#NYCML16 Preview: Virtual and Augmented Reality

Across New York City’s universities, in the offices of media and technology companies and in startup incubators, there is enormous enthusiasm and experimentation in virtual and augmented reality. NYC Media Lab’s Summit, #NYCML16, taking place on September 22nd, 2016 at Columbia University’s Alfred Lerner Hall, will host several discussions, workshops and demonstrations of new technologies, projects and startups in these rapidly growing fields. What follows is a preview of many of these elements.

Expert panelists discuss the three year forecast for virtual and augmented reality

#NYCML16 include a panel on the next three years in virtual and augmented reality, including discussion on the creative and commercial potential of these technologies, to be moderated by the Lab’s Executive Director Justin Hendrix.

Panelists will include: Adaora Udoji, Angel Investor and Adjunct Professor, NYU; Kai Bond, General Manager, Samsung Accelerator; Ken Perlin, Professor of Computer Science, NYU; and Jake Zim, Senior Vice President, Virtual Reality, Sony Pictures Entertainment.

With all of the immersive qualities that attract VR enthusiasts, 360-video is VR’s newer and lighter genre: it’s inexpensive to produce, it’s already integrated on popular social media platforms like YouTube and Facebook, and there is no need for advanced gear, with most experiences ready to stream with a smartphone.

The most recent techniques and approaches for 360 video will be taught byPaul Cheung, Nathan Griffiths, and Francesco Marconi, producers and strategists exploring emerging media technologies at the world’s oldest news organization. Workshop participants will experience recent projects and draft their own video, leaving with a solid overview of this emerging trend in storytelling.

2–3pm, Brown Institute at Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism

To Be With Hamlet is currently being developed by a team of researchers working under the guidance of Javier Molina at the VR Lab at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering. The team loves Shakespeare and wants to push the boundaries of what’s possible in both theatre and virtual reality.

As a fully interactive social VR experience, audience members will be able to explore plot transformations from every angle by walking around the characters in the virtual space. #NYCML16 will show Act 1 of the infamous play, watching as the protagonist Hamlet seeks vengeance for his fathers death within a dramatically illustrated haunted castle.

Viacom NEXT VR Fellows talk about rapid prototyping for the HTC Vive
In the spirit of rapid prototyping, Viacom NEXT and NYC Media Lab selected six Fellows from across NYC universities to develop five new VR stories. The Fellowship program took place over 8 weeks in the summer of 2016 and concluded with a demo event held at Viacom in August. There, attendees were able to experience student projects on the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, the most novel of the VR hardwares currently available on the market. Led byChaki Ng, the team at Viacom NEXT provided ongoing mentorship to the Fellows throughout their tenure; each received access to Viacom’s resources to best bring their story to life.

NYC Media Lab will introduce Ng and several Fellows who will share the technical and storytelling lessons they learned during their summer of iteration and production.

NYC Media Lab Combine startup SVRROUND pitches a new platform for live 360 video

Selected to participate in the first class of NYC Media Lab’s COMBINEprogram in the spring of 2016, four graduate students of NYU’s Inetractive Telecomunications Program developed SVRROUND. In the months since, SVRROUND has grown from an experimental prototype to a newly formed company with a just-launched beta platform, working from the Projective LES incubator in New York City.

SVRROUND offers cloud-based solutions to build and deploy social live 360 experiences. The team will be pitching during a COMBINE update and will show their latest product in the #NYCML16 Expo Hall.

#NYCML16 will have 100+ faculty and student projects on view, spanning research areas such as data science and visualization, wearable technology, game design, UX/UI, digital journalism, and creative technology.

With more university programs exploring the possibilities for storytelling in virtual reality, the 2016 Demo Expo will host the NYC Media Lab’s first Experience Studio for VR, bringing together a range of university developed prototypes. The demo expo will also feature technologies from Steven Feiner, who develops augmented reality technologies at Columbia’s Computer Graphics and User Interfaces Lab.

https://medium.com/@nycmedialab/nycml16-preview-virtual-and-augmented-reality-4838e6f348d6#.s4itnk356

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