Extended Reality Track

Track Chair: Brian Laughlin, Boeing Research & Technology

Theme – Extended Reality (XR) and the Future of Work – join us as we:

  • Hear from the pioneers of XR 
  • Reflect on authentic experiences of those who have been in the thick of XR adoption
  • Network with industry leaders and academicians engaged in the world of XR
  • Discuss what the future holds for XR technology

Track Program

Monday, October 23, 2023

10:30 AM - 11:30 AM      
Session 1: Trailblazers of XR: Stories from the Pioneers
Speaker: Thomas Furness (University of Washington)
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Session 2: XR Today: Trends, Tech, and Transformations
Speakers: Janelle Haines (Google), Katherine Meza (Google), Randy Nunez
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Session 3: Tales from the Trenches: Insights from Academia and Industry Experts
Speakers: Michael Bohan (Humonisty Consutlting), Kurtis Goad (NIST), Ranjana Mehta (U of Wisconsin-Madison)


Track Speakers



Session 3 Presentation Title: The Human Needs To Be In Pole Position

Michael Bohan is the Founder and CEO of Huminosity Consulting. He has over 20 years of experience developing consumer and business products and solutions for companies like Motorola, Dell and Microsoft, with numerous patents to his credit. Michael has solved some of the most gnarly human factors problems in the industry, advancing technologies like haptics and unlocking breakthrough products including Microsoft HoloLens.


Session 1 Presentation Title: What Happens Next!

Tom Furness is an amalgam of University Professor, Inventor, Virtual Reality Pioneer and Entrepreneur in a professional career spanning 57 years.  He has made notable contributions in photonics, electro-optics, human interface technology, and their application in medicine, education, training, design and entertainment.  He is considered the ‘grandfather’ of virtual reality and augmented reality.  Tom earned a BS degree in Electrical Engineering from Duke University in 1966 and the Ph.D. in Engineering and Applied Science from the University of Southampton, England in 1981.  He is Professor (Emeritus) of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the University of Washington (UW), Seattle, Washington, USA.  He is the founder of the Human Interface Technology Laboratory (HIT Lab) at UW and founder and international director of the HIT Lab NZ at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand and the HIT Lab Australia at the University of Tasmania, Launceston, Tasmania.

Prior to joining the faculty at the UW, Tom served a combined 23 years as an U.S. Air Force officer and civilian scientist at the Armstrong Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, where he developed advanced cockpits and virtual interfaces for the Department of Defense.  He is the author of the Super Cockpit program and served as the Chief of Visual Display Systems and Super Cockpit Director until he joined the University of Washington in 1989.

Since the beginning of his career Tom has continued to play an active role in virtual and augmented reality development and application.   In 1998 he received the Discover Award for his invention of the virtual retinal display. Tom is co-inventor of the ChromaID technology licensed to Visualant Inc. and received the 2013 SPIE Prism Award for this work. In June 2015 he gave keynote titled ‘Being the future’ at the Augmented World Expo in Santa Clara, California, where he received the first ‘Auggie’ lifetime achievement award for his 50-year contribution to the VR and AR Industries. In March 2016 Tom received the IEEE VR Career Award for his lifetime contributions to the fields of Virtual and Augmented Reality and in October 2016 the Virtual Reality Foundation of Los Angeles Proto Award also for lifetime achievement.  In November 2021 Tom was presented the Accenture Lifetime Achievement Award by the Academy of International Extended Reality and Elected to the IEEE VTCG Academy. In October 2023 Tom received the first Heart for Humanity Award presented by the Girls STEAM Institute where he serves as a board member.

Tom lectures widely and has appeared in many national and international network and syndicated television science and technology documentaries and news programs.  He has testified before the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee.  He is the inventor of the personal eyewear display (the first consumer virtual display), the virtual retinal display, the HALO display, holds 26 patents in advanced sensor, display and interface technologies and has contributed to over 100 patents. With his colleagues and students Dr. Furness has published over 400 papers and conference proceedings and started 27 companies, two of which are traded on NASDAQ at a market capitalization of > $ 12 B (USD).  He is a Fellow of the IEEE and a member of the Computer Society and Photonics Society of the IEEE. He is the founder and chairman of the Virtual World Society, a non-profit for extending virtual reality as a learning system for families and other humanitarian applications.  In 2005 Tom founded the RATLab LLC, a private company where he experiments with advanced sensors and biophotonics.




Session 3 Presentation Title: It’s Not Always What the Eye Can See – Challenges in the Evaluation of Augmented Reality

Kurtis Goad is a Human Factors Scientist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). He holds a master’s degree in Human Factors and Applied Cognition from George Mason University (2021). In previous roles Kurtis has performed research in clinical and cognitive psychology, social robotics, and he worked as a clinical behavior analyst. While at NIST he first performed human factors research with augmented reality (AR) in the context of public safety applications through the Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) program at NIST. Here he evaluated numerous AR applications designed to assist first responders. He has since lead research efforts in improving methodology for evaluating the usability of AR technology.





Session 2 Panelist: XR Today: Trends, Tech and Transformations

Janelle Haines is an EHS NPI Technical Program Manager for Google. She focuses on safety and ergonomic processes for new products within the data centers, leading the charge for injury prevention through design. Prior to this role she owned the ergonomics program for data centers globally at Google.
Janelle has over 10 years of industry experience, with 7 of those being focused on virtual reality processes at John Deere. Using virtual reality and human modeling technology, she was able to assess combine cabs for ergonomic fit and operator comfort as well as developing a process for virtually evaluating manufacturing assembly processes to identify high risk procedures and eliminate any risk before it was physically present. She also was the owner of the Virtual Reality lab onsite, assisting with manufacturing reviews in the virtual environment targeting injury prevention.
Janelle has had the privilege and opportunity of sharing her experience at various industry conferences and workshops over the years including the Enterprise of Wearable Technologies Summit, SAP AR/VR Conference, and the National Ergonomics Conference to name a few.
Janelle studied at the University of Iowa where she earned a B.S in Biomedical Engineering with a focus on Ergonomics and Biomechanics.




Session 3 Presentation Title: Access and Reach with XR-based trainings in Emergency Response

Ranjana Mehta is a professor in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at University of Wisconsin Madison. Her research examines the mind-motor-machine nexus using a novel neuroergonomics approach to understand, monitor, and predict human performance under fatigue and stress. With these predictions, research in her lab focuses on developing closed-loop human augmentation technologies (sensory, neural, physiological) for safety-critical applications (emergency response, space exploration, and oil and gas).  Projects in her lab are funded by numerous agencies and industries and include user-centered and equitable design and evaluation of adaptive interfaces, wearable technologies, human-robotic interactions, and brain-computer interfaces to facilitate effective human-technology partnerships.



 Session 2 Panelist: XR Today: Trends, Tech and Transformations

Dr. Katherine Meza is an Associate Technical Fellow with over 10 years of service at The Boeing Company. She has over five years of research experience, two years of teaching experience and over sixteen years of industry experience in multiple industries such as manufacturing, aerospace, and government. Her work has resulted in 4 patents, several accomplishment awards, and over twenty journal publications and presentations at national and international conferences.

She currently provides leadership in the development of advanced visualization, digital human, & Immersive technology, including technology, process and tools. Her current statement of work includes the development, analysis, management and compliance verification of process and product baselines of highly integrated complex products. She is also involved in defining and allocating Configuration and Data Management requirements for product hardware, software and engineering design data systems that span multiple engineering functions throughout the product lifecycle. Additionally, Dr. Meza is also engaged in activities to promote human engineering design processes across the enterprise by being part of the Human Interfaces and Human Engineering Design Practice Tech Board, Co-Lead for the UX Design Practices Sub-Committee, as well as the lead of the Advanced Visualization track for Boeing’s Advanced Visualization, Data Analytics, Modeling & Simulation Symposium (AVDATS).

Dr. Meza earned a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering and Management Systems, with an emphasis in User Centered Design, from the University of Central Florida in 2008. She focuses on the design of products, systems, & tools while taking into consideration requirements associated with user experience, physical design, cognitive design, and industrial design. She has experience in project management, lean principles and six sigma methodology, human factors and ergonomics, process mapping, quality management, survey design and development, lean manufacturing, and operations improvement. Dr. Meza is a lead expert resource for strategic initiatives, development and analytics, design practices, customer service and organizational development. She has experience working with senior management teams, developing strategic plans, and interacting with multi-discipline professionals towards the achievement of project goals.

  In her spare time, Dr. Meza also serves as a SHPE Deputy at Boeing; leading efforts focused on professional development, diversity & inclusion. Among her many accomplishments, she has developed and lead mentoring programs for Boeing interns and new hires. She was the recipient of the 2019 SHPE Puget Sound Professional Role model Award and 2022 Women of Color – Outstanding Achievement - Technology Rising Star Award.



Session 2 Panelist: XR Today: Trends, Tech and Transformations

Randy Nunez has over 20 years of experience investigating emerging technologies. Randy formerly led the Extended Reality Tech Trend team for Ford Motor Company focused on researching XR trends and technologies, performing proofs of concepts for technology prove-out, writing technical briefs, and delivering presentations to various audiences. Randy has been a speaker and an advisory board member for several technical conferences, is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering with a Telecommunications Option.