Computer & electronics hardware

Gregg Favalora

Year Honored

Actuality Systems


"Virtual reality (VR) is hot these days, because of its potential in entertainment, learning and research. However, the most advanced systems render three-dimensional reality in two dimensions. Gregg Favalora thinks three dimensions are better. He has been working on ""three-dimensional"" VR since his undergraduate days at Yale, where he developed a prototype exploiting lasers, lenses and mirrors to render images that are truly three-dimensional.

Unlike conventional VR systems, Favalora’s fictions occupy a volume of space: They can be walked around and viewed at almost any angle. He refined his concept as a graduate student at Harvard, then co-founded Actuality Systems and went on to win the 1997 MIT $50K Entrepreneurship Competition. The company is working on larger versions of its 3-D display, with the goal of producing a display that can be connected to a computer for applications ranging from pharmaceutical research to computer-assisted design. ""I think great entrepreneurs must have three values: integrity, intelligence, and initiative,"" says Rob Ryan, founder of Ascend Communications and a mentor to Favalora. ""Gregg possesses all three""