As Executive Director of the ANA Avatar XPRIZE, David brings nearly two decades of Operations experience with a focus on producing large-scale, international competitions and events. Over the course of his ten plus years at XPRIZE, David has orchestrated an eclectic slate of incentivized prize competitions, with topics ranging from Moon exploration (Google Lunar XPRIZE) to seawater surface oil recovery (Oil Cleanup XPRIZE), which leverage emerging technologies and a crowd-source platform to drive technological breakthroughs and positive social impact.
William R. Provancher
Founder and CEOat
William R. Provancher is the founder and CEO of the startup Tactical Haptics, which is focused on adapting his prior tactile feedback research to create the haptic illusion of force feedback in a motion controller, but without the limitations of traditional force feedback devices. Tactical Haptics restores the user’s sense of touch to bring virtual reality (VR) experiences alive and allow users to actually feel the stretch of their bow, inertia and impact of their sword, kick of their gun, or tug of a fish. The company has received SBIR (small business innovative research) grants from both NASA and NSF and is venture backed. Most recently the company has created a new cylindrical controller form factor, SaberGrip™, and created new VR experiences focused on sword fighting and fishing for VR arcades as well as medical and industrial VR training.
David Parisi, Ph.D
Associate Professor of Emerging Mediaat
College of Charleston
Bio Coming Soon
Senior Adviser, Prize Operationsat
Prior to joining XPRIZE, Jacquelyn Morie spent 13 years as a Sr. Research Scientist at USC’s Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT), which she helped found. While there, she created novel VR telehealth and educational activities using her deep understanding of art, computer animation and human behavior to enhance engagement with these programs. As Founder and Chief Scientist of her company, All These Worlds, LLC, Morie continued this work for private and government clients, including NASA’s Behavioral Health & Performance Research group, for whom she developed the ANSIBLE Project, which studied how to mitigate psychological issues that might imperil future long duration space travelers. She served as a member of the DARPA Information, Science And Technology think tank from 2011 through 2015, and lectures extensively on how technology will affect our future selves and humanity. Dr. Morie is also an ACM Distinguished speaker, and holds masters’ degrees in both Fine Art and Computer Science. She also holds a doctorate in immersive technologies from the prestigious SmartLab Program through the University of East London.
Research Science Managerat
Facebook Reality Labs
Nicholas Colonnese is a Research Science Manager at Facebook Reality Labs Research, working on novel interfaces for mixed reality. He leads a multi-disciplinary team which includes researchers with expertise in haptics, soft robotics, computer vision, machine learning, estimation, optimization, and functional garments and textiles. His research interests center on how the intersection of a broad range of academic disciplines: from haptics, to sensor fusion, to human computer interaction paradigm design, can define and then improve mixed reality interaction in the coming revolution of augmented and virtual reality. He holds a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Stanford University.
President, North Americaat
Alex joined Ultraleap in 2016 and heads up the US office, which opened in April 2017. In his previous role as Senior Director of Strategy and Business Development at Samsung, he led a team supporting innovations and investments. He holds M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Physics from the University of Cambridge, an M.B.A. degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and right issued and pending patents.
Eric is a haptics enthusiast breaking the barriers for haptics to scale.
Eric designed the haptics architecture of Interhaptics, lead a team of engineers and marketing colleagues to the launch of the Haptics Composer: the first multiplatform Haptics Design tool on the market.
He co-founded Go Touch VR exploring skin indentation technologies for haptics applications in VR. Go Touch VR raised 2 m $ to create new technologies for XR.
Eric was the CTO of Hap2u in charge of the software team designing the rendering stack to drive surface haptics technologies at full capabilities. Hap2U raised 6 m $ from Daimler and it is going to revolution mobile haptics as we know it.
He published 20 + scientific papers on haptics and human-machine interactions and deposed 5 patents on haptics technologies and applications.
CEO and Founderat
Nanoport Technology Inc.
Tim Szeto is CEO and founder of Nanoport Technology, an R&D Lab developing future technologies for major players in the mobile industry. Tim is a multiple patent holder and Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year nominee. At the age of 15 Tim started his first business, an interactive software agency and in 2009, launched NanodotsⓇ Magnetic Constructors, an award-winning consumer product sold in over 40 countries. Today, Tim combines his knowledge in software engineering and magnetics serving as the CEO of Nanoport.
Gwydion ap Dafydd
Gwydion ap Dafydd is the co-founder of Lofelt and serves as its Chief Technology Officer (CTO). Gwydion is an expert hardware and software engineer with more than 20 years of experience, including Native Instruments and Texas Instruments. He is the author of the VT-1 Specification Proposal and a founding member of the Haptics Industry Forum (HIF).
Philippe Guillotel is Distinguished Scientist at InterDigital Research & Innovation. His research interests include UX/user experiences (immersive experiences and user sensing), human perception technologies (vision and haptics), video compression (2D and 3D) and artificial intelligence (inc. robotics and machine/deep learning) for entertainment. He published 15 + scientific papers on haptics and human-machine interactions and deposed 20 + patents on haptics technologies. He currently leads a team of experts in the field of the digital human and how to make those virtual characters, or avatars, socially interacting with the users in a realistic way (including multi-modal interfaces). He holds a Ph.D. in signal processing and telecommunication from the University of Rennes.
Daniel Haefliger, PhD
Sateco XT AG
Working at Sateco Group since 2012, Daniel contributed to the sustainable growth of haptic solutions for vehicle switches. In view of emerging smart surfaces, VR/AR applications and robotics, he drives the development of active elastomer components which can add seamless tactile feedback to surfaces and wearables.
Daniel holds an MSc and PhD degree in mechanical engineering and has previous work experience in plastic interconnected devices (3D-MID) and semi-conductor sensor solutions.
Yeshwant Muthusamy Ph.D.,
Senior Director, Standardsat
Bio Coming Soon
Carnegie Mellon University
Roberta Klatzky is the Charles J. Queenan Jr. University Professor of Psychology at Carnegie Mellon University, where she is also on the faculty of the the Human-Computer Interaction Institute and the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition. She received a B.S. in mathematics from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from Stanford University. She is the author of over 300 articles and chapters, and she has authored or edited 7 books. Her research investigates perception, spatial thinking and action from the perspective of multiple modalities, sensory and symbolic, in real and virtual environments. Klatzky's basic research has been applied to tele-manipulation, image-guided surgery, navigation aids for the blind, and neural rehabilitation. Klatzky is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Psychological Association, the Association for Psychological Science, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). She was elected to the honorary organization, the Society of Experimental Psychologists. For her work on perception and action, she received an Alexander von Humboldt Research Award and the Kurt Koffka Medaille from Justus-Liebig-University of Giessen, Germany. Her professional service includes governance roles in several societies and membership on the National Academy of Science’s Committees on International Psychology, Human Factors, and more.
Matthew J. Smith Ph.D,
Chief Scientific Officerat
Dr. Matthew Smith is the Chief Scientific Officer, Co-Founder, and President of Embr Labs, the first thermal wellness technology company. Since the company’s founding in 2014, Dr. Smith and his team have developed and patented a platform technology for delivering intelligent, low power, and wearable thermal experiences and commercialized Embr Wave, an intelligent bracelet that cools or warms you with the press of a button. Embr Wave achieved 6x its fundraising goal on Kickstarter in 2017, has since sold over 40,000 units, was named Time Best Invention in 2018, has been validated in the lab and in a clinical study, and led to a partnership with J&J. Dr. Smith leads IP development, core technology R&D, and thermal wellness science at Embr Labs. He will be speaking about his experiences starting a haptics company, lessons learned through constant engagement with customers, and the exciting and complex science underlying thermal sensations and their profound impact on our subjective human experiences. Prior to co-founding Embr Labs, Matt earned his Ph.D. at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Materials Science & Engineering, where he co-authored over 20 publications, co-founded a technical consulting company, and received the department’s Best Ph.D. Thesis award for his work on nanostructured semiconductor devices.
Co-Founder and CEOat
Tanvas and Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Northwestern University
J. Edward Colgate received a Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering in 1988 from M.I.T. He subsequently joined Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, where he is currently the Allen and Johnnie Breed University Design Professor and a member of the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Dr. Colgate's principal research interests are haptic interfaces and human-robot interaction. He and collaborator Michael Peshkin are the inventors of a class of collaborative robots known as “cobots” and a suite of technologies for bringing programmable haptic feedback to touch screens. Dr. Colgate was the founding Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Haptics. He is a Fellow of the IEEE and the National Academy of Inventors, and a member of the Chicago Area Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame. Dr. Colgate was one of the founding co-directors of the Segal Design Institute at Northwestern University where he directed the Master of Science in Engineering Design and Innovation, which combines graduate-level engineering courses with a broad exposure to human-centered design. In addition to his academic pursuits, Dr. Colgate has founded three startup companies the most recent of which, Tanvas Inc., is commercializing innovative surface haptics technologies.