Students are back in town. The campus is open. Signs are up and around Chapel Hill to encourage the three W’s (wait, wear, wash) aka the new normal. Things will look and feel different for the UNC-CH campus this fall, and that applies to the Lab. As we learned earlier this year, new challenges lead to new discoveries and innovations — which is the perfect introduction to talk about what we’ve been working on all summer long!

Classes have ended, final exams have been graded, UNC seniors have graduated, and summer has arrived! May was a month filled with both reflection and anticipation. Here in the Lab, we’re reflecting on the work we’ve managed to execute this semester while away from campus — it even attracted national media attention! We’re also anticipating several projects to unfold this summer. Be sure to follow our social media (@ReeseInnovate) to stay updated!

Like the rest of the world, we are watching, listening to, and learning from the news surrounding George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and the other victims of…

King on ABC News’s “Pandemic: What You Need to Know: “

Steven King, UNC professor of Emerging Technologies at the Hussman School of Journalism and Media/Kenan-Flagler Business School and Chief Innovation Officer of the Reese Innovation Lab, was recently featured on ABC News’s “Pandemic: What You Need to Know,” hosted by Amy Robach and Dr. Jen Ashton. The story highlighted King’s pivot to virtual learning in response to COVID-19. His idea? It was to use social VR as a platform for his MEJO 588 class: Emerging Technologies.

It took 28 Oculus Go headsets and testing two social VR platforms (Mozilla Hubs and AltSpaceVR) in a span of two weeks. The hard…

Just over a month ago, we were preparing our working from home spaces, for classes on Zoom (or in virtual reality!), and for the uncertainty that was to come with COVID-19. A lot has happened to our nation over the past month. In this month’s newsletter, you’ll read stories surrounding innovation, creativity, and determination during difficult times. Before we get to those, we just want to say we hope you and your loved ones are staying safe and healthy!

The art of making plans has gone numb over these past few weeks. A “fluid situation” means anything can change (or cancel) at any minute. COVID-19 has drastically impacted our country’s health and economy, and it’s drastically impacted you (yes, you reader!) and the routine you once carried out a few weeks ago. For those celebrating milestones this year, this virus has wrecked those plans, especially for high schoolers and their spring semester.

For high school students, this semester is all about anticipation: prom, sports championships, finishing academics, forming summer plans, and perhaps picturing life as a college freshman while…


It’s a term that’s been used by designers, storytellers, marketers, engineers, and so on… The way we understand empathy is by asking a question like “how can I understand you in order to create a product, service, experience, etc. that will delight you, our end user?”

Empathy is everywhere. And it’s at the center of innovating for accessibility. How can we make people see, feel, and understand a perspective that’s not their own? …

As someone who is a planner and thrives on routine, I have had a challenge adjusting to this new lifestyle. I’ve also transitioned from living independently in Chapel Hill to living (and working) with my family, two dogs, and cats back in Winston-Salem. These past few weeks in March have felt eternal, but every day gets a little better as we pull together as a society to fight this virus.

Here are some ways I am spending my time in quarantine to continue learning, growing, and creating during these slower-paced weeks. I hope they strike inspiration for you:




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