Michael Gardner is a Senior Lecturer and Director of the Digital Lifestyles Centre at the University of Essex, Colchester, UK. This centre explores future lifestyles based around the technical vision of ambient and pervasive computing. He has over 25 years experience in knowledge media both within the industrial research environment and academia. During that time he has worked extensively in the areas of virtual reality, e-learning, collaborative working, social software and the semantic web. He has worked closely with many industrial partners on innovative research projects, such as BT, Sun Microsystems, and Apple Computer. Michael has pioneered the use of virtual and mixed-reality systems for teaching and learning, having been the principal investigator on the MiRTLE project and the follow-on SIMiLLE project, both of which were based on the Open Wonderland platform. He was also involved in developing virtual reality systems to support government policy making in the EU Framework 7 +Spaces project. Currently he is developing a multi-modal dialogue system for e-learning within the EU funded Metalogue project. Michael has over 70 publications in external conferences and journals and he has also presented at numerous conferences including keynote presentations and panel sessions. He is also the joint inventor of a number of technology patents. He was previously the Director of the European Chapter of the Immersive Education Initiative. Prior to joining the University of Essex, Michael worked for 15 years as a Technical Group Leader at British Telecommunications Research Labs at Adastral Park, UK.