Valerie Thomas
Inventor of NASA's Illusion Transmitter for 3D Holography

Data scientist and inventor Valerie Thomas made significant contributions to the advancement of XR technology during her tenure at NASA starting in the 1960’s. While working at NASA, Thomas invented the illusion transmitter, a groundbreaking device that transmitted three-dimensional images, or holograms, creating optical illusions through the clever use of concave mirrors.

Her invention, patented in 1980, laid the groundwork for the development of XR technologies–specifically holograms–by providing a means to project realistic, immersive visuals. As of 2022, the technology was still in use by NASA and has been adapted for use in surgery, as well as for televisions and video screens.