Top 15 XR Master Minds - Create Alongside Innovation Drivers

XR Bootcamp
March 18, 2024

In an industry where the limelight often falls on influencers and public figures, the real minds driving VR/AR/MR/XR development forward can go unnoticed. They're the brains refining our tech to be more immersive, enjoyable, and user-friendly. And their drive? They're not just doing it for personal success. They're committed to achieving a grander, more collaborative XR ecosystem. That's why we shift public focus to recognize these professionals, celebrating the 'By Developers, For Developers' visionaries shaping our spatial worlds.

Our criteria for chosing the below individuals:

  • has a track record of cutting-edge technical applications
  • is a role model for other creators, pushing the boundaries of current tools
  • experiments constantly on XR development and design

If you’re working in the VR (Virtual Reality)/AR (Augmented Reality) industry, you should not miss the chance to follow these individuals on their respective channels!

The content they share is truly avant-garde. But see for yourself why we selected the following 15 individuals as outstanding members of the XR community. However, sometimes it's difficult to find information on 'behind-the-scenes' personalities, that's why descriptions vary in length, please reach out if you'd like to add or edit information!

15 XR Master Minds

1 - Daniel Beauchamp

Daniel is the Head of AR/VR Shopify and became famous for his mindblowing experiments with hand-tracking. Under his leadership, Shopify developed its first VR app, Thread Studio, combining VR and e-commerce. Beauchamp is also a creative genius fond of developing crazy VR game concepts most famous of which is the Miniature Beat Saber. given his track record and the rapidly evolving nature of the XR industry, it’s safe to assume that he will continue to innovate and push the boundaries of what’s possible in this exciting field.

Famous projects:

Miniature Beat Saber, Shopify Party, Hyper Island Creative Data Lab

Follow Daniel here: 




E-Commerce in VR and AR

XR VR AR MR Miniature Beat Saber

2 - Daniel Marqusee

Daniel is a dedicated VR developer whose passion for XR shines through in his work. With a channel focused on teaching and exploring XR UX design and philosophy, he has become a valuable resource for those interested in this cutting-edge field. On his channel, viewers can anticipate a wealth of knowledge, including informative tutorials, in-depth explorations of UX design, and thought-provoking discussions on design philosophy. He is one of the guest lecturers of the XR Design Fellowship program at XR Bootcamp.

Why did we select him ?

He is known for his design resource library. He has also inspired XR designers with his UX breakdown of famous games and apps. He created one of the most helpful XR design collaboration tools for rapid prototyping called Bezel. 

Follow Daniel here: 





XR VR AR MR Daniel Marqueese XR Tutorial

3 - John Carmack

John Carmack is known for his work and time as CTO at Oculus. He left VR in 2022 and founded Keen Technologies, an artificial general intelligence (AGI) company.

Why did we select him? 

John is widely regarded as one of the greatest programmers in the gaming community. His technical expertise and innovation have left a lasting legacy in the world of video games.  It's worth checking his “Unscripted” talks at Meta Connect.

Famous games:

Doom, Quake, Rage, Wolfenstein 3D

Follow and connect with John:




Superpowers: Game Programming, Game Engines, VR, Hardware, AGI

4 - Enrique Tromp

Enrique Tromp, co-founder and CTO of VRMADA. His specialty is in complex simulation-based training and virtual reality interaction.  He has directed the development of multiple virtual reality training applications for Fortune 100 companies and governments, establishing VRMADA as a leader in this space. He has also developed UltimateXR, a professional-grade Virtual Reality framework and toolkit that simplifies the creation of virtual reality applications - free and open source, focusing on simulation and enterprise XR use cases.

Follow Enrique here: 



Superpowers: Simulation-based training, Real-time interactive games

XR VR AR MR UltimateXR by Enrique Tromp

5 - Fabian Quosdorf

Fabian Quosdorf is an XR/MR/VR enthusiast with a passion for interaction concepts and "real-world" applications. With expertise in HoloLens2, Unity, and Unreal Engine 4, he became CTO of Island Labs, an MR studio for interior design and industrial applications. In 2021, he founded his own studio, whose productions were nominated for the famous Auggie Awards. He’s also teaching MR Master Classes at XR Bootcamp.

His client list:

Porsche, Qualcomm

Why we selected Fabian?

Fabian is creating truly innovative MR experiences! Especially, we’re impressed by his recent creation of the world’s first cross-platform multi-user experience using shared anchors.

Superpowers: MR Development, Microsoft HoloLens2, Volumetric Video and Augmented Reality

Follow and connect with Fabian:




6 - Freya Holmér

Freya Holmér is a video game developer, known for her shader and graphics libraries, Shader Forge, and Shapes, as well as her software development of the game Budget Cuts. Shader Forge is a shader library developed by Holmér which became the industry standard for shader editing. Holmér's other major contribution to the gaming industry is Shapes, a real-time vector graphics library built to aid in development of Unity-based games.Holmér co-founded an indie game startup called Neat Corporation, the company behind the Budget Cuts VR games. She is credited 21 times across 18 video games spanning from 2007 to 2022.

Follow Freya here: 


YouTube Channel:



Superpowers: Writing shaders and plug-ins for Unity, 3D Modelling and Indie VR Game Development

XR VR AR MR Budget Cuts by Freya Holmér

7 - Greg Madison

Greg Madison, the XR magician, serves as an IXD/UX designer at Unity Labs, where he's made a name for himself by developing interactive VR environments using the Meta Quest. He holds several patents in the digital reality space and is deeply involved in research to push the boundaries of AR and VR technologies. Beyond his design skills, Greg is currently engaged in innovative productivity and gaming experiments, demonstrating advanced shader techniques.

Famous projects:

Carte Blanche with Unity, Samsung GearVR , Oculus Rift, Google Glass

Follow Greg here: 



Superpowers: Spatial Computing, Latent Spaces, XR Interaction Design, Stable Diffusion

XR VR AR MR Greg’s Carte Blanche with Unity

8 - Javier Davalos

Javier Davalos is a seasoned XR and RIFT developer, best known as the founder and visionary behind Overlay, the company responsible for Figmin XR—a cutting-edge AR platform specializing in hologram creation. A sought-after voice in the XR community, Javier took the stage at AWE USA 2022, a premier industry event. An active Twitter presence, he regularly disseminates insights and updates on his groundbreaking work. His contributions have significantly advanced AR hand physics, multimedia integrations, and multiplayer functionalities. He's also the mastermind behind the innovative floating virtual gamepads.

Follow Javier here: 



Overlay Website:

Superpowers: Hand tracking and interactions, Advanced physics modelling, Gravitational fields and colliders in Unity

XR VR AR MR Overlay project by Javier Davalos

9 - Jasmine Roberts

Jasmine Roberts is a software engineer and researcher. Notably, she played a key role in developing Google ARCore's Depth API with Google Research and is a contributor to the "Speaking the World into Existence" project led by Jaron Lanier. This project stands as one of the first to seamlessly integrate generative AI into game engines. Roberts has also contributed to the development of eye-tracking UX paradigms for the PlayStation VR 2 and contributes to open-source repositories. Jasmine also is one of the original organizers of the MIT Reality Hackathon.


Microsoft, Google, Unity, Sony PlayStation, NASA 

Follow Jasmine here: 






Augmented Reality Application Development, 3D UI Engineering, Game mechanics, Game Engine Integration

Jasmine Roberts Top XR 15

10- Jeri Ellsworth

Jeri Ellsworth is a key figure in AR gaming hardware. She initially founded the first consumer-focused AR platform and developed the castAR development system. Now, she's behind Tilt Five, a set of AR glasses designed for tabletop gaming and more. She also supports developers through a specialized program aimed at bringing new games and apps into the XR space.

In addition to her work in AR, Jeri is a self-described nerd with a YouTube channel where she tackles projects ranging from software-defined radios to race car prototyping.

Famous projects:

Cast AR, Tilt Five, Astra

Follow Jeri here: 



Personal Website:

Superpowers: AR Hardware and Eyewear, Holographics development

XR VR AR MR Jeri Ellsworth

11 - Keiichi Matsuda

Matsuda is a London-based designer known for combining filmmaking and interaction design. His projects include “Hyper-Reality”, a film that presents a vision of the future where physical and virtual realities have merged. He has created experimental projects that explore the possibilities of spatial computing and mixed reality. From using VR to explore nature and technology to present a provocative and kaleidoscopic new vision of the future, Matsuda has a lot of ongoing research-by-design projects.

Why did we select him?

Matsuda stands out with his mixed reality filmmaking skills. He is also the creator of Wol, a popular mixed-reality experience. 

Famous film projects/ works:

Domestic Robocop, Augmented City 3D,  Google Daydream team, 2017 Venice Biennale

Follow Keiichi here: 


Personal Website:

Superpowers: Design systems, vision films, interaction prototyping and content development

XR VR AR MR Keiichi’s Augmented 3D City and Domestic Robocop

12 - Mark Schramm

Mark is a VR leader, with a career spanning over 7 years of immersive VR and Natural User Interface development expertise. He is based out of Canberra, Australia. Mark serves as a VR developer at the esteemed SUPERHOT Team, a renowned Polish game and VR studio celebrated for its blockbuster titles such as SUPERHOT, SUPERHOT Mind Control Delete, and SUPERHOT VR. He is also an independent game developer known for his critically acclaimed titles from Gravity Lab to Nighttime Terror.




XR VR AR MR Mark Schramm VR Projects

13 - Paul Hoover

Paul Hoover is Head of Design at ShapesXR, a platform that allows users to create, share, and experience XR content. He has worked for clients such as Meta Reality Labs, Magic Leap, Samsung, Microsoft, Intel, Oculus, and many more. He also owns several patents in the MR space. Paul is also one of the main lecturers at the XR Design Fellowship at XR Bootcamp, sharing his knowledge and experience with XR Designers across the globe.

Follow Paul here: 



Paul’s Website:

Superpowers: XR Design, Stereoscopy,  Room scale and Immersive Interaction

14 - Thomas Van Bouwel

XR VR AR MR Laser Dance by Thomas Van Bouwel

After working as Lead Product Engineer for Resolve, Thomas breakthrough came with his first commercial game, Cubism, a spatial puzzle game with a slick minimal presentation that impressively holds the highest user rating among all Quest apps. It is an excellent showcase of hand-tracking capabilities on Meta Quest. His latest game Laser Dance (turn your own living room into a laser obstacle course) is also going to be released on Meta Quest. The game has gained attention for its innovative and fun gameplay.

Famous projects:

Cubism, Laser Dance

Follow Thomas here: 



Superpowers: Simplistic Game Design, Procedural Generation, Passthrough.

15 - Takashi Yoshinaga

Currently working as a senior research engineer at Steampunk Digital and a researcher at ISIT (Institute of Systems, Information, Technologies, and Nanotechnologies), Takashi Yoshinaga has more than 10 years of experience in the development of AR systems. His main skills are in the rapid prototyping of AR systems, emphasizing 3D-based visualization technologies, along with the use of motion controllers like Kinect, Leap Motion, and IMU, as well as real-time communication. Takashi Yoshinaga's practical experience is reinforced by his research in developing support systems for ultrasonography diagnostics and rehabilitation using AR/VR and motion capture technology, as well as in the use of volumetric video for remote communication. This expertise is further underscored by his ongoing individual prototyping efforts. Best of all, he shares all his knowledge through his YouTube channel under his name and has been organizing study meetings on AR content creation, AR_Fukuoka, for over 10 years.

Why did we select him?

He is an all day long MR prototyper, relentlessly trying and iterating and never hesitating to share with the community.

Famous Clients and Projects:

Looking Glass Go, HoloTuberKit, Holographic Remote Communication, Augmented Reality Echography with Real-time Markerless Probe Tracking

Follow Takahashi here: 




Superpowers: AR Echography, Rapid Prototyping of AR system, Kinect, HoloLens, XREAL, ARCore, ARKit

XR AR VR MR Takashi Yoshinaga

These 15 XR Master Minds are the unsung heroes driving innovation and collaboration in the Extended Reality (XR) industry.

From Daniel Beauchamp's groundbreaking hand-tracking experiments to Freya Holmér's graphics libraries and Fabian Quosdorf's pioneering MR experiences, these professionals are inventors, educators, and creators committed to advancing XR for the greater community's benefit.

Their visionary work is shaping the immersive future of XR, and following them on their respective channels is a unique opportunity to witness their groundbreaking contributions firsthand. As the XR journey continues, these individuals will undoubtedly lead the way, inspiring others and fostering a more collaborative and immersive XR world.

And yet there are still more to come! Based on our community feedback, we would like to mention further these amazing XR industry contributors.

Moritz Loos, Co-founder at 2Sync



More XR heroes? Check our award list of Top 17 XR Enablers!

Let us know if we forgot anyone who needs to be listed. Reach out to us here

This blog article was co-funded by the European Union’s Single Market Programme.

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