Artifact Details


From screen queen to imaging innovator: Openwater CEO Mary Lou Jepsen in conversation with Museum CEO John Hollar

Catalog Number



Moving image




Hollar, John C., Interviewer
Jespen, Mary Lou, Interviewee


Computer History Museum

Place of Publication

Mountain View




Mary Lou Jepsen has lead Facebook’s virtual reality efforts, advised Google’s Sergey Brin and invented $100 laptops. Now she is turning her consumer electronics experience to the task of curing disease.

After decades of working in display divisions at some of Silicon Valley’s biggest companies, her goal is to shrink today’s massive MRI machines into wearable devices that continuously scan the body. Jepsen’s new company, Openwater, is developing technology that uses the way the body scatters infrared light to develop high resolution images equal to those produced by an MRI. This is enabled by novel LCDs with pixels small enough to create holographic images, coupled with the use of body-temperature detectors and complex software. These LCDs are small and light enough that they could line a beanie or a bandage. The implications of a wearable body imaging system are significant for detecting and treating cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and even mental illnesses.

Mary Lou Jepsen discusses her Silicon Valley history, her company on the cutting edge of tech and medicine, and her vision for the future of body imaging and healthcare. Until mid-2016 she led advanced consumer electronics and virtual reality at Facebook and Oculus. Previously she had a similar role at Google and Google [x], where she was also a close advisor to Sergey Brin. She co-founded One Laptop per Child (OLPC) with Nicholas Negroponte, and was the lead inventor and architect of the $100 laptop. She holds a PhD in optical physics and an ScB in electrical engineering both from Brown University as well as an ScM in computational holography from the MIT Media Lab. She is an inventor on over 100 published or issued patents.




Computer History Museum

Lot Number