Sanders Series Lecture

Paul Dietz:
Parallel Reality Displays

2018-10-23 12:30 at MaRS


The 20th century saw the rise of broadcast technologies that allowed us to instantly communicate with large numbers of people. In contrast, the 21st century has been about narrowcasting. The ability to send targeted information on a massive scale to specific individuals via their personal devices has changed how we live and created some of the most successful products and services in human history. However, our addiction to personal screens has had significant downsides. They isolate us from each other and our surroundings. We imagine a different future where the world itself provides the personalized information, services and entertainment that we seek. An unexpected breakthrough lets us create public displays that can show different content to each viewer, even when many people are looking at the same display at the same time. No special glasses are required. This new capability will free us from the tyranny of our devices, impacting our lives in surprising and deeply profound ways.


Paul Dietz is a prolific creator of new technologies that surprise and delight, and occasionally make the world a slightly better place. He is best known as the co-inventor of DiamondTouch – an early multi-touch display system which helped launch the touch interface revolution. Paul received the ACM UIST 2012 Lasting Impact Award for this work. His career included stints as a researcher at Walt Disney Imagineering, Mitsubishi Electric, and Microsoft. He is currently Chief Technology Officer and Chairman of the Board of Misapplied Sciences, Inc. Paul holds a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon. In his spare time, he teaches kids how to make animatronic shows, and is sometimes seen on the wrong end of a flugelhorn.