Thirty Demos. One Night.

The May 2015 edition of NYC Media Lab’s newsletter. Like what you read? Sign up here.

Top of Mind:

30 Demos, 1 Night: NYC Media Lab’s Internet of Things Science Fair.
Thursday, May 21, 6:00–8:30 PM @ Civic Hall (156 Fifth Avenue, Second Floor, NYC)

Startups, university labs, and media companies will convene for an evening “science fair” of Internet of Things technologies. Come and see a range of product and technology concepts that will change the way we live. Only a few tickets left!

Register for “Visions of the Connected Home”

The Future of Notifications: Nightmare or Nirvana?
Wednesday, June 17, 9:00–11:00 a.m. @ NYU Tisch (721 Broadway, Fourth Floor)

In the mobile media age, the only thing certain is death and notifications, to coin a phrase. But like many tools of digital media, it’s an open question whether the blips and beeps that alert us to new information are helping us to deal with information overload or are adding to the problem.

This event will feature a discussion about best practices around the design and implementation of notifications, drawing insights from experts in user experience and product design at NYC’s universities and digital media companies. Attention will be paid to notifications on smartphones, watches, and other interfaces yet to be widely adopted. Speakers will include Matt Boggie, Executive Director, R&D at The New York Times and Steven Levy, Editor in Chief, Backchannel at Medium.

Register for “The Future of Notifications”

Calling all Students & Faculty: Demo Submissions Now Open for the 2015 Annual Summit

Taking place Friday, September 25, NYC Media Lab’s Annual Summit is a crash course in the best thinking, projects, and talent in digital media and communications across the City’s universities. The demo showcase will feature more than 100 digital media projects from students and faculty in NYC and beyond.

This is an opportunity to share your prototypes, research, and startups in a trade show-style environment to a gathering of 800+ executives, technologists, and venture capitalists from NYC Media Lab’s community.

Demos will be accepted on a rolling basis, with the first round of notifications going out June 30. The sooner the submission, the higher chance of being accepted — so get in your submissions now.

Submit Your Demo Today


Columbia University computer science professor Shree Nayar has created a video camera that runs without a battery. (more)

NYU Polytechnic researchers describe a prototype of a smartphone-based platform that collects and analyzes data from moving vehicles. (more)

Queens College and & CUNY Graduate Center faculty member Liang Huang helps develop an algorithm that automatically aligns natural language sentences with corresponding video segments. (more)

Cornell Tech researchers use computer vision to match street-level geo-tagged images to a city-scale, aerial view. (more)

Researchers from NYU Courant and Facebook AI introduce an improved model to perform automated question and answering tasks. (more)

A new microchip developed by engineers at Columbia University could double wireless capacity. The microchip enables simultaneous transmission and reception on the same radio frequency. (more)

Researchers at the City College of New York propose a new method for increasing data speeds. (more)

Researchers from Columbia University and IBM present an Android-based system that enables apps to run seamlessly across multiple user devices. (more)

Around Town:

NYC Media Lab’s Annual Summit will take place on September 25, 2015 at NYU Skirball. From hands-on workshops to a pan-university demo expo, this is your opportunity to explore a wide range of prototype technologies, applications, and research projects. You have just a few weeks left to take advantage of the early bird rate — register now.

Come meet the founders of three cool university startups on Thursday, May 14, as part of a session NYC Media Lab is organizing for this year’s NewCo New York Festival. Tickets are free but reservations are required. Click here to register.

The NYU ITP “Playful Communications” class will be presenting their interactive work tonight at the Leslie eLab, as part of ITP Thesis Week.

From May 7–22, the New School’s Parsons School of Design will present its fifth annual Parsons Festival, an array of student exhibitions, presentations, installations, workshops, symposia, gallery openings, and performances. This also includes “Designing Multiplicity,” the annual exhibition of thesis works from the Parsons MFA Design and Technology graduating class. This will be an event you’ll want to make time for.

Pratt Design is the School of Design’s annual exhibition of work by exceptional seniors and postgraduates. Come and see a diverse range of what’s next in interactive design, communications design, and more. The exhibition kicks off with an opening reception on May 11.

Coming May 12, the Columbia Journalism School Showcase is an open house event for students to share their work in data visualization, computational journalism, video and audio storytelling, and research. Columbia students will also share Lenses, an NYC Media Lab project completed in conjunction with News Corp and NYU.

Part live performance, part technology demo, the Integrated Digital Media Showcase features work by genre-dodging designers, artists, and technologists studying at the NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering, taking place the evening of May 12 in Brooklyn. This work is experimental, highly technical, and also “just plain cool.” RSVP here.

Just a few days left to register for Streaming Media East, taking place May 12–13 in NYC. The conference will examine the business and technology of online video, with speakers from Live Nation, Microsoft, NBCUniversal, the New York Times, and more. Friends of NYC Media Lab can receive a $200 savings off the regular rate with the code NYCML15.

On May 13, SVA will present its MFA Interaction Design 2015 Thesis Festival, a celebration of work from interaction design graduates who declare their thesis explorations in a public forum. On stage are talks from graduated interaction designers — a collection of designers, architects, scientists, entrepreneurs, and inventors — who present work that connects ideas to the human experience. At the exhibition, prototypes are available for play and exploration.

NYU’s Integrated Digital Media program is hosting its Meet and Greet on May 14 in Brooklyn. It’s an opportunity to meet thirty talented graduate students that are available for hire, with backgrounds in development, design, augmented reality, social media, and more.

The NYU ITP spring show is coming May 19 & 20. See eye-popping creative technology works from ITP graduate students.

Also taking place May 19 & 20, the LDV Vision Summit will examine how visual technologies are disrupting the industry. The event will include 80 speakers, 40 sessions, and 2 competitions. Receive 40% off the regular price with the promo code NYCMediaLab2. Register here.

NYU ITP is running a series of summer camps starting in June, encompassing education technology, museum innovation, and the notable ITP Camp. Learn more.

On June 9 at Columbia University, the Future of Urban Innovation Summit will bring together industry, universities, and government to engage on the future state of innovation and how they can work together to spur economic growth.

NYU ITP will host a virtual reality hackathon from July 10–12. The theme: Mythos and moxie. Learn more and register.

Join editors, producers, product managers, and tech and media innovators at the second annual Collab/Space New York on July 15. Hosted by the Ford Foundation, Collab/Space is an all-day workshop of innovation projects within media and tech companies. To apply to present your project, click here.


Spring applications are now open for the McGraw Fellowship for Business Journalism, an initiative launched last year at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. The McGraw Fellowships enable accomplished journalists to do the deep reporting needed to produce a distinguished investigative or enterprise business story. The deadline for spring proposals is May 15, 2015.

Apply by June 1 for the Knight-VICE Innovators Fund in partnership with the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. The fund will provide seed money to “journalists with big ideas.”

Students: apply to join the Microsoft Student Partner program. The deadline is July 15.


NYC Media Lab is collecting information on R&D spaces related to media and communications technology in New York City. These include academic facilities, collaborative spaces, media labs, and other spaces used by industry for the exploration of new technologies. If you operate, work in, or otherwise frequent one of these kinds of spaces, please take a few minutes to tell us about it.

University faculty: join the NYC Media Lab faculty listserv to be notified of new seed projects and funding opportunities.

Introducing the NYC Media Lab podcast: an exploration of the ideas that make up New York’s technology imagination through a series of conversations with the people that make up the City’s tech community. Our test set for this prototype installment are the investor, journalist, and philanthropist Esther Dyson and the computer scientist and artist Ken Perlin.

A tool for instant data visualizations: how News Corp, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering, and NYC Media Lab are working together to build something new. Justin Hendrix also spoke with about the project.

How will the Internet of Things change our bodies, minds, and culture? Scholar Philip Howard came to NYU Steinhardt to share his insights.

Image-recognition startup Clarifai has raised $10 million, making it the 50th to graduate from NYU Poly’s incubators.

NYU computer science professor Claudio Silva has collaborated with MLB Advanced Media to develop Statcast, a brand new system that tracks and analyzes everything happening during a game.

Winners from the Columbia Venture Competition at Columbia Engineering included a flexible, wearable screen and a visual recognition algorithm for social media advertising.

Nvidia has teamed with the NYU Center for Data Science to develop deep learning applications and algorithms for large-scale GPU-accelerated systems.

Using brainwaves to find the perfect bike ride: WIRED covers the MindRider Map, developed by NYU ITP adjunct Arlene Ducao. Arlene and her colleagues demonstrated MindRider at NYC Media Lab’s Future Interfaces event in November 2014.

Student startups competed for $144,000 in prizes in The City College of New York’s Zahn Innovation Center Entrepreneurship Final Pitch last week. Winners included a chip that automatically determines the most effective drug for cancer patients, and a mobile app for construction projects.

Columbia Engineering graduate students showcased their wearable device designs in the School’s first annual “Engineering Your Style” competition.

Finalists at NYU’s Inno/Vention competition presented nutrition apps, USB-powered coffee brewers, and a system preventing motion sickness for VR users.

The NYU Ability Lab teamed up with AT&T to present the Connect Ability Challenge, which called on makers, coders, and innovators to create technologies to make life easier for people with disabilities. The winning idea was alt_text_bot, an app that uses image recognition technology to describe images on Twitter for people with vision impairment. Brooklyn shares six “super science projects” from NYU Polytechnic’s Research Expo.

This is Pundit, an app that lets influencers connect with their audiences through live Q&A on Twitter. Pundit evolved from The Daily Pundit, a project developed by NYU students Chris Aston and Billy Shaw Susanto through the Hearst Fellowship Challenge.

Here, doggy: Cornell Tech students have created the DogStar tail tracker, which combines hardware and a mobile interface to track and interpret a dog’s tail movements.

Interested in becoming a member, exploring project opportunities, or just want to learn more? Contact us today at