Sunday, December 5, 2010

Hello, World

A couple of years ago I visited a research lab at M.I.T. seeking collaboration on motion capture. That solicitation did not work out, but after I described what I was doing in optics, my interlocutor strongly suggested that I set up a company to pursue my patents. "Oh, no," I protested, "I'm way too old for that." I had pictured myself going out to pasture to provide wisdom in my field of expertise to academics.

In retrospect, I began to realize that on the side of the fence inside the Institute someone like me with patents held free and clear had the kind of entrepreneurial freedom some professors would prefer over the constant committee meetings and publishing quotas that come with a perch within the pecking order of academia.The grass is always greener where you can't graze, I suppose.

At about this time I was given further encouragement by my small group of immediate associates who sensed that something big could come from the seminal inventions I had shepherded through the shoals of the Patent Cooperation Treaty. There was a rising wave to catch in the 3D world. Looking back on the auto-stereoscopic 3D displays I had built in the 1970's and the unique methods of 3D image acquisition I invented in the 1980's, it was pretty obvious I had a surf board. The question was whether this shy and retiring artist/inventor had the testosterone to brave such a wave.

Let me put it this way: I never have known much of fear. Perhaps I'm too foolish to be cautious. What I say about myself is that I'm optomystic. It's a term I coined to describe two facets of my identity - my visual side and an attitude that the today is the yesterday of tomorrow. I look forward to bringing the optical devices I invented to the world. They are based on the interests I have as an artist to express how things look to my mind's eye. Generally, these are visions in 3D which I look forward to sharing with you all soon.

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