Scott Joy

Scott Joy


Chair, AIR Networks & Technology
Director, onAir Networks and Democracy onAir

Interests:  Knowledge Networks, Catalyzing Innovation, Tech Entrepreneurship, Healthy and Sustainable Communities

My current focus has been on developing the AIR Knowledge Network System, a knowledge sharing software platform with many unique features such as enabling authors to own and share their content across multiple public and custom Hubs.

OnAir Post: Scott Joy


Sleep and the brain’s removal system
NPR, Jon HamiltonJune 26, 2024

About 170 billion cells are in the brain, and as they go about their regular tasks, they produce waste — a lot of it. To stay healthy, the brain needs to wash away all that debris. But how exactly it does this has remained a mystery.

Now, two teams of scientists have published three papers that offer a detailed description of the brain’s waste-removal system. Their insights could help researchers better understand, treat and perhaps prevent a broad range of brain disorders.

The papers, all published in the journal Nature, suggest that during sleep, slow electrical waves push the fluid around cells from deep in the brain to its surface. There, a sophisticated interface allows the waste products in that fluid to be absorbed into the bloodstream, which takes them to the liver and kidneys to be removed from the body.


As a partner in one of the first futurist consulting firms, Joy explored commercial spin-off applications of NASA technology for Rockwell (1975-1976). Based on these studies, Joy assembled a team of engineers and marketers as Scienco (Scientific Entertainment Company) and successfully designed and developed, for the game and toy industry, some of the original consumer applications of the microprocessor (1976-1982). He has led the design and development of the first microprocessor-based computer for children (Smart Alec, 1978) and the the first Internet Cafe (The Planet, 1980).

In 1990, Joy founded TelePad corporation.  At TelePad, Joy led the design and development of the first multi-purpose, pen-based handheld and tablet-size computer and communications devices. Vertical applications included use in hospitals and nursing homes.  As Chairman and majority shareholder and CTO, he took TelePad public in 1994 raising over 25 million in the first year.

As founder and president of Roku Technologies (1996-2001), Joy pioneered the wireless connection of mobile devices to PCs, servers, and the Internet via peer to peer software.


Email: OnAir

Education & Research

Discovery at Briggs Pond

Part of masters degree program in Education at the University of Massachusetts, I worked with leading New England educators and large suburban real estate developers exploring how to design and build new kinds of educational communities (Discovery at Briggs Pond, 1970) and Supplemental and Alternative Programs (SAP Directory, 1972).

Briggs Pond, Mass.

Future Options Room

In 1974, established one of the first futures research consulting firms, Future Options Room (FOR) with partners Jerry Glenn and Roy Mason with a distinguished board of futurists including Alvin Toffler (author of Future Shock), Herman Kahn (Founder of the Hudson Institute), and Ted Gordon (Founder of the Futures Group).

Jerry Glenn has been Executive Director (and co-founder) of the Millennium Project since 1996.

Developed categorization and retrieval system for organizing future options in business, government, education, scientific research, non-profits and other disciplines (FOR, 1975)

Smart Alec

At Scienco (see Technology section below) I designed one of the first microprocessor-based computers for children that many years later was popularized by Leapfrog.

Strategic Plan for COS

I started my involvement with George Mason when asked to develop a a Strategic Plan for the new College of Science (see below). I was particularly attracted to Mason’s main emphasis/tag at the time “Where Innovation is Tradition” and Menas Kafatos, co-dean of the just started College of Science, and his efforts to apply computational science and modeling to all aspects of academic research.

Download (PDF, Unknown)

Select GMU projects

While researching how a research university functions at George Mason University, Scott was involved with facilitating and catalyzing numerous projects. Some of the projects he spearheaded include the creation of a Geospatial Intelligence certificate program (2006-7); a multi-purpose meeting and presentation facility (COS Showcase 2007- present); and 2C Lab (2008 thru 2011) formed to facilitate Creativity and Collaboration including “Flex Offices” that integrated information and communications technologies into new and renovated office and small conference spaces. For more information on the Showcase and 2C Lab, see Space Designs below.

In 2012, AIR networks was contracted by the GMU Office of Research to develop a website with posts on the 400 GMU research centers and separate profile posts on their research directors.  An example of what the research center posts were like can be found in this slideshow.

Joy has sponsored and supported numerous student capstone projects (e.g. with College of Engineering and Computing SEOR and IS&T seniors) and internships (e.g. witn Schar and Arlington Fellows students).

In the spring of 2023, while supporting Democracy onAir, coordinated student interns in their management of a Congres Day in the Hub Ballroom with presentations by current and former congressional members and a special panel on ‘Women in Politics’. One of the speakers at this event said that Ron Daniels, JHU President, wanted to have a similar event at Hopkins.

I am currently assisting Democracy onAir in its efforts to work with 23 GMU research directors who signed up to give presentations on their centers research and related public policy goals and engage the Mason community, policy makers, and the NoVA public in town halls and roundtables at a Meet the Changemakers Day.

Technology & Entrepreneurship


Founder and partner(1976 to 1982). Scientific Entertainment Corporation (Scienco). Scienco and its engineers designed and co-developed some of the first consumer applications of the microprocessor  targeting the toy and game industry.

Scienco was also responsible for the design of ROM, the first cyborg toy that was marketed by Parker Brothers which became the inspiration for the Marvel comic series of the same name.


Designed and developed one of the first pen-based, pocket-sized handheld computers that featured multipurpose data management and voice/data/video communications i.e. a smartphone (Uni,1990) and some of the early tablet PCs (TelePad Sl, 1991 and the TelePad 3, 1994). Founder and chair of tablet computer company, TelePad Corporation. Took TelePad public as majority shareholder and raised 30 million dollars in equity capital in the first year (1993-94). Telepad was a pioneer in outsourcing electronics manufacturing in Taiwan in addition to  final assembly in US as one of IBM’s first outside manufacturing clients (TelePad, 1995).

TelePad’s initial product development efforts focused on the Uni in 1990.  The Uni was a smartphone prototype designed and developed with the principal developers of the Amiga Computer. The Uni could be operated with a pen or by touch, had voice communications and data modem capability, and much of the computer functionality of the early Palm  handheld computers.

Smartphone and tablet designs 1990

The TelePad SL in 1991 was one the first tablet computers to use Windows Pen Computing software.

TelePad SL

TheTelePad 3, which I was the principal designer, was considered a “a complete rethinking of what a portable computer should be and, in our opinion, succeeded brilliantly” according to Pen Computing magazine in a 1995 issueTelePad 3

Roku Technologies

Conceived and designed a patented, object-oriented, PC-based software platform that was organized around six basic types of information: Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How (CUE systems later renamed Roku Technologies, 1996).  Led the conceptual design, product development, and strategy for an industry leader in wireless communications between mobile devices and PCs employing an Internet version of the CUE software in one of the first  peer to peer systems  (Roku, 1998). Formed equity  and joint venture partnerships with major technology companies such as Hewlett Packard, Nextel, and 3Com (Roku Technologies, 1997-2000) and raised over ten million dollars in venture capital.

At Roku, Joy also developed a half dollar-sized device that could be attached to PCs, phones, and other electronic equipment to exchange information and commands between these devices.  Sun Microsystems assisted Roku with the software development and Dallas Semiconductor built the initial prototypes.

Article in Forbes magazine.

AIR Networks

Developed some of the first applications for 3D topical online environments using standard DHTML and XML web software.  Topical worlds were visualized as graphical isands (iLands, 2001) and digitized representations of real world places (CitiLands, 2003) later adapted for the District of Columbia Government  as the DC Bird’s-eye Tour  (2004).

Other Entrepreneurial Projects

  • VIX (Video Information Exchange), a pioneer in the sharing of information over cable (1983)
  • Formed a non-profit foundation to provide a variety of educational materials, programs, and funding to support researchers and students in neurosciences and bioengineering  (Brain Research Institute, 1984)
  • Created an incubator for the artificial intelligence industry which brokered management, marketing, and technical services for the nascent AI industry. Supported the development of one of the first commercial applications of neural networks – airline reservation and scheduling systmems. (AI Group ,1985)
  • Designed web-based knowledge/research portals for aggregating information and knowledge on a particular topic with subject matter experts as guides and curators, online peer review and easy to create and administer web sites (Web Health Directory (2005)


Under birth name: Scott Dankman

PAT. NO. Title
US-6078326-A  System and method providing centricity user environment
US-5874954-A    Centricity-based interface and method
US-5491609-A    Portable electronic platform system
US-5396399-A    Multi-purpose handle/prop for pen-based computer having overhanging front surface
US-5323290-A    Multi-purpose handle/prop for pen-based computer
US-5235495-A   Pen-based computer with handle/prop having ratchet locking mechanism
US-4311310-A     Electronic maze game
US-4267551-A   Multi-mode doll
US-4221927-A   Voice responsive “talking” toy
US-4219962-A   Toy vehicle
US-4160339-A   Toy flying vehicle including sound effect generator

Space Design & Development

Commercial Real Estate Development

Partner  from  1985-1990  in a DC based commercial development firm, CDC, that renovated numerous historic buildings in DC and Pennsylvania.

Dupont Circle Building

Dupont Circle Building

Partner  from  1985-1990  in a DC based commercial development firm, CDC, that renovated numerous historic buildings  in DC and Pennsylvania,

I was responsible for the acquisition, design, and development of the 200,000 square feet Dupont Circle Office Building at 1350 Connecticut Ave. in Washington, DC.

Bedford Springs Hotel and Conference Center

Part owner and oversaw the design of an executive conference center as part of a 2300 acre historic PA resort in Bedford Springs(1987-1989)… Bedford Springs eventually evolved into the present Bedford Springs Resort & Conference Center.

Planet Restaurant: First ‘Internet Cafe’

Conceived and financed in 1980 world’s first Internet (Cyber) cafe called “The Planet Restaurant”.  We connected three terminals in a lounge to the Source (first online news and game service developed by William Von Meister, inspiration for AOL) as well as New Jersey Institute of Technology’s EIS  computer conferencing system .

Internet cafe and 200 seat restaurant located at 1317 Connecticut Ave NW Washington, DC, three blocks north of the White House.


Roku Technology Headquarters

Also designed innovative office and conference spaces while at Roku.

Roku offices

College of Science Showcase

The original plans for the first floor of the GMU observatory was to have a library. I worked with the Co-Deans to design and implement Phase 1 of the Showcase. In 2012, Mike Summers, Physics professor, asked me to redesign the Showcase with large projector screen and two large flat screen video displays for the public christening of the Observatory. Below is a summary of these designs.

Download (PDF, Unknown)

2C Lab (GMU)

Created 2C Lab to facilitate creativity and collaboration (the two “C”s).  One implementation was develping new ways to integrate information and communications technologies into new and renovated office and small conference spaces which we called “Flex Offices” . A student club, Women in Neuroscience, was started and used Flex space for a year. Won educational club of year award in 2011. Technology ideas now incorporated into SPACS hallways, offices, and lounge/seminar rooms.
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