Dr. Tom Furness is a professor, inventor, and entrepreneur who has worked continuously on the development of virtual reality technology for 54 years and earned the title “Grandfather of Virtual Reality.” He is a Professor in the University of Washington Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering, and the founder of the Human Interface Technology Lab at the University of Washington and its sister labs at the University of Canterbury and University of Tasmania. He is known for his contributions developing virtual interface technology and its applications in education, training, medicine, design and entertainment. He and his students and colleagues have spun off 27 companies in the immersive computing space. He is the founder and chairman of the Virtual World Society, a non-profit for extending virtual reality as a learning system for families and other humanitarian applications. He is also the general manager and owner of the RATLab (Rocking and Thinking Laboratory), and a Fellow in the IEEE. Tom and his wife Linda have two daughters and six grandchildren. His favorite pastime is playing with his grandchildren.
Professor & International Director
Industrial and Systems Engineering
Human Interface Technology Laboratory
University of Washington
University of Canterbury
University of Tasmania