Academy Press Releases

Tom Furness, Immersive Pioneer & Founder of Virtual World Society Recognised with Industry Accolade ‘Accenture VR Lifetime Achievement’ Award

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Press Team

17 Nov 2021 | 5 min read

Award celebrates Tom Furness’ groundbreaking work in advancing VR technology

London, UK – 17th November 2021 – The Academy of International Extended Reality (AIXR) unveiled the winner of this year’s ‘Accenture VR Lifetime Achievement’ award winner: Thomas A. Furness III, American inventor, professor at the University of Washington and pioneer in human interface technology. Tom will holoport live into the VR Awards ceremony on the 18th November through Altspace VR to formally accept his award. 

Nominations and the judging process for this award followed a rigorous process, with the winner selected based on their impact on the industry through their life’s work and voted for by the AIXR steering committee. The previous recipient of this award was Cher Wang, founder of the consumer electronics giant, HTC.

Nicola Rosa, Extended Reality lead for Europe at Accenture and AIXR board director, said: “Accenture has long believed – and acted upon the conviction – that advances in immersive reality are extremely important and will play a critical role in the evolution of work, play, learning and connectedness. We are excited to help further advance XR innovation and usage alongside the AIXR, partners and clients around the world.”

Tom is known for an illustrious career that spans over 52 years, helping to, among other accomplishments, usher the modern era of VR into existence. Notably, upon joining a U.S. Air Force Lab in the 1960’s, he developed some of the first VR systems, including the fighter-jet Super Cockpit that gives pilots 3D representations of avionics data, along with the ability to use voice commands, hand gestures and even eye movements to control the aircraft.  Further inventions include the first personal eyewear display, the HALO display and 19 patents in advanced sensory. display and interface technologies.

Tom also founded the ‘Virtual World Society’ with the goal of enabling families to have access to VR learning facilities, and he foresees a future where everyone of all ages is given the same learning opportunities and therefore limitless potential to build, create and connect via VR.

Tom Furness on accepting the Accenture VR Lifetime Achievement Award: “I am deeply honored to receive the 2021 ‘Accenture VR Lifetime Achievement’ from AIXR and to join a circle of outstanding pioneers who have already been recognized by this award. For me, this clearly underscores the current – and continuing – emergence of virtual experiences that introduce us to worlds of wonder! I am more excited now than ever before about the future and how this unprecedented technology will further connect humanity. And this is just the beginning…and I am a kid again!”

Daniel Colaianni, AIXR chief executive commented: “We are very proud to recognise Tom with the ‘Accenture VR Lifetime Achievement’ award. Tom is a teacher, mentor and role model to today’s XR leaders, and we are confident that his recognition will inspire the next generation of inventors and experts to break boundaries and push for more – much like Tom himself has done for over 50 years. We’re grateful to work with our partners at Accenture to recognise achievement and nurture the industry’s growth.”

The VR Awards – the largest global awards ceremony for the VR community – will once again be going virtual for 2021. This year marks the 5th International VR Awards, and AIXR is looking forward to unveiling a unique virtual ceremony that will pay homage to the history and makings of the VR Awards with a few surprises in store that are set to disrupt the landscape of immersive events. Through the implementation of state-of-the-art technology to deliver unrivalled networking opportunities, the event will feature a live studio panel, exclusive livestream content and thrilling digitised entertainment accessed via desktop or through a VR headset. 

 

Press pack: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1mwdyfE7sXT1HTI0j50KMq3FHMkVUVej2?usp=sharing

 

About VR Awards

The VR Awards is at the centre of recognition and celebration of outstanding achievement in VR. Combined with year-round international initiatives, the VR Awards brings together a night of red-carpet highlights, the celebration of excellence and unique access to the world’s most influential names in immersive technology. The VR Awards is an unmissable awards ceremony for a wide range of decision-making professionals from various industries across the world. The VR Awards are overseen by AIXR’s independent Steering Board.

The VR Awards is at the centre of recognition and celebration of outstanding achievement in VR. Combined with year-round international initiatives, the VR Awards brings together a night of red-carpet highlights, the celebration of excellence and unique access to the world’s most influential names in immersive technology. The VR Awards is an unmissable awards ceremony for a wide range of decision-making professionals from various industries across the world. The VR Awards are overseen by AIXR’s independent Steering Board.

Join live on the night and watch as the VR Awards celebrate the phenomenal industry achievements of 2021 – Stay tuned for an unforgettable night of exclusive pre-show content, never-before-seen interviews and an opportunity to play our Pre-show game to win an Oculus Quest 2, check our giveaway page for more information.

Consumer tickets are still available until 18th November at 22:00 pm UTC. If you want to join the biggest night of VR excellence and meet other like-minded industry enthusiasts then please book your tickets at: https://vrawards.staging.aixr.org/tickets

About AIXR

Internationally, AIXR identifies, celebrates, and exemplifies the very best in immersive technology. By connecting people, projects, and knowledge together AIXR enables growth, nurtures talent, and develops standards, bringing wider public awareness and understanding to virtual and augmented reality industries. Officially founded in 2019, AIXR’s not-for-profit, full time team now boasts over 100 company members, supports a growing network of over 12,000 people internationally and work’s across North America, Europe and Asia. Learn more at https://staging.aixr.org/

Social media

Twitter, Instagram & Facebook: @VRAwards

Twitter, Instagram & Facebook: @AIXRorg

Twitter, Instagram & Facebook: @Accenture

VR Awards/AIXR press contact:

Lisa Mach, Marketing Manager

Tel: +44 (0) 1206 598 016

Email: lisa.mach@aixr.org

About the author:

AIXR is an independent, community first, not for profit organisation that exists to support individuals and companies of all sizes as the International trade body for immersive technology industries. AIXR or, The Academy of International Extended Reality, hosts the VR Awards annually. AIXR’s mission is to support individuals and companies in the immersive industry by endorsing, inspiring, and enabling innovators through removing barriers to entry and connecting a diverse collection of trades together.

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