From Virtual Reality to Postcards & Back – A Guided Tour
Bill Buxton, March 24, 2021

A CHIFOO Special Event with Bill Buxton

ViewMaster photo with photo reelsSomehow, during my CHIFOO talk last year, I mentioned how important Portland was to the evolution of AR/VR technology and adoption.  This seemed to give rise to a certain degree of curiosity.  Hence I promised to come back and explain.  So this talk is my fulfillment of that promise.

So what I am going to do is take you on a guided tour of the history of (largely) 3D viewers and the ability to experience remote places without being there.  The stepping stones of my narrative will items selected out of the Buxton – Microsoft collection, spanning the period between 1838 and now.  And, yes, Portland will provide an important stepping stone along the path followed.  As interesting as this tour may be intrinsically, it has to have a secondary theme which extends beyond the specific tale and its protagonists.  In this case, that uber-tale has to do with the nature of design, technical evolution, the cultural nature of what we do, and perhaps even the difference between technology evolution (a scientific notion) vs progress (an ethical one).

And hopefully – to the extent possible being remote, we can make this as much a conversation as a presentation.

About the Speaker

Bill BuxtonBill Buxton, Microsoft Research
Bill Buxton, A Partner Researcher at Microsoft Research, Bill has an over 40-year involvement in research, practice and commentary around design, innovation and human aspects of technology. Following a 20-year career as a professional musician, he morphed into a researcher and interaction designer, at the University of Toronto, Xerox PARC, Alias Research and SGI Inc. He has been awarded four honourary doctorates, is co-recipient of an Academy Award for Scientific and Technical Achievement, received an ACM/SIGCHI Lifetime Achievement Award, and is a Fellow of the ACM. Bill has published, lectured and consulted widely, and is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Toronto, and a Distinguished Professor of Industrial Design at the Technical University Eindhoven. Other than his family, mountains and rivers are his first love.

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