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Now Available: Innovators Under 35 2013 See The 2013 List »

Johnny Lee, 28

Streamlining human-computer interactions

Microsoft

When the Nintendo Wii came out, most people saw a fun new way to play video games. Johnny Lee saw a surprisingly good infrared camera that could make innovative computer interfaces affordable. At the 2008 Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) conference, he drew spontaneous applause when he demonstrated two devices he'd hacked together, which used the $40 Wii remote and some inexpensive hardware to simulate systems that can cost thousands. The audience may not have realized that Lee had spent no more than "a few days" on each. "I have some knack," he says, "for being able to identify easy projects that have a relatively big impact"--like those at right. Having completed his PhD at Carnegie Mellon, Lee is honing that knack as a researcher in Microsoft's hardware division. Read why Lee thinks researchers should focus on bringing technologies to all. --Larry Hardesty

2008 TR35 Winners

Blaise Agüera y Arcas

Building immersive 3-D environments

Dries Buytaert (video)

Simple, flexible Web publishing

Jenova Chen (video)

Gaming with the flow

Tanzeem Choudhury (video)

Inferring social networks automatically

Jack Dorsey (video)

Personal updates made simple

Stefanus Du Toit (video)

Programming for parallel processors

Seth Hallem

Deconstructing software to find bugs

Xian-Sheng Hua

Enhancing video search

Sundar Iyer

Making memory at Internet speed

Farinaz Koushanfar

Locking microchips to prevent piracy

Johnny Lee (video)

Streamlining human-computer interactions

Meredith Ringel Morris (video)

Searching websites jointly

Andrew Ng

Building household robots

Adam Smith (video)

Making sense of e-mail madness

JB Straubel (video)

Engineering electric sports cars

Eric Wilhelm (video)

Putting DIY projects online

Robert Wood (video)

Building robotic flies

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