Jaron Lanier

Updated: 09/15/2017 by Computer Hope
Jaron Lanier

Name: Jaron Zepel Lanier

Born: May 3, 1960, in New York City, New York, USA

Computer-related contributions

  • American computer scientist, composer, visual artist, and author.
  • Best known for popularizing the term VR (virtual reality).
  • A pioneer in the field of VR who left Atari with Thomas G. Zimmerman in 1985 to found VPL Research, Inc., the first company to sell VR goggles and gloves.
  • More recently, he advised Linden Lab on their virtual world Second Life, and was "scholar-at-large" at Microsoft Research where he has worked on the Kinect device for Xbox 360.

Significant publications

  • You Are Not a Gadget (2010).
  • Information Is an Alienated Experience (2006).

Honors and awards

  • Carnegie Mellon University's Watson award (2001).
  • Finalist for the first Edge of Computation Award (2005).
  • Honorary doctorate from New Jersey Institute of Technology (2006).
  • IEEE Virtual Reality Career Award (2009).
  • Named one of TIME's 100 most influential people (2010).


"A real friendship ought to introduce each person to unexpected weirdness in the other."