Each hour we are featuring a woman we admire who is currently doing amazing work right in the tech/maker/art/science space. Woman of the hour, Mary Lou Jepsen.
Mary Lou Jepsen was the founding chief technology officer of One Laptop per Child (OLPC), an organization whose mission is to deliver low-cost, mesh-networked laptops en masse to children in developing countries. She has created some of the largest ambient displays ever. In Cologne, Germany she built a holographic replica of pre-existing buildings in the city’s historic district…and created a holographic display encompassing a city block. She also conceived, built mathematical models of, resolved the fundamental engineering issues, and solved some of the logistics – to create what would have been the largest display ever for mankind: images displayed on the darkened moon. She co-created the first holographic video system in the world at the MIT Media Lab in 1989, where the interference structure of the hologram was computed at video rates, and shown on her hand-made display. This system inspired a new subfield of holographic video and received numerous awards… After 3 years with OLPC, In early 2008 she left OLPC to start a for-profit company, Pixel Qi, to commercialize some of the technologies she invented at OLPC.
I’m often asked how Pixel Qi is doing and when our products will be widely available. I’d like to report that over 3 million people are already using my screens, and we are now ramping into even higher volumes. Already, our screens are used by soldiers jumping out of airplanes, children in the developing world on their OLPC laptops, in a variety of tablet and netbooks, and in many applications that find desirable a combination of low power, outdoor usability and low perceived eye strain.