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Virtual Reality Lab 2016-2017 Projects & VR from NYU

The VR Lab autumn 2016 projects include a wide range of formats (multiplayer games, scavenger hunts, interactive narrative, 360 films and hybrids) from a diverse group of immersive media creators. Platforms include Cardboard, Gear VR, Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. In addition, we have invited VR creators from the various NYU departments, including ITP, the Future Reality Lab, the NYU Game Center and IDM’s VR Lab, to participate in the lab’s exhibition.

Special thank you to Time Inc. and Oculus for support!

All That Is Solid Melts into Air

All That Is Solid Melts into Air consists of a generative audio and visual environment, intended to function as both a work of digital sculpture and as an electronic composition to be engaged with in virtual reality. Drawing inspiration from early experimental music, sonic and visual materials are scattered throughout an impressionistic landscape that the user may listen to and explore.

Custom ambisonic software helps to locate sound in virtual space, allowing the user to ‘remix’ the music simply by walking through the piece. Additionally, the generative nature of the material means that the work may be viewed from a single vantage point as well, providing an experience akin to a virtual Calder mobile.

Platform: Oculus Rift

Team: Matthew Gantt


Between is a virtual reality experience that imagines a human’s “after death experience.” The player acts as an old man who just died in his house and experiences the separation of his body and soul. He will be able to float in the house and
read his family’s mind to detect their mixed emotions toward his death. By exploring the items in the house, the player can also trace back to his memories in a vivid manner. In the end, the player will go through a mysterious process which will lead him to go to the afterlife. The whole experience aims to create an immersive experience between life and death, body and soul, good and evil, as well as between reality and memory.*

Platform: Oculus Rift

Team: NaiChen Yang, Xingjian An, Yiting Liu

Developed at ITP/NYU



Bloom is an interactive and intimate romantic journey through death, dismemberment and gruesome self-sacrifice.

Platform: HTC Vive

Team: Will Wurtzebach, Rehmat Qadir

Bug Jazz Club

Bug Jazz Club: Follow a blue moth through the night and into a lighted sconce where bugs spend their last hours drinking and dancing.

Platform: Cardboard

Team: Lisa Beth Kovetz

Continuous Monument


Continuous Monument: During the 1960s Radical Architecture Movement, the Italian design studio, Superstudio, suggested that we should be cautious of architecture and design that exaggerates existing inequalities. Instead, they proposed a sort of anti-architecture. The Continuous Monument – a form that would connect people and geography around the world across a utopian grid. This project realizes their utopian vision in VR, and draws comparison against the conceptual proposition of another “continuous monument” – the southern border wall proposed by the impending presidency of the most widely criticized president-elect, ultimately posing the question – what do the monuments we build, fund, allow, say about our humanity, justice and morality?

Platform: Cardboard

Team: Claire Mitchell

Deconstructing 5Pointz

Deconstructing 5Pointz: Our experience will reconstruct the space of famed former graffiti haven 5Pointz. In the experience, a participant will be able to wander the grounds, and explore the history of this space through audio snippets from documentaries, radio and television, while at the same time facing the imminent destruction of the building in the wake of growing gentrification in Long Island City.

Platform: Gear VR, Cardboard

Team: Maxwell Foxman, So Sun Park

Endless Runner / Siege the Giant Lord


Endless runner / Siege the Giant Lord: Your avatar runs but red cubes block its way. Jump them or shoot them to keep running and running.

Platform: Cardboard

Team: Aubrey Tarmu (the lab’s youngest VR creator, 15 years old)

God’s On His Last Nerve


God’s On His Last Nerve is a short comedic Gear VR film set in Heaven observing the omniscient one on [his] daily routine, until an event so upsetting occurs that it impels him to whoosh down to earth with a warning. Shot with a Samsung Gear 360 from drones, weather balloons, and rooftops, viewers have a “God’s-eye view” as they hear a stentorian voice igniting volcanoes, admiring his creation in the Hudson Valley, and telling Matthew to listen to his mother. God’s seen it all, from the Crusades to WWII, but with the American election of Trump, humans have gone too far.

Platform: Gear VR

Team: Joanna Molloy

‘Humpty Dumpty and other Goosey Tales’

‘Humpty Dumpty and other Goosey Tales’, a VR/AR experience created for children, is an immersive, interactive retelling of the nursery rhyme. Humpty Dumpty falls off the wall but all the king’s men can’t put him together again. However, YOU can. But hurry the clock is ticking.

Platform: Cardboard

Team: Angelique Anderson

I Just Work Here


I Just Work Here:  Where do our imaginations go when engaged in repetitive jobs?  An elevator operator creates a sports grotto of the imagination within the confines of his elevator. . .The walls may come alive . . .

Platform:  Cardboard, Gear VR

Team:  Donna Miller Watts

Interacting with 4D Virtual Objects

Interacting with 4D Virtual Objects is a walk-around VIVE demo in which the user is wearing a backpack (so no wires!) that lets the user see four-dimensional objects as though they are floating in the room, and rotate those objects in four dimensions.

Platform: HTC Vive

Team: Prof. Ken Perlin and Wenbo Lan from NYU Future Reality Lab

Bio Link: Prof. Ken Perlin https://cs.nyu.edu/~perlin/ | Wenbo Lan wenbolan.com

Developed at Future Reality Lab


Holojam: A demo of our new method for doing room-scale tracking for multiple users with mobile phone based VR, using only inexpensive equipment.

Platform: Google Cardboard, Holojam

Team: NYU Future Reality Lab: Ken Perlin, Wenbo Lan
Holojam.Inc : Aaron Gaudette

Bio Link :Prof. Ken Perlin https://cs.nyu.edu/~perlin/
Aaron Gaudette https://www.linkedin.com/in/aaron-c-gaudette-28b614133
Wenbo Lan wenbolan.com
Holojam.Inc https://holojamvr.com/

Developed at Future Reality Lab


‘LIVYATANIM: Myth’ is an interactive virtual reality short film featuring the music of LIVYATANIM. The film is created as a way to interact and build upon the music created by ‘LIVYATANIM’ as a way of putting the listener inside our conceived reality, at a path that is as random as it is designed and directed. The film that takes place in a virtual reality environment and allows the viewer to play it on a web browser through a wide range of platforms that includes VR headsets, computers, smartphones and tablets. ‘Myth’ makes use of LIVYATANIM’s music and the song ‘Can I Peacefully Love’ and puts the user in control of his viewing perspective, an element that creates a personal, deep and surreal experience.

Platform: Oculus Rift

Team: Or Fleisher – Director, Art Director & Developer
Yannis Gravezas – Developer
Tomer Rousso – 3D artist
Aviv Meshulam – Producer & Musician

Developed at ITP/NYU


Lost & Found

“Lost & Found” is a virtual reality experience that will take viewers into the life of someone with dementia who’s beginning to have cognitive and physical challenges.

We begin the experience lost in Grand Central Station, there is a Silver Alert notifying the viewer that there is a missing vulnerable person. Through clicking on the clock we are then transported to the next scene. We enter a dimly lit room of an elderly individual. From the darkness, memories from their childhood begin to be projected on the walls around the viewer. As the viewer is immersed in these faded memories, we hear the audio of a person with early onset dementia talk about the experience of losing one’s memory. The goal of this project is to build an empathic connection to individuals living with dementia, and to raise awareness around their struggle.

Platform: Gear VR

Team: Jesse Ash & Phil Buccellato | Greener Media

Magical Mystery Times


Magical Mystery Times: In the real world, a physical installation sets up the stage. The VR headset is transformed into a submarine periscope. It is used to set the tone of the experience while exploring new ways of engaging in VR. Once users look through this periscope, they board the Yellow Submarine. There, they are part of a psychedelic world, filled with color and music. Users can also interact with different events, people or movements that marked the decade.

Team: Michelle Hessel

Developed at ITP/NYU

Milk and Cookies

Milk and Cookies is a VR experience, loosely based on Alice in Wonderland, that challenges players to solve puzzles and explore space by changing their scale. Spend coins in the vending machine to buy helpful goodies: cookies shrink your size, while milk makes you bigger! With enough money, players navigate a “creepy candy” colored bedroom from varied perspectives in size to attempt to find the house key and escape the room. Watch out for the hungry cat!

Platform: Oculus Rift

Team: Sam Von Ehren, Michelle Senteio, Noca Wu

Developed at NYU Game Center


Pathways: When you’re a child, your brain has a vast number of neural connections that help make sense of your ever-expanding universe. Then, as you age, most of these neural pathways drop away, as your world becomes more logical and less magical. As creators, we wondered: Could virtual reality could help us remember what the world used to look like—and feel like—when we were kids? Partly inspired by the short film The Red Balloon, Pathways is a Cinematic VR experience that guides participants through a mysterious time-traveling narrative, inviting us to wonder about wonder.

Platform: Gear VR, Oculus Rift

Team: Andrew Leitch, Ryan Silbert

60 Fifth Ave

60 Fifth Ave is a Vive demo that shows our “magic flying carpet” demo (the user stands on our pressure imaging floormat and is able to use their weight shift as a controller to fly around a visualization of our forthcoming VR lab at 60 Fifth Avenue.

Platform: Vive, Tactonic

Team: Prof. Ken Perlin and Wenbo Lan from NYU Future Reality Lab

Bio Link: Prof. Ken Perlin https://cs.nyu.edu/~perlin/ | Wenbo Lan wenbolan.com


Shockwaves is an interactive VR story (cinematic and CG) based on the experiences of US military interrogators in Iraq during the height of the insurgency. Viewers step into diverse environments — interrogation booth, looted nuclear site, a dreamscape of a toxic wasteland – to explore characters and events revolving around a dirty bomb.  Scavenging for clues, users can also detect where the bomb is located before detonation.

Shockwaves VR is based on Powell’s full-length play inspired by Matthew Alexander’s memoir “How to Break a Terrorist: The U.S. Interrogators Who used Brains, Not Brutality to Take Down the Deadliest Man in Iraq.”

Platform: HTC Vive

Team: J Dakota Powell


Skyglow: The beginning of the 21st century has marked a notable shift in human history as the first time more people are living in and moving to cities than in rural areas. Urban environments offer residents a number of conveniences and opportunities, but what they can’t provide is a clear view of the surrounding stars each night.

The term skyglow is commonly used to describe the artificial brightness created by light pollution that radiates from cities, often obscuring the night sky. This immersive VR project will serve to inspire and encourage individuals to reconnect with the true glow of the dark night sky.

Platform: Gear VR, Cardboard

Team: Jesse Ryan, Aashish Kumar



SMAKK Down is about the spirit of competition and the use of audience participation to produce unique experiences for everyone. Two players compete within an arena while multiple VR players can watch and interact with the duel by creating hazards or controlling the environment. The player avatars are produced from 3D scanned people utilizing Occipital Structure Sensor technology.

Platform: Oculus Rift

Team: Talal Choudhury



Swirlyyyy is a VR music-action game. Players will enjoy a journey traveling through a colorful and changing tunnel with rings on the surface. Through simple real-time manipulation – going left and right, players are required to collide the rings to match the rhythm of the music ,making a perfect performance.

Platform: Gear VR, Cardboard

Team: Vivi Yu, Vanilla Liu , Zhuoyang Liu

The Myth Machine


The Myth Machine is a “tech-gothic” immersive mystery set in a near-future world of crumbling start-ups. A few years from now the American Dream is finally dead. The great digital golden age, when nerds were gods of industry was its last gasp. Startup offices are empty: bought out, liquidated, or simply left to rot.The only steady job — your job — is to sift through the leftovers. You are Mila, a broke college grad from an immigrant family trying to make a living. Your client wants you to inventory an old eccentric office space in search of some high-value tech. But what begins as a typical corporate salvage job becomes a descent into a century of illegal government research: mind manipulation, identity reconstruction, all to protect citizens against foreign influence. It gets inside your head and begins to drive you mad. Or is it setting you free? To find out, you must come face-to-face with The Myth Machine.

Platform: Oculus Rift

Team: Clara Fernandez-Vara, Matthew Weise

In development by professors at NYU Game Center

The Virtual Boutique

The Virtual Boutique bridges the gap between the digital and physical experiences of shopping by combining 3D scanning and immersive 360 video catwalks to address the ‘touch’ and ‘feel’ aspects of shopping respectively.

Users will be able to browse and interact with products in beautiful environments and finally be able to truly get a ‘real-world’ sense of the items they’re interested in buying.

Mobile platforms: Cardboard, Gear VR, DayDream

Team: Gwan Yip

Times Square NYPD Dragon

Times Square NYPD Dragon is an HTC Vive interactive experience. Participants are faced with a dragon perched on top of the NYPD Station in Time Square in New York City. The dragon hurls letters from the sign on top of the building toward the VR player who deflects the letters with a makeshift shield. The concept originated from an independent narrative film named American Dragon Slayer (in production). The project was designed in Autodesk Maya & Adobe Photoshop and then created in the Unity 3D game engine.

Platform: HTC Vive

Team: Donna Betancourt

To Be With Hamlet


To Be With Hamlet is a live theater performance in Virtual Reality that allows anybody anywhere to have an intimate experience with Hamlet, Shakespeare’s dramatic masterpiece. The experience enables audiences to walk the battlements of Elsinore Castle with Hamlet as he confronts the ghost of his murdered father.

Platform : HTC vive

Team: Javier Molina, David Gochfeld, Roger Casey, Zachary Koval

Unboxed: Chapter One


Unboxed is a VR experience about the early history of video game consoles. Rather than just displaying hardware behind glass, as most museums do, this project aims to tell the story of the hardware through immersive, historic environments.

This particular demo has two chapters. The first chapter focuses on the first home video game console, the Magnavox Odyssey, and its inventor Ralph Baer, whose basement lab is now enshrined at the Smithsonian. The second chapter focuses on the debut of Nintendo at CES in 1985.

Platform: Gear VR

Team: Jackson Tam


V2B (3D Modifying VR For Designers) stands for VR 2 Business. It is a term borrowed from the B2B which is business 2 business. V2B is a VR for the design industry to modify 3D objects. After 3D designers design a 3D model in the flat screen when they check the 3D model in the VR, they want to modify the 3D model. Instead of going back to the flat screen they can use their hand gestures to modify the model. Link to the project: www.doyoki.com/v2b/

Platform : Oculus Rift, Leap Motion, Unit

Team: Doo Yon Kim