Mark Bolas
Partner Microsoft
In a career spanning 30 years, Mark Bolas has remained true to the central theme of his 1989 Stanford thesis “to discover the new medium of Virtual Reality on its own terms, by working as an engineer to invent technologies to enter it, and as a designer to find the techniques to explore it." Serving as a CEO at Fakespace Labs, and as a Professor at Stanford's School of Engineering and USC's School of Cinematic Arts, this goal has guided his influence to branch out across virtually every market vertical, including Defense, Entertainment, Oil & Gas, Automotive, Manufacturing as well as Games and Entertainment. Along this journey, Mark has been awarded over 20 patents, authored dozens of papers, open-source released seminal designs and advised or angel funded numerous start-ups.Mark is currently the Partner Director of Incubation in Microsoft’s Cognition group, providing thought leadership and hands-on design/prototyping expertise to a team helping define the future of engaging with an increasingly digital world. Continuing to develop and shape the future leaders in mixed reality, Mark shares his ongoing vision statement:“My goal is to positively shape this new world and ecosystem to be one that is joyful and humane, where I can bring together aesthetics and a narrative arc with a user’s body and emotions to create engaging interfaces that deliver a sense of satisfaction and meaning. In this new 'Reality 2.0', we can move away from the uninspiring interfaces that have us filling in text boxes and clicking, toward finding and sharing the joy I know when working with my hands and in close collaboration with other people.”