Tom Furness

Founder & Chairman, Virtual World Society

Tom Furness is an amalgam of Professor, Inventor and Entrepreneur in a professional career that spans 52 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 currently a professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering with adjunct professorships in Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Human Centered Design and 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. He is 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 is a Fellow of the IEEE.


Watch Tom Furness talk at AWE USA 2017

My Sessions

Virtual World Society Welcomes You to the XR For Good Forum

Room XK

Hear from the Virtual World Society founder Tom Furness, just honored by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers as a 2018 Fellow for his “leadership in virtual and augmented reality.” One of our industry’s most important founding pioneers will share the latest projects and impact of the Virtual World Society.

XR4Good Track