Tom Furness
“The Grandfather of VR”

Tom Furness, often hailed as the "Grandfather of Virtual Reality," has been a pioneering force from the very beginning of the development of VR technology. His groundbreaking work began more than five decades ago in the 1960s with the creation of flight simulation systems for the US Air Force, laying the foundation for immersive virtual environments.

In 1988 Furness published his classified VR work to the public, marking a watershed moment for XR technology. In the 1990’s he helped invent virtual retinal display technology – a foundation of modern AR light-field displays.

Furness's contributions across VR, as well as photonics, personal display systems, virtual interfaces, electro-optics, and human interface technology, have helped to significantly influence the commercial XR landscape.

As the founder of the Human Interface Technology Lab in Washington, as well as the Virtual World Society, Furness has fostered innovation in VR, AR, and human-centric computing. His commitment to using VR for educational and humanitarian purposes highlights his vision of technology as a force for good, and he has inspired countless others to explore the potential of virtual worlds in transforming society.