Tom Zimmerman is a master inventor at IBM Research – Almaden exploring the frontiers of human-machine interaction and environmental sensing.

Why you should listen

Tom Zimmerman has more than 60 patents on user input devices, wireless communication, image and audio signal processing, biometrics, encryption and microscopy. His Data Glove and PowerGlove inventions helped establish the field of virtual reality. His electric field Personal Area Network invention sends data through the human body, and it can prevent airbags from injuring children in cars. Zimmerman's environmental work includes research on the yaw stability of wind turbines and solar thermal storage at MIT, and building wireless sensors to monitor sea turtles in the US and Costa Rica.

Zimmerman is currently developing AI-powered microscopes to monitor plankton in their natural environment and studying the response of plankton to toxins in his work with the Center For Cellular Construction. He supports the DIY community through articles in Make Magazine and his passion for volunteering in the public schools earned him the California Medal for Service from Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and First Lady Maria Shriver.

Tom Zimmerman’s TED talk