Google Research

Johnny Chung Lee


I joined Google in 2011, and I am currently an Engineering Director leading a robotics effort in Google's machine learning division. My areas of interest include machine learning, computer vision, sensors, robotics, and human-computer interaction. In my career, I've had the opportunity to work on the following projects:
  • Founded and lead Google Tango in 2013, a mobile computer vision effort to bring 6-DOF tracking and 3D sensing to mobile phones. This included the development and launch of multiple mobile phones incorporating 3D sensing and tracking. The technology from Tango has become ARCore for Android enabling mobile AR applications, and the Visual Positioning Service for Google Maps.
  • Lead the software team that developed 6-DOF tracking for Daydream VR headsets.
  • Oversaw some hardware R&D efforts for VR/AR technologies, including novel tracking technologies, headset prototypes, optical technologies, and sensing algorithms.
  • As a part of Google X, I made early contributions to Google Glass, Loon, and other non-public projects.
  • Prior to Google, I developed human tracking algorithms for the Xbox 360 Kinect at Microsoft.
  • Personal projects have included low-cost interactive whiteboards and desktop VR displays using the Nintendo Wii remote, which have received over 15 million views, performed as a TED talk in 2008, and recognized by MIT Technology Review's TR35.
I enjoy developing hardware and software systems that enhance human-interaction with computing systems. I received a Ph.D. in Human-Computer Interaction from Carnegie Mellon University with Scott Hudson in 2008. I received a B.S. in Computer Engineering from the University of Virginia in 2001 where I worked on manipulating perceptual psychology with VR with Dennis Proffit.

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