Exploring Future Reality '18

Thursday, November 29, 2018 (8AM-6PM)
NYU Kimmel Center
60 Washington Square South, New York, NY, 10012

Exploring Future Reality—a term coined by Ken Perlin of the NYU Future Reality Lab—is NYC Media Lab’s annual event focused on XR and spatial computing. Through discussions, startup pitches, interactive demos, and hands-on workshops, attendees will explore the impact of future interfaces on industry and society, including best practices for storytelling, prototyping, monetization and distribution.

Watch the Full Conference


8:00AM: Registration

9:00AM: Welcome address, led by fromJustin Hendrix, Executive Director of NYC Media Lab and Interim Executive Director of RLab

9:15AM: Sneak Preview: RLab. RLab is the first city-funded VR/AR center in the country. Fueled by a $5.6 million investment by NYCEDC and MOME, RLab will support startups, talent development, research and innovation. In this session, you'll preview the plans for the space. Featuring RLab leadership:

  • Ori Inbar, Super Ventures

  • Adaora Udoji, RLab

  • Robert Small, CUNY Macaulay Honors College

  • Justin Hendrix will moderate a discussion about the future of RLab.

9:45AM: Discussion: Next Generation Tools for Authoring VR/AR. From new tools for the capture of objects and motion to prototyping platforms, AI, deep learning, and automatic generation, the business of building AR and VR content is changing. This panel will look at the next generation of tools for XR content. With Speakers:

  • Jacob Loewenstein, Samsung NEXT (moderator)

  • Jalina Stewart, VR Accelerator at Pier59 Studios

  • Christopher Mitchell, Geopipe

  • Amir Baradaran, Columbia University

  • Mark Rowley, Live CGI

10:30AM: Startup Pitches: Part 1. In September 2018, NYC Media Lab launched the XR Startup Bootcamp, an intensive, 12-week accelerator program with 10 early-stage startup teams from universities. These teams are focusing on customer discovery and market validation for concepts leveraging spatial computing, future interfaces and more.

11:00AM: Coffee & Networking Break. Coffee will be served in the Eisner & Lubin auditorium.

11:25AM: Discussion: VR, AR and Drones. One of the most exciting intersections in XR is with drones. From new methods for photogrammetry to new experiences in the headset, drones are opening up new opportunities for XR applications. With speakers:

  • Adaora Udoji, RLab (moderator)

  • Giuseppe Loianno, NYU Tandon School of Engineering

  • Brian Streem, Aerobo

  • Marcelle Hopkins, The New York Times

11:55AM: Startup Pitches: Part 2. The XR Startup Bootcamp pitches continue.

12:25PM: Keynote: Aaron Luber, Google. Luber will deliver a keynote on new business models, content and trends in spatial computing.

About the Teams from the XR Startup Bootcamp

Pratt Institute
Martin Orr, Maddie Grabowksi, Nour Saber, Madhurya Bukenakere, Udaya Kumar, and Mark Parsons
AIR|VR is developing a customizable software package that will allow for the activation of industrial robotics through the use of virtual reality. Robotics that coexist with trained personnel to complete dextrous and variable tasks.

Unseen Media
NYU Tandon School of Engineering
Acacia (Casey) Judge, Alexandros Lotsos, Gabriella Cammarata, and Brian Hui
Unseen Media is focused on using the latest immersive technologies to create compelling in-home and location-based narrative entertainment experiences.

NYU Tandon School of Engineering
Cherisha Agarwal, Raksha Ravimohan, Pratik Jain, Shimin Gu, and Srishti Kush
Craft is a multi-modal solution to enable people with limited limb mobility to create art in the virtual environment using eye movements and voice commands.

Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science and Columbia Law School
Alon Grinshpoon and Koren Grinshpoon
echoAR is a cloud platform for augmented reality apps providing tools and server-side infrastructure that help companies build better AR apps and grow successful businesses.

Graceful Ray
Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science
Vladlena Powers, Nicholas Powers, and Kumar Goutam
Graceful Ray enables companies to bring the real world to the virtual world by creating photo-realistic 3D content of any object regardless of shape and material.

ARC (Augmented Reality Cargo)
Parsons School of Design and Columbia University
Herbert Ramirez, Harry Slotwiner, and Frank Ling
ARC empowers logistic professionals and handlers with augmented training tools using XR technology to increase the proficiency, safety, and transportation of cargo.

CUNY Lehman College VR/AR Training Academy and Development Lab
Michael Brenner and Aaron Holness
EZXR is building solutions for legal professionals in trial preparation and strategy, using virtual and augmented reality.

NYU Interactive Telecommunications Program
Richard Lapham and Oriana Neidecker
Lucida enables art sellers to share and sell their collections through virtual exhibitions, with no coding required.

Columbia University and Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs
Zhi Hao (Joe) Chung and Yang Shi
spARk is an augmented reality and voice platform for STEAM educators and learners.

NYU Future Reality Lab
Sebastian Herscher, Kristopher Layng, Gabe Zetter, and Ken Perlin
Parallux delivers world class immersive entertainment to audiences of all sizes.

workshops (2PM-4:30PM)

How to Generate and Pitch XR Ideas that Resonate with a Global Audience
Led by: Anna Bressanin and Simon Frantz, BBC
The BBC editorial team will guide you through the idea generation process of successful XR projects that will resonate with a global audience. This workshop will showcase and discuss the production, distribution and challenges of ambitious AR and VR projects, focusing on idea generation and audience-driven storytelling. The session will include brainstorming, storyboarding and pitching ideas.

Build a VR Game in the Real World
Led by: Christopher Mitchell and Thomas Dickerson, Geopipe
In this workshop, participants will learn how to use virtual models of the real world from Geopipe to make a simple and interactive experience. Participants will use Unity to combine a 3D model of New York City (or another city that Geopipe covers) with modules to explore an urban environment from a first-person perspective. Basic familiarity with Unity is recommended but not required.

Transitional Realities
Led by: William Arnold, The Mill
How do we responsibly balance different realities? This talk explores a variety of ways in which our existing infrastructures and daily patterns can be enhanced by mixed reality. To do this, we’ll examine specific examples of spatial computing that demonstrate how mixed reality can breathe new life into familiar objects.

Building Immersive WebXR Data Visualization with Geometric
Led by: Brian Chirls, Hugh McGrory and Debra Anderson, Datavized Technologies
Learn how to build and share immersive 3D experiences without coding using Geometric, a new software tool by Datavized Technologies. In this workshop, participants will use the Geometric dashboard tool and learn the fundamentals of immersive data visualization and WebXR, like how to prepare and clean location data sets and customize a 3D project for VR and MR headsets.

Getting Started and Best Practices for VR
Led by: Dario Laverde, HTC
This workshop will help those new to Unity and VR development as well as advanced and seasoned developers. Participants will learn about the recently published best practices (from the XRA.org association), along with a live coding tutorial using the VIU (Vive Input Utility) Unity plugin from the Unity asset store. This workshop will focus on creation for many VR headsets beyond the HTC Vive.

How Adobe Sensei is Powering AI-Enhanced Creativity and Enabling More Immersive Experiences
Led byBill Marino, Adobe
Blending the science of data with the art of human creativity, Adobe Sensei is the technology powering intelligent features and services to dramatically improve the design, delivery and optimization using artificial intelligence and machine learning in a common framework. In this workshop, we’ll conduct several interactive demos to show you how Adobe Sensei is transforming the creation and design process and enabling more realistic immersive experiences. All you’ll need is your mobile device.

Exploring Emotional Experiences in VR
Led by: Karen Singer and Tomonari Michigami, Viacom
What will the future of entertainment look like in XR? This workshop will include an open discussion about best practices for storytelling, stemming from recent Viacom VR experiences with music. Brainstorm and discuss what makes a high impact, lasting story come to life in VR.

Build a Cloud-Connected AR App in 15 Minutes or Less
Led by: Alon Grinshpoon and Koren Grinshpoon, echoAR
Workshop participants will learn how to create real-time cloud-connected AR apps using the echoAR platform. Participants will be able to quickly create AR apps with no technical skills or coding required, and scale existing apps by connecting them to the cloud. Bring a laptop and an Android phone, or just follow along the live demonstration. Platforms for experimentation include: Google ARCore, WebXR, Vuforia, Unity-based apps and more.

Photos from the Demo Expo (1PM-6PM)

40+ demos were selected from NYC Media Lab’s consortium of media and technology companies, universities, and startups. Attendees will experience prototypes that range from room scale VR experiences to mobile AR and voice technologies. Startups will share concepts across diverse verticals, including media, healthcare, entertainment, manufacturing, education and more.

Participating Demo Expo teams included:

Animation Nights New York
ARC (Augmented Reality Cargo)
Columbia Business School
Columbia University Computer Graphics and User Interfaces Lab Composure Inc.
CUNY Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism
CUNY Lehman College
Datavized Technologies
Emblematic Group
Graceful Ray
Jump into the Light
Kabaq 3D Food
Looking Glass Factory
NYU Game Center
NYU Interactive Telecommunications Program
NYU Steinhardt
NYU Tandon School of Engineering
Parsons School of Design
Pratt Institute
The Mill
Unseen Media

As part of the Global Collaboration Project, several startups from South Korea are participating in the Exploring Future Reality Demo Expo. The startups are: YOUL SYSTEMS, Like Corporation, STUDIO VR, and Myungji Korea.