Arthur Zwern is a futurist, scientist, inventor, engineer, entrepreneur, technologist, developer, investor, artist, singer/songwriter, community instigator, and intellectual adventurer: my visual bio.
Playa Grande, Costa Rica: Currently developing the Villas at Turtles First, a unique and trend-setting regenerative wellness destination where guests save wildlife not just look at it, while learning how 5-star luxury and blue zone health can be enjoyed in deep harmony with the environment rather than by destroying it.
Quepos, Costa Rica: Now planning development of a 650+ acre regenerative project that organically integrates residential/retirement, co-housing/microhomes, permaculture farming, authentic eco-tourism, and a nature preserve, all connected to a cultural village center. Our land offers dozens of waterfalls for irrigation, power, and enjoyment, plus amazing views to the sea, Manuel..Read More
Tamarindo, Costa Rica: Acquired trophy beachfront rental estate in syndication with investment partners, increased beds by 50%, and turned it into the highest-grossing rental villa in the area. Also upgraded to the most eco-forward villa on the coast: 80 solar panels, ozone laundry and pool cleaning systems, high-tech insulated roof,..Read More
Dallas, TX: Acquired a broken-down city block of apartments that the city was ready to condemn, and turned it into the best Class C apartment community for miles around. Saved low-income housing for a fraction the cost of new tax credit builds, without any public support. Sold 2016 for over..Read More
San Jose, CA: Had a blast 2011-2017 as lead male singer in 12-piece dance band led by Richard Armstrong, one of the area’s top pro trumpet players (Train, Boz Scaggs, Thomas Dolby, Michelle Shocked). Covered 60s to current pop tunes with unique arrangements and multi-part harmonies. We really rocked the..Read More
San Jose, CA: Formed non-profit www.RvsWithoutBorders.org to match loaner and donor RVs with families who lost homes in California wildfires, and operated NPO in response to 2015 and 2017 disasters. Our 1stRVs arrived before FEMA both years. After hitting endless local & FEMA hurdles despite a proclamation from the CA..Read More
Dallas, TX: Acquired this trashed old 100-door apartment, rehabbed it to make it really nice, got stuck managing it through the global financial collapse, and finally sold it in 2014 for a very nice profit. Some projects take more elbow grease than you expect…old site at: Telstar Apartments
Various Locations: Formed and led multiple US LLCs that acquired, rehabilitated, and repositioned at-risk apartment communities, houses, and condos in Utah, Texas and Louisiana, mostly financed with syndications (~400 units total). Acquired and improved a beachfront villa in Tamarindo, Costa Rica. Currently planning a nearby residential eco-villa community focused around..Read More
San Jose, CA: President: Co-founded venture to develop breakthrough self-sufficient portable shelters for efficient off-grid operations such as rapidly-deployable disaster relief villages. Won international “Best Security Idea of 2008” award, judged by panel ranging from CIA to Accenture.
Black Rock City, NV: Since accidentally becoming an artist I’ve done a lot of installations, and this one isn’t terribly artistic but I am very proud of it… That’s because in 2008 Burning Man made its theme “American Dream” just as the American Dream of home ownership got so oversold..Read More
San Jose, CA: In 2006, I thought it would be fun to bring a big piece of interactive art from Burning Man to a public location in San Jose. So, I made a donation to Black Rock Arts Foundation designated for San Jose art, and we began to work it. ..Read More
Black Rock City, NV: This is how I started one of the world’s largest maker projects as an accidental spoof: In 2005 my wife asked for a collapsible bench to sit on while camping. I sketched the equivalent of a park bench that could ship flat and assemble/disassemble in moments...Read More
San Jose, CA: President & Founder: Founded, built, and sold early-stage biometrics company that deployed breakthrough 3D facial shape sensing techniques to automate human identification tasks for homeland security and law enforcement. Raised ~$10M via Government R&D contracts, angels, and VC. Customers/partners included DOE, CIA, NSA, FBI, TSA, DoD, TSWG,..Read More
San Jose, CA: We implemented and deployed the first biometric access control system integrating facial recognition with fingerprint, using a predictive Kahlman filter to achieve superior combined results to either biometric alone.
Atlanta, GA: Training county sheriffs in use of FaceVision and ActiveID systems. We installed our breakthrough biometric control systems for booking all suspects arrested in a large Georgia county, and pretty soon had a database of 100,000 faces. Then we said, “why not compare visitors against the database?”. The first..Read More
Tel Aviv, Israel: Working with an Israeli eyewear production equipment supplier and the world’s #2 eyewear manufacturer Hoya, we developed the world’s first 3D virtual try-on system for eyewear marketing and optics production rationalization. We built a system that captured a user’s face from ear-to-ear as an accurate 3D model,..Read More
San Jose, CA: The day after the terror attacks of 9/11, we gathered for a company meeting where I shared that the only business that would matter for a while is homeland security. We brainstormed, and I finally asked R&D to overlay & compare 100 of the 3D faces we..Read More
San Jose, CA: While working to capture 3D scenes from video sequences, we found we could also extract 3D object models from image sequences of an object rotating on a turntable. This led to the 3Scan 3D Object Scanner, the first low-cost product for acquiring 3D models of real-world objects...Read More
San Jose, CA: If you want to extract the 3D shape of a scene from a moving camera’s imagery, you need to determine the precise position of the camera in all 6 degrees of freedom, for each image frame. It all gets calculated together in one giant mathematical nightmare. In..Read More
San Jose, CA: Invented, patented, and developed a virtual computer monitor to improve computer access for users with visual impairments. Wearing a tracked head-mounted display, the user could view an enlarged portion of an image such as a book page floating in space, and move around the page by rotating..Read More
San Jose, CA: President & Founder: Built and sold a leading virtual reality supplier. Developed private-label brand and established international sales channels. Designed a next-generation immersive 3D conferencing system for the US Army, and spun it out as a separate company. Won “Most Innovative New Device” award at CSUN’s 1995..Read More
San Jose, CA: The CyberEye by my start-up General Reality Company was the 1st VR head-mounted display to retail under $2k. Lost: pictures of “head condoms” (cleanroom hair nets) with our logo that I distributed to virtual reality trades show attendees in case our competitors’ HMDs gave them head lice...Read More
San Jose, CA: President & Founder: Invented, patented, and commercialized the world’s first user-recordable talking auto alarm. Designs achieved first-year shipment rate above $2M at retail, and won an innovation award at the 1993 Consumer Electronics Show. Sold out to the auto security industry leader, run by Darryl Issa.
San Jose, CA: Some of the philosophy behind the first “just in time” capital equipment production facility in Silicon Valley, which I designed and built in 1989 to produce PC board inspection machines at low cost.
San Jose, CA In the 1987-90 timeframe, I pioneered “closing the loop” on quality control in automated visual inspection systems used for printed circuit board and semiconductor fabrication. This meant networking together all inspection and review steps in an entire factory using a database. And, just like feedback loops in..Read More
Santa Clara, CA: Marketing Manager, 200 Series (RAPID Division, 1 year): Directed marketing, product management, and marketing communications for the world’s leading photomask inspection equipment producer (>$50M annual sales). Led competitive strategy, product planning, and cross-functional product introduction teams. Obtained front-page coverage in the industry’s leading newsmagazine. Manager of Product..Read More
Riverside, CA Consultant: With NASA funding while at Harvard Business School, co-led a study of opportunities for commercial manufacturing in space, developed a business plan for zero-G protein crystallization, and presented recommendations to NASA’s Chief Administrator and the President’s Science Advisor. Was later brought in by venture capitalist to assist..Read More
Boston, MA Awarded degree of Master of Business Administration with Distinction. Earned First and Second Year Honors. Concentration in new-venture management. Elected President of The Small Business and New Enterprise Club.
Los Angeles, CA: Associate Consultant: Evaluated and improved a semiconductor manufacturer’s competitive strategy, product lines, profitability, distribution, asset productivity, and R&D effectiveness. Developed a resource guide and catalog of emerging technologies for firm-wide use.
El Segundo, CA: In 1982 I developed the 1st fully-automated laser countermeasures characterization facility. It was in a basement, with metal mesh in the walls to prevent electronic surveillance. It was before PCs, and to get a mini-computer without 3 years of paperwork I had to order all the parts..Read More
El Segundo, CA: World’s first infrared laser counter-countermeasure for military vehicles. If a laser attempted to jam our infrared imaging sensor, we had to rapidly detect the jamming, then swing the correct optical filter in place to block the jamming laser’s wavelength (filters not installed yet in this image). I..Read More
1st missile warning & chaff dispensing system to protect cargo aircraft from air-to-air missile attacks. No images released.
El Segundo, CA: I led development of the 1st laser-designated missile warning receiver for aircraft. We called it the “oh shit” sensor, because it told a helicopter pilot that a laser-guided missile was 2 seconds away, but the helo had no defense mechanisms to do anything about it. It was..Read More
El Segundo, CA Group Leader / Systems Engineer / Physicist: Led research and development projects, defined product concepts, coordinated proposal/marketing efforts, and personally solicited government business for an electro-optical sensor concepts group at this major defense contractor. Supervised development of the world’s first airborne infra-red laser warning receiver. Conceived and..Read More
El Segundo, CA: We made this in 1981 to demonstrate how a pistol-sized laser with a belt pack battery could blind a tank from further than the tank could shoot. Thus began a game of laser countermeasure versus counter-countermeasure that still occurs today – only today some of the laser..Read More
Pasadena, CA Research Assistant: Performed experimental research in the field of micro-gravity acoustic levitation, supporting the leading researcher in the field. We used sound waves to establish energy fields that could levitate drops of liquid, move them, or distort them in known ways. In the microgravity of space, such techniques..Read More
Atlanta, GA: Laboratory Instructor: Conducted two physics laboratory classes per week and maintained lab.
Atlanta, GA: Awarded Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Physics with Highest Honors. Graduated with Georgia Tech’s top GPA of the year (3.95/4.0; no one is perfect). Earned Certificate in Business and Technical Communication and won the University’s annual public speaking contest. Also served as Hillel president, and co-produced musical..Read More
Los Angeles, CA: Somehow, despite growing up in West LA and somewhat immersed in the outrageous fun of the music and movie star worlds, I managed to get good grades and test scores…after attending classes at UCLA during my senior year in HS, they invited me to continue full-time post-HS...Read More
New York, NY: I was born in 1960, and this is from 1965. Wasn’t I cute? I was a happy kid, with parents who loved me and taught me well.