Exploring Future Reality is NYC Media Lab's annual event focused on XR and future interfaces. 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, and distribution.

  • Main Stage discussions will explore next-generation tools for designing and developing XR content, stories, experiences, and applications, including a special session on drones.

  • Emerging entrepreneurs from RLab, the first city-funded VR/AR center in the country, will deliver their pitch.

  • Hands-on workshops led by HTC, Adobe, Viacom, BBC, NBCUniversal, Adobe and more will engage participants on topics from design thinking for companies to rapid prototyping with developer tools.

  • 30+ demos selected from university research labs and startup accelerators across the City will be on view in an science fair style, interactive expo.


Thursday, Novmber 29 (8AM-6PM)
NYU Kimmel Center, 60 Washington Square South, New York, NY 10012   
8AM-1PM: Morning Session: Panels, Keynotes and Startup Pitches
1PM-6PM: Afternoon Session: Demos, Workshops, and Networking Reception


Alexis Avedisian
(401) 636-1208


Visit the ExFR'18 Eventbrite → select Tickets → enter promotional code PRESS for complimentary admission. 


  • Applications and development in VR, AR and MR with drones and aerial photography.

  • Next-generation production tools for authoring VR, AR, and MR content.

  • Best practices for storytelling, prototyping, and distribution.

  • New business models and startups working industries such as healthcare, gaming, media and entertainment.

  • Emerging technologies, job growth and economic development.


  • Justin Hendrix, Executive Director, NYC Media Lab and Interim Executive Director of RLab, will highlight what's next for 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. When complete in 2019, RLab will house 16,500 square feet of co-working labs, classrooms, studios, and more on the third floor of Building 22 in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. 

    With speakers: Ori Inbar, Super Ventures; Adaora Udoji, RLab; and Robert Small, Macaulay Honors College at CUNY.

  • Aaron Luber, AR/VR Commercialization lead at Google, will deliver a keynote on new business models, content and trends in spatial computing. At Google, Aaron has led and developed partnerships in the immersive media space with NFL, EA, Mattel, IMAX, Disney, The New York Times and more.

PANEL: Next Generation Tools for Authoring VR/AR

From new tools for the capture of objects and motion to fast prototyping platforms to AI and deep learning methods for the automatic generation of content, 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

  • Christopher Mitchell, Geopipe

  • Amir Baradaran, Columbia University

  • Mark Rowley, Live CGI

PANEL: XR 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, New York Times


In September 2018, NYC Media Lab launched the XR Startup Bootcamp, an intensive, 12-week accelerator program with 10 early-stage startup teams. Teams were selected from NYC Media Lab's consortium of universities, and are focusing on customer discovery and market validation for concepts leveraging spatial computing, future interfaces and more. The XR Startup Bootcamp is the first program to emerge from RLab.


MORNING: 8:00AM-1:00PM
Keynotes, presentations and startup pitches.
Location: Eisner & Lubin Auditorium

8:00AM: Doors Open at NYU Kimmel Center

9:00AM: Welcome Announcements

9:15AM: Keynote: RLab Preview with Justin Hendrix

9:45AM: Next Generation Tools for Authoring VR/AR

10:30AM: Startup Pitches, Session 1

11:25AM: AR, VR and Drones

11:55AM: Startup Pitches, Session 2

12:25PM: Keynote: Aaron Luber, Google

12:55PM: Closing Announcements

Demos, workshops, and networking.
Location: Kimmel Center 4th, 9th and 10th floors.

1:00PM-6:00PM: Demo Expo
40+ XR projects on view.
Rosenthal Pavilion (10th floor)
Browse the list.

2:00PM-3:00PM: Workshops Session 1

With BBC, NBC News, Geopipe, The Mill, and Datavized Technologies, Inc.

3:30PM-4:30PM: Workshops Session 2

With HTC, Adobe, Viacom, and echoAR

4:30PM: Networking Reception in Rosenthal Pavilion


  • Skyscraper VR, NBCUniversal; Experience Dwayne Johnson's death-defying leap from Skyscraper in VR, presented by RealD 3D and powered by HP.

  • Low-Latency Remote Collaborative VR for Rehabilitation, Columbia University Engineering; two attendees in VR collaboratively roll and bounce a virtual ball on a platform. Low-latency networking is crucial for effective collaboration in this scenario, which is applicable to remote therapist-patient interaction for motor rehabilitation.

  • Looking Glass Factory, a universal holographic display geared towards 3D creators.

  • India's Stuntwomen, BBC; through virtual reality, follow the stories of Anam and Geeta, two young women who will take you on a ride in the adventurous world of Bollywood's stunt artists.

  • ToonPack, an AR messaging platform for communicating as expressive, 3D cartoon characters in video chat, animated karaoke or through your favorite messenger services.

  • Street Smarts VR, immersive virtual reality simulations for reality-based training of law enforcement and public safety personnel.

  • Medivis, a medical technology company leveraging augmented reality and artificial intelligence to transform medical and surgical visualization.

  • Telling Local Stories in 360, CUNY Newmark Graduate School of Journalism; experience immersive local news stories created by small journalism organizations in collaboration with graduate students. Also, take a look at our new Intro to 360 Journalism guide.

  • Projects from NYU Tandon School of Engineering’s Mechanical and Aerospace program, on robotics, AR, and 3D object recognition.

View the larger list of demos here
The Demo Expo will be held in the Rosenthal Pavilion on the 10th floor of NYU Kimmel Center.


  • How to Generate and Pitch XR Ideas that Resonate with a Global Audience
    Anna Bressanin and Simon Frantz, BBC

  • The Power of 360° VR Video Production
    Edwin Rogers, NBC News

  • Build a VR Game in the Real World
    Christopher Mitchell and Thomas Dickerson, Geopipe

  • Transitional Realities: How MR can breathe new life into familiar objects?
    William Arnold, The Mill

  • Getting Started and Best Practices for VR
    Dario Laverde, HTC

  • How Adobe Sensei is Powering AI-Enhanced Creativity and Enabling More Immersive Experiences
    Bill Marino, Adobe

  • Exploring Emotional Experiences in VR
    Karen Singer and Tomonari Michigami, Viacom

  • Build a Cloud-Connected AR App in 15 Minutes or Less
    Alon Grinshpoon and Koren Grinshpoon, echoAR

Workshop details, description, room numbers, and registration can be found here.


  • 500 anticipated attendees.

  • 50 projects on display in a science fair-style expo; meet with leading researchers, interact with prototypes first-hand, and discover the trends on university campuses.

  • 9 hands-on workshops.

  • Attendees span NYC Media Lab’s diverse community, including media, technology and communications executives; faculty and student designers and engineers; and entrepreneurs.


NYC Media Lab connects digital media and technology companies with New York City’s universities to drive innovation, entrepreneurship and talent development. A public-private partnership launched by the New York City Economic Development Corporation, NYC Media Lab funds prototyping projects that foster collaboration across a range of disciplines core to the future of media. The Combine, NYC Media Lab’s early stage accelerator program for emerging media and technology startups, is now in its fourth year.