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Haggai Goldfarb

Director of XR | New York

Haggai Goldfarb

Haggai Goldfarb, Director of XR at Sia Partners, has held leadership positions with a distinguished track record of delivering successful large-scale projects and products to market. For over a decade he led VFX teams in Hollywood with significant roles at Warner Bros. Disney, DreamQuest and DreamWorks. Notable awards include: The recent prestigious Polys WebXR Awards 2021 with 3 wins for Experience of the year, Education experience of the year, and Video experience of the year for ‘The Magic of Flight’ XR experience, AIXR VR Awards 2021 nomination, DreamWorks Achievement Award, Kung-Fu Panda’s 2008 Academy Award Nomination for Best Animated Feature of the year, as well as winning the 36th Annual Annie Awards in 10 categories, including Best Animated Feature, ‘The High Ground Award’ strategy war games, between M.I.T Sloan Fellows and Harvard Business School, and has served as a judge for the Animation Oscars.

A visionary, inventor and a Metaverse pioneer, Haggai's pursuit of the Metaverse and related Extended Reality (XR) and Enhanced Reality (ER) technologies (e.g 3D, VFX, AR, VR, MR) span over 20 years. At DreamWorks, he managed key innovation, development and integration of the Academy award-winning "Shrek" facial system, adapting it to DreamWorks' animated features franchise pipeline. By enabling animators to convey emotions through facial expressions as never before, the Shrek facial system, was the breakthrough that allowed Shrek to be the first computer-animated film ever to put digital human characters in leading roles, leading it to become the highest-grossing animated franchise of all times, with over $3.5B in revenues.

In 2006, Haggai launched a tech startup out of M.I.T focused on the innovation of the next-generation natural human interface for the Metaverse. His innovation lab created key technologies and XR experiences that preceded commercial VR headsets including avatar interaction, head, facial and eye tracking, gestural and haptic. 

At Microsoft Haggai led Mixed Reality (MR) initiatives and R&D prototyping on HoloLens including the first shareable HoloLens Mixed Reality experience development at Microsoft which preceded “Mesh”. Most recently Haggai led XR strategy at Meta driving global XR initiatives, partnerships and teams in NA, APAC and EMEA. Notably, he produced, co-directed and oversaw the creation and deployment for the first WebXR/OpenXR project, Project Origami: “The Magic of Flight”. As an innovation leader, he operates at the intersection of business, technology and creativity. Haggai is an Alfred Sloan Fellow receiving his MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Polys WebXR Awards 2021

Winning Categories:

  • Experience of the year
  • Education experience of the year
  • Video experience of the year for ‘The Magic of Flight’ XR experience

The Magic of Flight Wins Top Prizes at The Poly Awards 2021

The Making of - Project Origami: "The Magic of Flight"