Mixed reality is known as an immersive technology that combines elements of physical and digital worlds, and it keeps developing rapidly. There are many professionals who contribute to mixed reality, artificial intelligence, and computer science by producing new software and hardware. One of them is Alex Kipman, an inventor and Brazilian engineer who had been leading the Mixed Reality team at Microsoft for over 14 years.
His Career And Inventions
Alex Kipman attended the Rochester Institute of Technology that he graduated in 2001 with a degree in software engineering. The same year, he joined Microsoft as a developer and stayed with the company until May 2022, when he decided to leave it to pursue other opportunities. As a talented innovator, he led four break-through products for the company, including the Microsoft Kinect that he created in 2010 and the HoloLens released in 2016. Both these devices became popular and fast-selling Microsoft devices. Kipman is also named today as the primary inventor of over 150 patents since joining the Microsoft.
Kinect is one of the main products developed by Alex Kipman that hit the market in 2010. It is a motion sensor device that was developed first for the Xbox 360 and later for the Xbox One. With the help of this device, users could interact with a game by using their body, gestures, and spoken commands. The device had some unique features, including an RGB camera, a multi-array microphone, and a depth sensor.
Another popular invention of Alex Kipman is Microsoft Hololens. It is the first, fully self-contained holographic computer. This headset allows users to experience 3D holographic images in the world around them. HoloLens put holograms into a physical reality by creating a unique and immersive experience. Alex Kipman commented on his invention by saying that “Microsoft HoloLens is a revolutionary tool that transforms how companies, creators, and designers harness the power of holographic computing”.
The first version of the Hololens was presented in January 2015, and the original price was about $3,000. The Hololens went out of stock in 2018. The second version of the Hololens was announced in November 2019, and in May 2020 it became available in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Germany, France, China, New Zealand, and Japan.
Alex Kipman has received numerous awards, including the following:
- The Breakthrough Award in 2009 by Popular Mechanics magazine. Alex Kipman received this award as one of the most important and influential innovators in the field of computer science.
- The list of the Digital 25 individuals who made the most significant contributions to the advancement of digital entertainment. Kipman received this award from the Producers Guild of America in 2010.
- The place in TIME’s “Top 25 Nerds of the Year” in 2010.
- 100 Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company in 2011.
- The National Inventor of the Year awarded by the nonprofit Intellectual Property Foundation in 2012.
- Rochester Institute of Technology Innovators Hall of Fame – Kipman’s name was added in 2013.
- The American Ingenuity Award in 2019 honored by the Smithsonian Institution for the Kipman’s contribution to the field of computer science and mixed reality. Alex Kipman was called a pioneer of holographic and augmented reality technology.
- The Longuet-Higgins Prize in 2021 awarded by the Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence (PAMI) Technical Committee. He received this prize for his fundamental contributions to computer vision.
Kipman’s Current Interests and Future Products
Kipman is currently interested in the concept of the Multiverse and Metaverse. He is focused on creating new products that would bring people together and help establish better and long-lasting human connections across time and space. He wants to make the Metaverse a fantastic and useful supplement to people’s lives rather than their replacement.
The inventor maintains a great work-life balance and spends a lot of time with his family and friends.