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John Underkoffler

sci. & tech. advisor, motion picture industry

John Underkoffler was born in Pennsylvania on June 30, 1967. He received his B.S. in media arts and sciences in 1988, followed by an M.S. in 1991 and a PhD in 1999 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). While completing his doctoral work at MIT, Underkoffler invented the I/O bulb, which lead to the development of the Luminous Room. Underkoffler saw the I/O bulb as a multi-purpose invention that would allow any architectural space to be used as a surface to display visual information. Underkoffler is best known for his invention of the gestural interface system called G-Speak, also developed during his doctoral studies. This is an interactive system were data is lifted off from the computer screen and transferred into real space. A similar interface system was developed for the film *Minority Report*, starring Tom Cruise, on which Underkoffler served as a technical advisor and the system, was used by Cruise in the film. G-Speak soon began to draw interest from such groups as Raytheon, who specializes in the use of technology in homeland security and defense for communication and intelligence systems. His work on Minority Report has lead to his involvement films like *The Hulk*, *Aeon Flux*, *The Island *and *Click*. In addition to his company G-Speak, LLC, Underkoffler also founded Imatex in 1990, co-founded Matter Group in 1999, and founded Treadle & Loam in 2000. Underkoffler has also published several articles on his work and participates in speaking engagements throughout the United States. His work can be seen in the permanent collection of the New York Science Museum and at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry.