Steve Perlman

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Steve Perlman
Nationality USA[citation needed]
Alma mater Columbia University
Occupation Electronic engineering and software inventor and entrepreneur
Known for QuickTime, WebTV, pCell, OnLive, Mova

Stephen G. "Steve" Perlman, Artemis Networks' founder and CEO [1] , is an entrepreneur and inventor responsible for several innovations in Internet, entertainment, multimedia, consumer electronics and communications technologies and services. He is best known for the development of QuickTime, WebTV, OnLive, pCell and Mova Contour facial capture technologies. In addition to having founded and operated multiple startup companies, Perlman was a Microsoft division president and a principal scientist at Apple Computer.

Perlman’s technology work is built into all iPhones, video iPods, Macs and most PCs, and has been deployed by DirecTV, Dish, Comcast, Time Warner, Charter and Adelphia cable TV and satellite TV networks. Consumer products incorporating Perlman’s work have also been retailed by Sony, Philips, RCA, Panasonic, Mitsubishi, Samsung, Fujitsu, Motorola, Scientific Atlanta, Sega and Nintendo.

Perlman’s recently patented facial motion capture technology, Mova Contour, was used for the production of the Academy Award-winning photoreal computer-generated face of Brad Pitt in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (2008), and of Edward Norton and Tim Roth in “The Incredible Hulk” (2008).

While a prolific entrepreneur, his management style has been called into question multiple times including at WebTV, Moxi and OnLive.[1][2]

Perlman holds over 100 US patents, and has more than 100 additional patents pending. He is a graduate of Columbia University.[3][4]

Working biography[edit]

Perlman built his first computer from a kit during high school in 1976. He designed and built several computers, graphics/video systems, modems, displays, audio systems, interface devices and video games, as well as all kinds of software, both for fun and for clients. Perlman graduated from Columbia University in 1983.

In 1983-1984, Perlman designed a parallel-processing graphics system at Atari. At Coleco, Perlman developed a massively-parallel 3D animation chip and a software-based high-speed modem.

In 1985 Perlman joined Apple Computer on the development team of some Macintosh multimedia technology including Road pizza, the video codec used by the first version of QuickTime 1.[4][5]

In 1990 Perlman left Apple to join General Magic, where he designed its second-generation technology.[4]

In 1994 Perlman co-founded Catapult Entertainment and was its Chief technical officer. Catapult developed the proprietary XBAND modems for the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo Entertainment System video game consoles that enabled online features for multiplayer games.[4][6]

In 1995 Perlman created, co-founded, and was the President & CEO of WebTV Networks, Inc. WebTV was introduced in 1996, and was one of the earliest products to connect the Internet to a television. Less than 2 years after it was founded, WebTV was acquired by Microsoft Corporation for US$425 million,[7] and renamed as MSN TV.[4][8] Microsoft’s acquisition of WebTV also brought with it the teams that created Microsoft’s TV platforms,[4] including the hardware for Microsoft's Xbox 360.[9]

After a few years at Microsoft, Perlman left WebTV Networks in 1999 to found Rearden Steel, now Rearden, a business incubator for new companies in media and entertainment technology.[4]

In 2000 Rearden founded Moxi Digital, Inc., which produced a combination digital video recorder, DVD player, digital music jukebox, and television set-top box. Moxi merged[10] with Microsoft founder Paul Allen's Digeo in 2002.

In 2004 Rearden founded MOVA,[11] which was spun off from Rearden in 2007 as an OnLive subsidiary. MOVA offers motion-capture services in the San Francisco Bay Area, with Perlman as its president.[11] In 2006 Perlman unveiled Mova's Contour, a digital multi-camera system that captures and tracks detailed surface data and textures for post-production manipulation. It was used for 3D volumetric shape capture of Brad Pitt’s face in the film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,[12] which received the 2008 Academy Award for Achievement in Visual Effects[13] for the photorealism achieved in computer-generated reverse-aging of Brad Pitt’s face.

In 2007 Rearden spun-out OnLive, which in 2009 announced the OnLive on-demand video game service and MicroConsole TV adapter, with Perlman as its president and CEO.[14] The company launched the OnLive game service in June, 2010 in the US and September 22, 2011 in the UK and was initially offered on the PC, Macintosh and TV via OnLive's MicroConsole, and then later on the iPad, iPhone and Android Tablets and smartphones.[15][16] By December 2011, OnLive's catalog had grown to over 30 games,[17] with about 3 games supporting touchscreen control.[15] In August 2012, OnLive filed for bankruptcy and was sold to one of its investors and Perlman left the company under allegations that his ego had prevented a successful exit for the company.[2][18][19]

In 2011 Perlman announced that he and colleagues at Rearden had invented Distributed-Input-Distributed-Output (DIDO) technology, an experimental wireless communications system they claim will render cellular connections obsolete.[20][21][22] In early 2014, Perlman launched DIDO commercially as Artemis Networks's pCell, promising much higher speeds than existing 4G mobile networks are capable of. There is evidence that pCell could also transmit power wirelessly.[23]


  1. ^ "Moxi: Jazzy Product, Sizzling Start, Lots of Trouble". BloombergView. Retrieved 2016-03-02. 
  2. ^ a b "OnLive lost: how the paradise of streaming games was undone by one man's ego". The Verge. Retrieved 2016-03-02. 
  3. ^ IEEE Institute article with Perlman biographical data (copy from original Archived June 4, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.)
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Rearden Companies Bio of Steve Perlman
  5. ^ Apple QuickTime Technologies, Innovative Technologies paragraph
  6. ^ Catapult Entertainment to ship XBAND for Nintendo
  7. ^ Microsoft Web TV Press Release
  8. ^ PC Magazine article about Steve Perlman and WebTV
  9. ^ Takahashi, Dean (2006). The Xbox 360 Uncloaked: The Real Story Behind Microsoft's Next-Generation Video Game Console. SpiderWorks/Lulu Press. pp. 60–69. ISBN 0-9777842-1-5. 
  10. ^ Moxi-Digital merger press release
  11. ^ a b MOVA website
  12. ^ 2006 New York Times article on Contour system
  13. ^ Official Academy Awards website
  14. ^ OnLive website
  15. ^ a b VentureBeat's article on OnLive's smartphone and tablet launch
  16. ^ Forbes article covering OnLive's UK launch
  17. ^ "All Games". OnLive. Retrieved 2012-08-14. 
  18. ^ Sean Hollister (August 27, 2012). "OnLive founder Steve Perlman is out: investor Gary Lauder assumes control". The Verge. Retrieved October 2, 2012. 
  19. ^ OnLive sold to new company, OnLive, amid layoffs: the full story. The Verge. Retrieved on 2013-08-23.
  20. ^
  21. ^ Blattberg, Eric (June 30, 2011). "Has OnLive's Steve Perlman Discovered Holy Grail of Wireless?". Wired. 
  22. ^ "DIDO, the Shannon Law, and an antenna for every citizen — PolicyTracker: the spectrum management newsletter". Retrieved October 2, 2012. 
  23. ^ How Steve Perlman's "Revolutionary" Wireless Technology Works - and Why its a Bigger Deal than Anyone Realizes

External links[edit]