Johnny Lee (computer scientist)

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Johnny Chung Lee (born 1979 or 1980)[1] is a human-computer interaction researcher currently working at Google[2] on the Project Tango platform.[3] Lee is best known for his work on Kinect development, extending the functionality of the Wii Remote controller of the Wii video game console, most notably by taking advantage of its high resolution IR camera. Lee's other projects include an interactive whiteboard, 3D head tracking, finger tracking, and a DIY telepresence robot.[4]

Lee completed his Ph.D. at Carnegie Mellon University's Human-Computer Interaction Institute, and was named one of the world's top 35 innovators under 35 (TR35) in 2008.[1] He previously earned a B.S. degree in computer engineering at the University of Virginia in 2001.[5]

YouTube videos created for Lee's projects have received over 10 million views, with the Wii Remote head tracking project being the most highly rated video on YouTube of all time for more than a week in January 2008. He also demonstrated several of these applications at events such as TED, and has been featured on popular websites such as Slashdot, Gizmodo, hackedgadgets, Popular Science, Wired Blogs and Engadget several times. Various magazine, newspapers and television programs have featured interviews with Lee as well. Lee has also made invited appearances at events such as Maker Faire.

Electronic Arts had initially stated that Lee's Wii Remote head tracking technology would appear as an Easter egg in the game Boom Blox,[6] but later announced that the feature had been removed.[7]

While Lee was a core member of Microsoft's Kinect development team, he approached Adafruit with the idea of a driver development contest and personally financed it.[8]


  1. ^ a b Houser, Mark (August 21, 2008). "CMU grad wins praise for Wii inventions". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Lee, 28 
  2. ^ Lee, Johnny (January 18, 2011). "Hi, Google. My name is Johnny.". Retrieved 2011-01-18. 
  3. ^ Official Project Tango website, retrieved 2015-11-24 
  4. ^ Lee, Johnny (February 9, 2011). "Low-Cost Video Chat Robot". Retrieved 2011-02-11. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ Miller, Ross (February 21, 2008). "GDC08: Boom Blox to include head tracking". Engadget. Retrieved 2008-07-31. 
  7. ^ Stern, Zack (April 15, 2008). "Head-tracking feature pulled from Boom Blox". Joystiq. Retrieved 2008-05-14. 
  8. ^ Terdiman, Daniel (February 21, 2011). "Kinect developer claims credit for hack bounty idea". Retrieved 2011-02-23. 

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