Tom Furness
Founder & Chairman Virtual World Society

Tom Furness is an amalgam of Professor, Inventor and Entrepreneur in a professional career that spans 58 years. In addition to his contributions in photonics, electro-optics, human interface technology, he is an original pioneer of virtual and augmented reality technology and widely known as the ‘grandfather’ of virtual reality. Tom is Professor Emeritus of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the University of Washington (UW), Seattle, Washington, USA. He is the founder of the family of Human Interface Technology Laboratories at the University of Washington, Christchurch, New Zealand and Tasmania, Australia. Tom is a Fellow in the IEEE and 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 serves on several advisory boards and runs his own company: RATLab LLC (rat= rockin’ and thinkin’) where he experiments with ‘far out’ technologies and concepts.