Bran Ferren

American technologist

Bran Ferren (born January 16, 1953), is an American technologist, artist, architectural designer, vehicle designer, engineer, lighting and sound designer, visual effects artist, scientist, lecturer, photographer, entrepreneur, and a prolific inventor. Ferren is the former President of Research and Development of Walt Disney Imagineering as well as founder of Associates & Ferren, an engineering and design firm acquired in 1993 by Disney. He is Chief Creative Officer of Applied Minds, which he co-founded in 2000 with Danny Hillis. Apple's pinch-to-zoom patent, which features prominently in its legal battle with Samsung, was invalidated by the US Patent and Trademark Office in 2013 based on a 2005 patent by Ferren and Hillis for multi-touch gestures.

The Internet represents the greatest story telling technology since the development of language.


  • Technology is stuff that doesn’t work yet.
  • In 250 years, reading and writing will have turned out to be a fad.
    • "The Creators". The New York Times Magazine. Retrieved on September 8, 2013. 
  • “The Net, I guarantee you, really is fire. I think it’s more important than the invention of movable type.”
    • Quoted in Richard Rhodes, Visions of Technology: A Century of Vital Debate about Machines, Systems, and the Human World (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1999)
  • There's no Bits, like Show Bits
  • [On the need for ultra high definition television] The problem with television isn't the number of horizontal scanning lines. It's the lines of dialogue spoken by the actors.
  • The Internet represents the greatest story telling technology since the development of language. It will be far more important than reading and writing as a purposeful tool. Everything that is enabled by story telling will be enabled by the Internet.
  • "Vibrant companies must put together five-year plans. But they must be willing to change these five-year plans every single year."[1]
    • Quoted by J.D. Koch, Russell Stone, 29 Nov. 2019
  • The technology needed for an early Internet-connection implant is no more than 25 years off. Imagine that you could understand any language, remember every joke, solve any equation, get the latest news, balance your checkbook, communicate with others, and have near-instant access to any book ever published, without ever having to leave the privacy of yourself.
  • A ‘good 10 percent’ of American products comes out of big-idea organizations that don’t believe in talking to the customer. They’re run by passionate maniacs who make everybody's life miserable until they get what they want.
Technology is stuff that doesn’t work yet.
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