Axon adds Facebook’s Caitlin Kalinowski to board

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Axon has added Facebook’s Caitlin Kalinowski to its board of directors.

Quick read

➨ Caitlin Kalinowski is head of virtual reality (VR) hardware for the augmented reality (AR) and VR division at Facebook

➨ Her appointment as an independent director adds a recognised leader in VR and product design to Axon’s board

➨ The law enforcement technology provider, best known for developing the Taser, debuted its new VR autism empathy training for police officers earlier this year

➨ In her current role at Facebook, Kalinowski is responsible for the product design and engineering of Oculus’s VR devices

The story

Kalinowski is head of virtual reality (VR) hardware for the augmented reality (AR) and VR division at Facebook.

Her appointment as an independent director adds a recognised leader in VR and product design to Axon’s board.

The law enforcement technology provider, best known for developing the Taser, debuted its new VR autism empathy training for police officers earlier this year, and launched a schizophrenia scenario in October 2018.

Axon’s VR training programme is designed to better equip police officers with the tools to de-escalate situations involving people suffering from mental health issues, crises or psychotic episodes.

In her current role at Facebook, Kalinowski is responsible for the product design and engineering of Oculus’s VR devices, including Oculus Quest and  Rift S.

After receiving a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University, she went on to lead technical teams at Apple for the Mac Pro and MacBook Air and was part of the original Unibody MacBook Pro team.

Kalinowski is also on the strategic board of Lesbians Who Tech & Allies, the largest LGBTQ technical organisation in the world, serving 30,000 members.

Axon chief executive officer and founder Rick Smith said: “It’s an honour to welcome Caitlin to Axon’s board and we look forward to her contributions to our VR strategy in the public safety space.”

“She will be a great asset to the company as we continue to equip law enforcement with the tools needed to protect life—especially through the development of empathy-based VR training.”

Kalinowski said: “I’m excited to join Axon, and for the unique opportunity to use hardware, software and data to improve officer training and the outcomes of encounters between law enforcement and communities.”

“Axon creates products that serve not only law enforcement, but also the diverse communities those officers are sworn to protect. I am proud to advise on the engineering of their products and to continue advocating for underrepresented minorities in the fields of technology and design.”

Image credit: Axon