standards, including VRML, X3D and glTF, the new file format standard for 3D web and mobile applications.Tony is also the author of O’Reilly Media’s books on Virtual Reality and WebGL: Learning Virtual Reality (2015), Programming 3D Applications in HTML5 and WebGL (2014), and WebGL Up and Running (2012).
Tony is currently Head of VR and AR at Unity Technologies, where he oversees the company’s strategy for virtual and augmented reality.
* Tony will be presenting in the Opening Keynote at Web3D 2017 via video. Mark (and Tony, if remote logistics permit) will then continue a conversation on the past, present and future of virtuality with the audience.
Michela Ledwidge is a director redefining the space between cinema and immersive interactive experience. She created the first website in NSW as part of a Computer Science Honours thesis, the National Library of Australia’s inaugural web service and early VRML prototypes for Australia’s first web agency Next Online in the 90s. Throughout a decade in London Michela worked on many pioneer projects including the launches of Reuters’ Euro currency systems, e-commerce startup boo.com and the video-on-demand service BBC iPlayer. In 2001 she won the SIGGRAPH web3D art prize for her real-time animated short, Horses For Courses. She received a NESTA Invention award for ‘remixable film’ architecture in 2004, which led to the formation of UK startups MOD Films and Rack&Pin. Returning to Australia she won the inaugural Sydney Film Festival Peter Rasmussen Innovation Award in 2009 and co-founded Studio Mod in 2010. Michela was a producer on the 2013 International Emmy Award winning multi-platform series dirtgirlworld. She is currently CEO of Studio Mod and Vice President of the Australian Directors Guild. She has been creative and technical lead on many products including experience platform Rack&Pin, touring show ACO Virtual and immersive experience, Action Stations! onboard two vessels moored at the Australian National Maritime Museum. Michela’s first investigative journalism project is in development as a room-scale VR/MR experience.
Neil Trevett is Vice President of Mobile Ecosystems at NVIDIA, where he is responsible for enabling and encouraging advanced applications on smartphones and tablets. Neil is also serving as the elected President of the Khronos Group where he created and chaired the OpenGL ES working group that has defined the industry standard for 3D graphics on mobile devices. At Khronos he also chairs the OpenCL working group for portable, parallel heterogeneous computing, helped initiate the WebGL standard that is bringing interactive 3D graphics to the Web and is now working to help formulate standards for camera, vision and sensor processing. Previously, as Vice President of 3Dlabs, Neil was at the forefront of the silicon revolution bringing interactive 3D to the PC, and he established the embedded graphics division of 3Dlabs to bring advanced visual processing to a wide-range of non-PC platforms. Neil was elected President for eight consecutive years of the Web3D Consortium dedicated to creating open standards for communicating real-time 3D on the Internet. Neil graduated from Birmingham University in the UK with a First Class Joint Honors B.Sc. in electronic engineering and computer science and holds several patents in the area of graphics technology.