Over 30 years ago Vincent John Vincent embarked on a diverse and dynamic career at the edge of technology and creativity. This career has spanned the realms of being a world renown, leading hi-tech entrepreneur; an inventor and pioneer of video gesture control technology;
a leading multi-media artist and performer; a high tech event producer; and a sought after speaker.
Today he is the President and Co-founder of GestureTek Inc. (www.gesturetek.com), the company that invented, patented, pioneered, and evangelized the power of video gesture control technology with both Standard 2D Cameras, and 3D Depth Cameras, around the world, over the last 25+ years. GestureTek has over 16+ patents, and is the world leader in video gesture control. They have installed, or sold, well over 5,000 systems involving various applications of this technology in public installations, and they have licensed the technology IP out for Home PC's, Laptops and Tablets; Game Consoles; Toys; Mobile Phones, and other Electronic devices. Well over 100 million consumers have purchased the technology that the team at GestureTek created.
It started back in the early 1980's, while at the University of Waterloo, when Vincent John Vincent envisioned a concept for being able to control various computer functions though full body gestures alone, without having to wear, hold or touch anything. He then partner with the Computer Genius of Francis MacDougall, and the mid 1980's co-invent video gesture control with Francis. Since then he has been the pre-eminent force behind driving this technology into a myriad of diverse uses and markets; as well as evangelizing the powerful possibilities of using video cameras as the perfect device for computer-human interface applications.
Vincent was at the U of Waterloo attaining a degree in psychology, while pursuing a career as a Psychotherapist, using the creative arts as a therapeutic tool. As a dancer, musician, juggler and artist himself, Vincent was highly influenced by the burgeoning computer revolution of the early 1980's ( U of Waterloo is a world leader in computer studies ), and sought to use computers to immerse the user in virtual dreamscapes where they could interact within the computer animation worlds surrounding them, to explore their creative expressions. He and Francis decided that by using a video camera they could passively capture people's live real-time video image, and chromo key them out of the real world, and place them in the middle of a real-time fully interactive computer animation virtual world. Eventually the Amiga computer would hit the market in 1986 and Francis would start by writing a basic version of a program for full body video gesture analysis and control, as well as an interactive animation engine, while Vincent would create the computer art assets and program the computer virtual worlds. By 1991 this Immersive Full Body Gesture Control World would emerge, and become known as the Gesture Xtreme Virtual World System, (Gesture Xtreme Virtual World System). At this same time (around 1990) the idea of "Virtual Reality" was just forming in various computer communities, and the GestureXtreme system would become a part of this revolutionary new wave of computer interface and experience.
Vincent is the co-founder and creative force behind GestureTek Inc., which is the company he and Francis MacDougall formed in 1986 to invent, patent and pioneer video gesture control. GestureTek has since been the world leader, for over 25 years, in camera-enabled video gesture control computing devices of all kinds. Vincent has been instrumental in running the company, finding new markets, and the creation of applications for the technology. Though Vincent and Francis started as leading edge interactive computer artists they would become entrepreneurs, whose products would be purchased around the world.
The Gesture Xtreme system would be sold into hundreds of public installations on the Amiga platform, and eventually thousands of installations when it finally was port to the PC platform in 1993. These public installations varied in application and market. For Museums and Science Centers they were exploratory worlds for fun, creativity and educational learning. For Location Based Entertainment Centers they were arcade units with immersive video games that challenged your speed, agility and flexibility while your real image was the character on the screen in the game. At FIFA events you became the Net minder stopping virtual soccer balls. At the Hockey Hall of Fame you were in the goal stopping virtual pucks from virtual NHL all stars. At the Basketball hall of Fame you went one on one, up and down the court, with a virtual Bill Walton, Jason Kidd, or a choice of other stars. For Television Production around the globe the Gesture Xtreme system became the World's First "Interactive Virtual Set", allowing real time production of TV shows where actors interacted with the animation worlds they were immersed in. Vincent and Francis also mounted the World's First "Interactive Immersive Virtual Video Conferencing" session, letting participants in different parts of the world step into the same virtual world, see each other's live, real-time video image, talk, and interact together, with the same animation together.
Because of the flexibility of a camera interface to focus on the whole or different parts of the body Vincent and Francis also pioneered the GestureXtreme system as a "World First in Education" to be used for applications for "Immersive Experiential Learning" for the World of Disabilities, as well as a video games for "Immersive Virtual Rehabilitation and Fitness". Over 30 studies have been conducted with a variety of injuries and ailments, and all have shown a minimum of 2 to 3 times increase in both the length for which users are willing to do their rehabilitative exercises, as well as their willingness to engage in the rehabilitative practice, and thus a 2 to 3 times increase in recovery time. This system would eventually evolve into GestureTek's revolutionary system for Immersive Virtual Reality Rehabilitation, the IREX (Interactive Rehabilitative EXercise) System, (IREX) which is currently being used in over 500 locations around the world.
Vincent also used the technology for its originally conceived intention, as the "World's First Virtual Reality Performer", and performed extensively around the globe at special events; performing over 250 times from 1986 onward. As he had originally envisioned he was able to step up on stage flanked with projection screens that the audience watched, as he lead them on an audio visual journey through interactive virtual worlds, and dreamscapes, as he danced and manipulated the animation with his body, sometimes juggling, sometimes mime acting, but always in control of being able to navigate the virtual worlds with his full body gestures. He became a master of the virtual instruments he created, learning to play virtual drum kits, virtual keyboard scales, virtual harps, and an array of other virtual soundscape designs he played through is dance. Joining up with bands of live musicians Vincent has performed around the world for huge audiences for over 15 years.
The GestureXtreme technology and patents have been licensed to 3rd parties and consumer products many times; to Sony for the EyeToy and Move systems; and to Microsoft for XBOX camera immersion like the Kinect system; to Hasbro for the ION Educational Gaming Console, where children ages 3-8 stepped into interactive worlds with their favourite TV characters (Sponge Bob Square Pants, Blues Clues, CrazyTown ,etc) to learn their letters, words, numbers, patterns, etc.
In 2000, after taking their first investors (an Angel Investor Group including David Bowie and RZO, music business managers for leading Rock Groups and Acts ) Francis and Vincent would create technology to fulfill the need they foresaw for accurate control of computer screens from a distance. Their growing company would invent GestPoint, (GestPoint) the "World's First Point and Control Off Screen Video Gesture Control" technology , with two 2D cameras or a single 3D depth camera. This technology would let the user point either on the surface of a display, or from any distance and control the on screen content of any display. This technology would be the inspiration for, and popularized in, the movie Minority Report a few years later.
Seeing that interaction with projections on any surface could be a powerful technology, in 1998 they had turned the GestureXtreme system on its head to invent the "World's First Interactive Projected Surfaces". The GestureFX, (GestureFX) system turned any surface (floors, walls, tables, counters, windows) into interactive displays that could be controlled by multiple people at the same time through gestures with any part of the body. Thousands of systems have been installed as entertainment and digital signage around the world, including the CUBE, (CUBE) the "World's First Turnkey Plug and Play Interactive Projection" system in a box. These early systems that allowed multiple users to touch and control with multiple parts of their bodies became the pioneering work for the multi touch tables and multi touch vertical panels, which GestureTek sells around the world today. This technology would also lead into GestureTek's innovations in Multi-Touch Tables and Displays. The Illuminate Multi-Touch technology, (Illuminate) was "One of the First Multi-Touch Technologies" and it is still the Industry leading technology because of its flexibility. GestureTek has sold both standard MT tables and Free Standing MT Displays, but they have also created countless custom large Multi-Touch tables and walls up to 80 feet long.
Vincent has guided GestureTek's Enterprise products into a "Huge Array of Markets" that include, museums/science centers, fairs and world expos, location based entertainment facilities ( arcades, theme parks, family entertainment centers, aquariums, zoos, halls of fame, stadiums, arenas, etc ), fitness centers, educational institutions at all levels, hospitality ( hotels, restaurants, fast food franchises, night clubs and bars, etc. ), retain locations, kiosks, all forms of digital signage, advertizing campaigns, tradeshows and special events, boardrooms, foyers ( of corporations, hospitals, etc. ), television/film production, clean room, rehabilitation, disabilities, etc.
Among other consumer products that Vincent and Francis's company has been the "First in the World" to invent is the use of video cameras for "Gesture Control of Mobile Phones". Creating and surpassing the same capabilities as an accelerometer GestureTek's EyeMobile (EyeMobile) engine is a software add on for phones that tacks how it is moved in space and gives the user virtual joystick control like a Wii remote. MoMo, (MoMo) is an immersive engine to put the user's live real-time image into interactive worlds on mobile and stationary devices with front facing cameras. There are over 60 million mobile devices around the world and over 300 applications that use these technologies from GestureTek.
Maestro 3D, (Maestro 3D) is today's leading edge innovation that Francis and Vincent and the team at GestureTek are working on. It involves gesture control for the "3D Depth Camera Technology" they were the "First in the World" to invented, patented, and have pioneered since 2000. Multiple Trackers for hand and full body gesture control have been launched and libraries of gesture control continue to grow. Applications have been created and licensed for: Game Consoles; Digital Signage; PC Monitors; Home TV Remote Control; Intelligent House Control; Stage Presentations; Hands Free Roller Coaster Interaction: Surgery and Rehabilitation and Fitness; In Car Heads up display and Dash Gesture Control, just to name a few . Recently for a rollercoaster pre-show for Universal Studios in Japan, an array of 16 X 3D depth cameras in a row were linked together to track a crowd of 40 people in front of a 70 foot long screen. The systems knows where each person is in the room and sends them a personal animated character out to play with them and tracks the users individual unique gestures as they play with their characters. Vincent recent gave the "World's First Live Stage Presentation Talk Control by 3D Gesture Technology" at TEDx Waterloo, (TedX Waterloo).
Vincent and Francis have been honoured with many, many awards over the years; From Popular Science's Top 100 Technologies of the Year, back in the late 1980's; to multiple USA based Invention Convention Awards; to the Most Prestigious Mobile Technology Award at MWC in Barcelona, for Leading Technology of the Year. GestureTek has won many, many more awards around the world. Vincent, who holds a BA Degree in Psychology, from the University of Waterloo, was honoured in 2003 with a Lifetime Achievement Award from The Canadian New Media Awards. He was honoured in Milan with the Multi-Media Guru Award.
As Co-Founder, and President, Vincent is a driving force behind GestureTek. On the lecture circuit, as a keynote speaker at numerous multimedia, educational and TV/telecom conferences, Vincent speaks about the future directions of these emerging technologies. Vincent is a sought after Speaker. Recently he was invited to speak at, the Milan Media Guru Speaker Series 2009, Canadian Marketing Association Conference 2010, IAB Canada MIXX 2010, Digital Signage Expo 2009-2010-2011, Display Search Conference 2010, Interactive Display Conference 2011, and the TEDx Waterloo Event 2011.
He has also played a role in promoting the multimedia industry as co-creator, co-producer, and co-executive director of the IDMA (International Digital Media Awards). His community work includes staging solar powered technology events and acting as co-executive producer for the city of Toronto's 25th anniversary Earth Day Concert and Celebration. Vincent has also served as an Advisor on numerous Boards including The Art Institute of Toronto (2004) and The Design Exchange VR Centre & Content Creators Group (1999), Mobile Innovation Experience Center, (2009 onward), Sheridan University Multi-media PAC. He has also produced many hi-tech events and shows highlighting VR Technology, including both the Virtual Visionary Speaker & Performance Series (1993) and the International Digital Media Awards (1993, 1994, 1995, 1996).
ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND AWARDS
1992: Vivid chosen for an installation in the Canadian Pavillion at the Seville, Spain World Expo
1993: Vivid chosen for an installation in the Canadian Pavillion and the Korean Government Pavillion at the Soeul South Korea World Expo
1994: Vincent co-creates and co-executive produces the International Digital Media awards.
1995: Vivid creates the world's first immersive VGC VR rehabilitation applications
1999: Vivid creates the world's first VR stereo camera for 3D analysis of VGC.
2002: Vincent is nominated as one of the finalist for the 'Life Time Achievement Award' at the Canadian New Media Awards.
2003: Vincent receives the 'Life Time Achievement Award' at the Canadian New Media Awards.
2011: Vincent Speaks at TedxWaterloo
2011: Vincent Speaks at TBA
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