07IEEE 07 07
VR 2007 07 Advance Program: Keynote Address 07 07

VR - Past, Present and Future

Jim Foley
School of Interactive Computing
College of Computing
Georgia Institute of Technology
Atlanta, GA


VR has come a long way - from clunky, mechanically-tracked HMDs driven by multi-million dollar computers - to sleek wireless HMDs driven by commodity PCs and graphics cards - and many purported VR applications don't use HMDs at all. Applications have expanded from scientific, engineering and military to entertainment and social networking. The meaning of VR has changed. In this talk I ask (and endeavor to answer) questions such as: "What is the essence of VR?" "What is the future of VR?" "How has VR changed?" "What is the science behind VR?" "What are open VR research questions?"


Jim Foley is a professor in the College of Computing at Georgia Tech, and holds the Fleming Chair in Telecommunications. He joined Georgia Tech in 1991 as the founding director of the Graphics, Visualization and Usability Center in the College of Computing. The Center was ranked number one in 1996 by US News and World Report for graduate computer science work in graphics and user interaction. On leave from Georgia Tech from 1996-99, he was Director of MERL - Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratory and then CEO and later Chairman of Mitsubishi Electric Information Technology Center America. He earlier served on the faculties of the University of North Carolina and The George Washington University. Foley is co-author of three computer graphics texts and is a Fellow of AAAS, ACM and IEEE. He received SIGGRAPH's bi-annual Steven Coons award for contributions to computer graphics in 1997 and SIGCHI's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007. He was chairman (2001-2005) of the Computing Research Association - an organization of over 250 computer science and computer engineering university departments, professional societies and research labs.