24 Apr 2024 | Sam Sprigg
Announcing the AWE XR Hall of Fame - Celebrating the Pioneers of the XR Industry
XR Hall of Fame

AWE is proud to announce the inauguration of the XR Hall of Fame—a new platform dedicated to honoring the pioneers whose monumental contributions have shaped and propelled the XR industry forward.

One of the key themes for this year’s 15th anniversary AWE USA event is ‘learning from XR’s past to shape the future.’ So we’re bringing the history of XR to the forefront of this year’s event, and recognizing the pioneers and trailblazers who have furthered the fields of augmented, virtual and mixed reality over the last half a century; and in some cases, even longer!

By launching the XR Hall of Fame, AWE seeks to celebrate the rich history of XR, spotlight the contributions made by those represented on this list, and encourage the broader XR industry to remember and learn from the past as we build the future of spatial computing.

Pictured – "The Sword of Damocles" – the first AR HMD, created by XR Hall of Fame pioneer, Ivan Sutherland in 1968.

Meet the Hall of Fame Members

The AWE XR Hall of Fame is a list of legendary individuals from around the world whose work has significantly advanced the fields of augmented, virtual and mixed reality (collectively referred to as XR), along with spatial computing and computer vision technologies.

From transformative software developers to visionary content creators and impactful corporate leaders, the XR Hall of Fame celebrates a broad spectrum of contributors who have all played a part in laying the foundations and building the XR landscape.

These bright minds imagined what was possible in XR long before the technology existed. They also built the tools that were missing. They engineered the first VR proofs-of-concept in garages and they coined the spatial computing terms we still use today. Above all, these giants have set the foundations for future generations to build upon.

View the first 101 Pioneers

Learning From the Past to Build the Future

From the beginning, AWE’s mission has been to advance augmented and virtual reality technology in order to further human progress. The origin of the XR Hall of Fame, then, springs from both a profound respect for history and a commitment to the future.

By honoring the achievements of individuals from across the virtual, augmented, and mixed reality spectrum, we hope to inspire a new generation of innovators, developers, and thinkers to continue expanding the vast potentials of XR.

The XR Hall of Fame acts as a repository that connects the rich history of XR with the possibilities of tomorrow, ensuring that the legacy of innovation continues to thrive and expand within the global tech community.

“We owe an immense debt to the pioneers who laid the foundations of today's rapidly growing $40 billion XR industry. We all stand on the shoulders of these giants,” said AWE Co-founder Ori Inbar. “I call upon the entire XR community to honor these trailblazers by learning their past, celebrating their contributions, and continue to shape the future in their visionary image.”

About the First 101 Pioneers

This inaugural list of 101 inductees to the XR Hall of Fame embodies the spirit of AWE's mission—to catalyze innovation and foster the growth of the XR industry globally. It celebrates a wide spectrum of contributors who have all played a part in building the XR landscape we know and love today.

The first class of the XR Hall of Fame is as diverse in its contributions as it is distinguished, encompassing a wide array of disciplines across the XR industry. Contributions span from foundational software development and pioneering hardware design to innovative applications of XR in storytelling and immersive experiences.

These luminaries have not only advanced the technology over the years, but have also revolutionized how we apply these tools across an incredibly broad range of industries, as well.

Where and When Can You Learn More?

You can learn all about the AWE XR Hall of Fame on our website, as well as through our social channels throughout the year.

An induction ceremony to honor the first 101 members will take place at AWE USA 2024 in Long Beach, California on June 19th.

At the time of writing this post, nearly half of the Pioneers have confirmed their attendance at the event, with more joining every day. You’ll have the unique opportunity to meet many of these XR industry icons, engage with them in discussions, and perhaps even draw inspiration for the next big breakthrough in XR.

Additionally, guests at the 15th anniversary AWE will be able to explore and learn from XR’s history through specially curated conference talks and XR History Museum with over 80 vintage AR and VR devices.

Come and join in the celebrations with us at AWE USA 2024.

What’s Next for The XR Hall of Fame?

This is only the beginning. The XR Hall of Fame is something that AWE plans to continue to build on, inducting new members each year.

There are simply too many individuals in the AR and VR space to honor them all at once. Overtime, we intend to recognize all of those who are making a difference in the world of XR, no matter their era or expertise.

So whilst we celebrate this initial group of 101 pioneers, we look forward to welcoming new members to the XR Hall of Fame each year as the AR and VR industry continues to grow.

If you know of an XR pioneer you believe is worthy of being included, please nominate them for future inclusion.

See You On The ‘Red Carpet?’

As we prepare to roll out the virtual red carpet for the inaugural group of XR Hall of Fame members, we invite you to join us in celebrating the visionaries who have laid the foundations and set the stage for tomorrow's innovations in immersive technology at AWE USA 2024.

Be part of the celebration – Get Tickets

Watch the full XR Hall of Fame unveiling ceremony below, featuring AWE Co-founder Ori Inbar, along with guest speakers Tom Furness of the Virtual World Society, and VR innovator Jacki Morie.


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