VR/AR Pioneer Nonny De La Peña Named WSJ Technology Innovator Of The Year

CEO & Founder of Emblematic Group, Peña is the second woman in history to receive the prestigious award.

From winning the Distinguished Leadership Award from the Advanced Imaging Society, being named a New America Fellow and Yale Poynter Fellow, and joining the extraordinary list of CNET’s influential Latinos in technology, VR and AR Pioneer Nonny de la Peña is no stranger to recognition for her groundbreaking work in immersive technology. Now, she can add Wall Street Journal Technology Innovator of the Year to her long list of accolades.  

Only the second woman in history to receive the award from Wall Street Journal Magazine, de la Peña joined Jonah Hill, Agnes Gund, Ruth E. Carter, and others for the 8th annual innovator awards ceremony at The Museum of Modern Art in New York City. In a full-circle moment, de la Peña was presented her award by visual artist Lena Herzog, whose very first VR piece was created with de la Peña’s Emblematic Group.

“As a pioneer and impassioned believer in the power of VR, AR and mixed reality, I’m thrilled to be recognized as the Tech Innovator of the year,” said de la Peña. “I humbly accept the award on behalf of women in tech and the leaders in VR/AR whose unwavering dedication towards positively impacting the creative ways we experience and see the world continue to inspire me.”

Since founding Emblematic Group in 2007, de la Peña has solidified the company’s reputation for pushing the boundaries of XR as a medium through award winning collaborations with major companies like AT&T and The New York Times and through original content like VR documentary Hunger in Los Angeles that premiered to critical acclaim at Sundance in 2012.

Though the WSJ award is a culmination of years of hard work and successes by de la Peña, she is just getting started. Her Emblematic group group is currently in the process of finalizing REACH, the first ever user friendly web platform for the creation and sharing of volumetric VR through smartphones, laptops, and traditional high-end VR headsets, making VR creation and production accessible to the masses.

“I’ve always believed people can get more from media by experiencing it in diverse and immersive ways,” said de la Peña. “REACH will embody that vision and be the most powerful form of interaction with volumetric VR anyone has ever seen. We’re looking forward to sharing it with the world and exposing this type of experience without the walled garden of dedicated apps, downloads, or portals.”

Image Credit: The Wall Street Journal / TED

About the Scout

Presley West

Emory University student, VRScout Writer, Storyteller, and Amateur Dog Walker.

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