Jaron Lanier


Jaron Zepel Lanier is an American computer scientist, best known for popularizing the term virtual reality (VR). A pioneer in the field of VR, Lanier and Thomas G. Zimmerman left Atari in 1985 to found VPL Research, Inc., the first company to sell VR goggles and gloves. In the late 1990s, Lanier worked on applications for Internet2, and in the 2000s, he was a visiting scholar at Silicon Graphics and various universities. More recently, he has acted as an advisor to Linden Lab on their virtual world product Second Life, and as "scholar-at-large" at Microsoft Research where he has worked on the Kinect device for Xbox 360. Lanier is also known as a composer of classical music and a collector of rare instruments; his acoustic album, Instruments of Change (1994) features Asian wind and string instruments such as the khene mouth organ, the suling flute, and the sitar-like esraj. Lanier was the director of an experimental short film, and teamed with Mario Grigorov to compose the soundtrack to the documentary film, The Third Wave (2007). As an author, Lanier has written a column for Discover magazine; his book, You Are Not a Gadget (2010), is a critique of Web 2.0.

2006 Interdisciplinary Scholar-in-Residence, CET, UC Berkeley / Interdisciplinary Scholar-in-Residence, CET, UC Berkeley
2004 Fellow, International Computer Science Institute, Berkeley
2003 - 2005 Visiting Scientist, Silicon Graphics
2002 - 2004 Jones Center Fellow, Wharton School, UPenn
2002 Visiting Faculty, Dartmouth College (Surgical Simulation And Tele-Medicine)
1999 - 2002 Chief Scientist, Eyematic Interfaces (IP and most of team now at Google)
1997 - 2001 Chief Scientist, Advanced Network And Services (Parent organization at the time of the Engineering Office Of Internet2)
1997 - 2001 Visiting Scholar, Columbia University
1997 - 2000 Lead Scientist, National Tele-Immersion Initiative (1st Tele-I Implementation)
1996 - 2001 Visiting Artist, Interactive Telecommunications Program, NYU
1984 - 1990 CEO, VPL Research (1st Multiperson VR And First Commercial VR Products)
1983 - 1984 Researcher, Atari Labs
1980 - 1983 Independent Video Game Developer
Exhibitions & Events