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Dr. Helen Papagiannis

Augmented Reality doesn’t replace or supplant the physical world; it enhances and is in sync with it.

Augmented Reality Speaker and Author of Augmented Human

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Dr. Helen Papagiannis | Augmented Reality Speaker and Author of Augmented Human
Lavin Exclusive Speaker

The power of Augmented Reality resides in its capacity to amplify human possibility: creative expression, knowledge, and connection, says Dr. Helen Papagiannis, a world-leading expert in the field. With AR rapidly advancing, we must ask: how can we design experiences to enhance and enrich a user’s life and extend our humanity in unprecedented ways? Author of Augmented Human, Papagiannis’ talks explore what AR does best, highlighting ways that emerging technologies can serve to expand human intelligence.

Dr. Helen Papagiannis has been working with AR for a decade as a researcher, designer, and technology evangelist. In her cutting-edge talks, Papagiannis takes audiences through the present and future realities that AR both invents and manifests. AR is not a replacement for our current, tangible reality. Rather, Papagiannis shows all the ways that AR makers are using the technology to amplify human intelligence, focus our engagement with real spaces, and, paired with Artificial Intelligence, improve our health. Papagiannis was named among the NEXT 100 Top Influencers of the Digital Media Industry. She is the former Chief Innovation Officer at Infinity Augmented Reality Inc. and Senior Research Associate at York University’s Augmented Reality Lab.


In her fun and visually stunning presentations, Papagiannis shows audiences the fantastical future of AR, framing it within the needs of a diverse range of industries and objectives. She colorfully discusses how AR can affect retail—like Sephora’s “magic” mirror that allows customers to try on make-up virtually—or our understanding of history, as with an AR-enhanced archaeological project called “Dead Man’s Nose,” which causes visitors of historic sites to smell GPS-triggered aromas that relate to their location. AR is changing the way we translate language, travel to foreign countries, and even how we teach and learn in the classroom. Papagiannis also discusses the fascinating ethics and privacy issues that AR technology brings to the table, and how companies, cities, and individuals can adapt to these new concerns.


Papagiannis has presented her interactive work and Ph.D. research at global conferences including TEDx, ISMAR (International Society for Mixed and Augmented Reality), and ISEA (International Symposium for Electronic Art). Her TEDx talk was featured among the Top 10 Talks on Augmented Reality and Gamified Life. Prior to her augmented life, Dr. Papagiannis was a member of the internationally renowned Bruce Mau Design studio where she was project lead on Massive Change: The Future of Global Design, an internationally touring exhibition and best-selling book examining the new inventions, technologies, and events changing the world.    


“On behalf of CANARIE and all of our National Summit guests, I want to thank Helen for an excellent presentation that beautifully set the stage for the rest of the event. Her content and presentation style were perfect and I sincerely hope our paths cross again in the future.”

Kathryn Anthonisen, VP of External Relations at CANARIE Inc.

Speech Topics

Augmented Human How Technology Is Shaping the New Reality
Our digital future is no longer a distant promise, but a rapidly growing industry. Consider Facebook’s $2 billion acquisition of Virtual Reality headset maker Oculus, Google’s part in leading a $542 million investment in Augmented Reality company Magic Leap, and Microsoft’s introduction of holographic experiences with HoloLens. In this truly cutting-edge talk, Dr. Helen Papagiannis helps us understand the significance of Augmented Reality (AR). What are the opportunities AR presents for business, design, and culture? How can we contribute to and help define this new technological era? And how will it forever change the way we live, work, and play? With great gusto, Dr. Papagiannis leads us head-on into our virtual future.