(We are pronouncing it “tower.”)
Welcome to the new blog of researchers Vi Hart and M Eifler! We are so excited to share what we are working here at Microsoft where our team is embedded in the Office of the CTO under the guidance of Jaron Lanier. This site will be a living research archive where we document our projects as well as process and research philosophy.
Before coming to Microsoft we lead the small research team eleVR, along with Andrea Hawksley and later Evelyn Eastmond. Founded in San Francisco in 2014, eleVR explored VR as a tool for thinking, seeing, and feeling in new ways. The work there focused on using embodied cognition research to develop insight into knowledge usually labeled as intuition, bringing light to human capabilities that have been ignored by technology thus far. Over the years eleVR was sustained through the support of long-term research advocates including Alan Kay, Vishal Sikka, and Sam Altman. Originally embedded within the Communication Design Group at SAP, in 2016 eleVR moved to Y Combinator Research as part of the Human Advancement Research Community. eleVR was eventually disbanded in late 2017 due to a timing error in funding.
But hark! Due to the support of Jaron Lanier and Microsoft, M Eifler and Vi Hart are starting up a new research group with a broad range of interests including AR/VR, AI, education, play, data economics, embodiment interfaces, doing math to things, and speculative and trans-disciplinary research methodologies. While in some ways we are the spiritual successor of eleVR, we are also taking the opportunity to focus our broad research interests by centering ourselves around developing art-based methods for technical research. This site will be part documentation hub, part thinking tool, part way to follow our work.
Consider yourself welcomed and enjoy the view!