Jaron LanierJaron Zepel Lanier (, born May 3, 1960) is an American computer scientist, visual artist, computer philosophy writer, technologist, futurist, and composer of contemporary classical music. Considered a founder of the field of virtual reality, Lanier and Thomas G. Zimmerman left Atari in 1985 to found VPL Research, Inc., the first company to sell VR goggles and wired gloves. In the late 1990s, Lanier worked on applications for Internet2, and in the 2000s, he was a visiting scholar at Silicon Graphics and various universities. In 2006 he began to work at Microsoft, and from 2009 has worked at Microsoft Research as an Interdisciplinary Scientist.
Lanier has composed contemporary classical music and is a collector of rare instruments (of which he owns one to two thousand); his acoustic album, ''Instruments of Change'' (1994) features Asian wind and string instruments such as the khene mouth organ, the suling flute, and the sitar-like esraj. Lanier teamed with Mario Grigorov to compose the soundtrack to the documentary film ''The Third Wave'' (2007).
In 2005, ''Foreign Policy'' named Lanier as one of the top 100 Public Intellectuals. In 2010, Lanier was named to the ''TIME'' 100 list of most influential people. In 2014, ''Prospect'' named Lanier one of the top 50 World Thinkers. In 2018, ''Wired'' named Lanier one of the top 25 most influential people over the last 25 years of technological history. Provided by Wikipedia