Past Member

Frank Joe J. Pompei

  • Alumnus, Music, Mind and Machine

PhD 2002
President and Founder, Holosonics

Joe founded Holosonics to commercialize the Audio Spotlight technology he created as a Media Lab student. (The Audio Spotlight creates beams of sound as narrow as beams of light.)

His company has successfully sold thousands of systems to customers all over the world while continuing to develop and evolve the fundamental technology. Holosonics has been profitable every year, and has never needed any investment; they've funded our growth 100% through product sales.

Historically, Holosonics focused on professional applications, such as for museums, hospitals, and retail stores, but with recent technical advances they're now looking into making low-cost consumer versions for private listening at home.

How did your experience at the Lab influence your next step?

There was always clear interest in Audio Spotlight technology, and it was a popular demo at the Media Lab, so founding a company to commercialize it was a fairly obvious trajectory.  Aside from being a the ideal environment to do my work, the Media Lab taught me to take real risks, work /really/ hard, … View full description

PhD 2002
President and Founder, Holosonics

Joe founded Holosonics to commercialize the Audio Spotlight technology he created as a Media Lab student. (The Audio Spotlight creates beams of sound as narrow as beams of light.)

His company has successfully sold thousands of systems to customers all over the world while continuing to develop and evolve the fundamental technology. Holosonics has been profitable every year, and has never needed any investment; they've funded our growth 100% through product sales.

Historically, Holosonics focused on professional applications, such as for museums, hospitals, and retail stores, but with recent technical advances they're now looking into making low-cost consumer versions for private listening at home.

How did your experience at the Lab influence your next step?

There was always clear interest in Audio Spotlight technology, and it was a popular demo at the Media Lab, so founding a company to commercialize it was a fairly obvious trajectory.  Aside from being a the ideal environment to do my work, the Media Lab taught me to take real risks, work /really/ hard, and build something useful for people.

Really take advantage of the time you have there, and do so thoughtfully.  It's only a few years, and you'll never have the same opportunity again.  Focus on doing things that can't be done anywhere else, and by anyone else.  Don't waste your time on things any clever person can do.  Take on the really hard problems, and take some real risks.  That's the real value of the Media Lab.