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Nearlife Appoints David O'Connor President, Names Dr. Adam Klein Former President of Hasbro Global Marketing, to Board of Directors
Creates New Form of "Living Entertainment" called KidsRoom2, Now Shipping Exhibit to London's Millennium Dome
Cambridge, MA - October 20, 1999 - Nearlife Inc. announced today that it has named technology and Internet veteran David O'Connor as President. The firm, which was spun-off from the MIT Media Lab in 1996, also announced that it has appointed Dr. Adam Klein to its Board of Directors and as an advisor to the company.
Nearlife is an entertainment company that creates cutting-edge technologies to develop revolutionary new forms of entertainment experiences called "living entertainment." The company is best known for creating and building the popular Virtual FishTank, one of the most technically advanced exhibits at Boston's Museum of Science.
Earlier in the month, Nearlife announced that it has signed a contract to develop KidsRoom2, a child's fantasy bedroom that comes alive. KidsRoom2 will be one of the leading attractions in the Play zone at the Millennium Dome in Greenwich, England. Nearlife also announced today that on October 25th it will be shipping the KidsRoom2 entertainment experience to the United Kingdom for installation in the Dome, the world's largest millennium celebration.
"Our momentum continues," said Nearlife co-founder, chairman and CEO Dr. Tinsley Galyean. "We made our first big mark with the Virtual FishTank. Now, the KidsRoom2 project has been shipped and is ready to be showcased to the world. These projects represent just the beginning of a new entertainment genre we call 'living entertainment.'
"In bringing David here to build the business, and in securing Adam to provide his extraordinary expertise, we are putting in place the team that will give life to 'living entertainment.' These location-based experiences, such as the KidsRoom2, are just the beginning. We are ultimately focused on bringing 'living entertainment' to the Web with its social, real-time, anyplace/anytime and communications capabilities to create unique entertainment experiences. David and Adam will play major roles in getting us there," he said.
David O'Connor has 20 years of diversified management experience in technology and content companies. Most recently, he was an executive with Addison Wesley Longman, the large educational publisher, where he was founder and general manager of a division developing and publishing Internet-based educational products for children. In October 1998, he launched The KnowZone (www.kz.com), an online tutorial and test-preparation service for elementary and middle school children, used in both schools and homes. O'Connor has also held management positions with Lotus Development and Apple Computer. He holds an MBA from the Stanford Business School and a BA with highest honors from Harvard.
"I joined Nearlife because I was thoroughly convinced that Tinsley's vision for 'living entertainment' is exactly right. It's one of the next major market opportunities on the Internet and in entertainment, and I want to be part of it. The KidsRoom2 demonstrates firsthand the power of immersive entertainment experiences. It's clear that the Millennium Dome is the appropriate global venue to launch this next generation of entertainment," he said.
Adam Klein was most recently an executive vice president at Hasbro and the president of its Global Marketing division. In this capacity he had responsibility for over 90 percent of the revenues for the world's second-largest toy and game company. He led the effort to transform Hasbro into a global, brand-driven organization featuring well-known product lines such as Monopoly, Playskool, Tonka and G.I. Joe. Klein also helped build Hasbro Interactive from a start-up venture to a $300 million organization, successfully establishing market leadership in computer-based gaming, Internet play and e-commerce delivery.
Klein, who was born and raised in South Africa, was also the CEO of Johannesburg-based Boumat Ltd. He holds a DBA and MBA from the Harvard Business School.
"At Hasbro, we experienced and helped define the astonishing growth and market appetite for computer-based entertainment and related merchandise. I am convinced that Nearlife is building an enterprise that is now defining the next levels of entertainment. "'Living entertainment' will bring it with great demand for merchandise depicting the characters and environments that can only be found in these near-to-life experiences. I welcome this opportunity," he said.
Nearlife Inc. creates cutting-edge technologies to develop new forms of living entertainment that immerse audiences in near-to-life experiences. Based in Cambridge, MA and founded by Tinsley and Sheri Galyean in 1996, the entertainment firm was spun-off from the MIT Media Lab. Tinsley Galyean received his Ph.D. from the Interactive Cinema Group at MIT's Media Lab. The Media Lab is highly regarded for inventing and advancing new forms of interactive entertainment and communications. Sheri Galyean is the author of an award-winning animated short story and has written several film and game concepts as well as a virtual reality story experiences.
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