Alex Kipman

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Alex Kipman
Born 1979 (age 44–45)[1]
Curitiba, Brazil
Education Rochester Institute of Technology
Occupation Software engineer and inventor
Known for Hololens and Kinect

Alex Kipman (born 1977) is a Brazilian software engineer and hardware inventor, known for his groundbreaking work at Microsoft, including the development of the Kinect motion controller and the Microsoft HoloLens augmented reality headset.[2][3]

Early Life and education

Kipman was born in Curitiba in 1977. Kipman grew up all over the world as his father was a diplomat. Growing up, he developed a passion for software engineering at a young age, influenced by playing with his family's Atari 2600 console.

Kipman pursued a degree in software engineering at the Rochester Institute of Technology, graduating in 2001.


In 2001, Kipman joined Microsoft as a software engineer at the company's headquarters in Redmond, Washington. He quickly established himself as a talented and innovative individual, contributing to the development of Microsoft's integrated development environment (IDE) Visual Studio and the Vista operating system.

Kipman's career took a significant turn when he transitioned into hardware development at Microsoft. Leading a team, he embarked on the creation of the Kinect, a revolutionary 3D camera that integrated with the Xbox gaming system. The Kinect's advanced motion tracking capabilities allowed players to control games using their body movements, making it a revolutionary product, selling over 35 million units..

Kipman played a pivotal role in the development of Microsoft HoloLens, an augmented reality headset that brought holograms to the Windows platform. This innovative device opened up new possibilities in various fields, including engineering, communications, and healthcare.

In May 2022, Kipman left Microsoft to pursue other interests.

Awards and recognition

Kipman's remarkable contributions to the technology industry have earned him numerous awards and accolades.

In 2011, he was named one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World, joining a prestigious list of leaders, artists, innovators, icons, and heroes. In the same year, he was also admitted to Microsoft's Hall of Legends.

In 2012, the Intellectual Property Owners Association honored him with the Inventor of the Year award.[4]

He was also nominated as a finalist for the European Inventor Award in 2018 by the European Patent Office (EPO).

In 2013, Kipman delivered the commencement speech at his alma mater, the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). He shared insights into his career and experiences, inspiring the graduating students to pursue their passions.

Kipman's enthusiasm for mixed reality and its transformative potential led him to give a TED Talk in 2016 titled "A futuristic vision of the age of Holograms." He expressed his passion for mixed reality, describing it as a sense of having "displacement superpowers." In 2017, he further emphasized the significance of mixed reality in an interview with Alice Bonasio.

Throughout his career, Kipman continued to drive innovation in mixed reality technologies. In 2019, he received the American Ingenuity Award from the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., in recognition of his pioneering work in holographic and augmented reality technology.

In 2021, Kipman's contributions to computer vision earned him the prestigious Longuet-Higgins Prize from the Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence (PAMI) Technical Committee at the Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR).


  • Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Award (2009)[5]
  • Producers Guild of America Digital 25: Visionaries, Innovators and Producers list (2010)[6][7]
  • Times Top 25 Nerds of the Year (2010)[8][3]
  • Times 2011 100 People of the Year[9]
  • Fast Company 100 Most Creative People in Business (2011)[10]
  • National Inventor of the Year, Intellectual Property Foundation (2012)[9]
  • Rochester Institute of Technology Innovators Hall of Fame (2013)[11]
  • Smithsonian American Ingenuity Awards (2019)[12]
  • Longuet-Higgins prize by IEEE for fundamental contributions in computer vision (2021)[13]


  1. Ridolfi, Edoardo (May 5, 2015). "Alex Kipman, il papà di Kinect e HoloLens". 
  2. "Alex Kipman". AWE 2020. Retrieved May 29, 2020. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Heyn, Beth (October 3, 2017). "Alex Kipman, Microsoft HoloLens Inventor: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know" (in en-US). 
  4. "Alex A. Kipman | Simone Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship | RIT". 
  5. Terdiman, Daniel. "Popular Mechanics awards highlight innovators" (in en). 
  6. McNary, Dave (2010-09-23). "PGA announces Digital 25" (in en-US). 
  7. "Cameron, Jobs, Katzenberg Make PGA's 2010 Digital 25 List" (in en). 
  8. Kedmey, Dan. "Meet the Inventor Behind Tech's Weirdest New Product". 
  9. 9.0 9.1 "RIT Innovation Hall of Fame". 
  11. "Innovation Hall of Fame | Simone Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship | RIT". 
  12. "Smithsonian American Ingenuity Awards 2019: Alex Kipman". Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved July 11, 2020. 
  13. "PAMITC AWARDS | CVPR 2021". 

External links