Linda Jacobson got into VR when she helped organize the 1990 CyberArts International gathering of artists and technologists who were using virtual reality technologies. She edited a compilation of CyberArts essays from that first gathering, and she also documented the Garage Virtual Reality DIY VR maker movement of the early 90s. In 1995, she became a VR evangelist at Silicon Graphics where she helped to sell VR into enterprise VR applications including engineering, architecture, construction, medicine, military training, automotive, aerospace, heavy equipment manufacturers, and oil and gas companies. The enterprise companies and applications of VR during this time period were pretty secretive and proprietary, but Jacobson was on the front lines traveling around the world seeing a huge range of different virtual worlds and use cases for VR.
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Jacobson has continued to work in VR since the 90s ranging from entertainment to medicine to AEC, and has a lot of in insights about the evolution of VR in the enterprise space. I had a chance to talk with her at the Virtual Reality Strategy Conference in October about her last 20+ years in enterprise VR, her mentor Morton Heilig and his Sensorama, VR as a counter-cultural approach to computing, the CyberArts gathering of artists, DIY Garage Virtual Reality, and the major figures and companies who bootstrapped the commercial VR industry.
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Music: Fatality & Summer Trip