NYC Media Lab Awards $25,000 in Prizes!

The latest ideas in emerging media are honored

NYC Media Lab
5 min readSep 28, 2019

NYC Media Lab ’19 featured a Demo Expo and Startup Pavilion — a showcase of 100 emerging media and technology prototypes created by faculty and students across the City. Demo participants are presenting their startups, research, and prototypes to a crowd of more than 1,000 attendees, including thought leaders and fellow technologists from leading digital media, technology, and communications companies.

The NYC Media Lab awarded $25,000 in prizes to projects that represent the creativity, technical depth and potential impact of the latest ideas in emerging media.

The awards were split into five categories: Future Interfaces & Spatial Computing, Data Science, Entrepreneurial Innovation, Creative Technology, and Enabling Technology.

$5,000: Grand Prize Overall

Reconstructing Intelligible Speech from the Human Brain: Columbia University

This project records the brain signals of subjects listening to speech with invasive electrodes, and shows intelligible reconstruction of speech from the neural responses.

$4,000: First Prize Overall

MakerBrace: NYU Tandon School of Engineering (MakerSpace)

This project concerns the design and fabrication of low-cost, highly adaptable, 3D-printed devices for patients with cerebral palsy. Through a partnership with NYU Langone, this team is able to tailor devices for individual patient’s needs and adapt for their convenience.

$3,000: Second Prize Overall

Project Fovea: Columbia University

Project Fovea aims to integrate eye-tracking and deep learning into the creative process. The team created a video production pipeline that uses real-time eye-tracking information to model the viewers attentional behavior and seamlessly predict what will maintain their level of interest. The pipeline has three main steps: 1) training a model to detect attention based on eye tracking measures, 2) pre-processing video data, and 3) collecting viewing data. The combined mechanism predicts the video that will most engage the viewer based on their personal viewing behavior.

$2,000: Third Overall (1)

Smart-Tagging: CUNY School of Journalism

Hindsight’s Smart-Tagging predictive technology pre-identifies search terms in an article and attaches internal related content from that publication, further context on the topic, and highly targeted advertising, all accessible to the reader with a click on the term. The type and search action is now a click or hover action.

$2,000: Third Overall (2)

Good Vibrations: Weill Cornell University

Good Vibrations allows you to enter a new reality where you are free of debilitating tremors via sampling their trajectory and canceling their velocity. This occurs at 3x tremor frequency resulting in instantaneous hand stabilization to manipulate digital environments and feel free of the disease.

$1,000: Top Prize, Future Interfaces & Spatial Computing

Bounce! Collaborative VR for Low-Latency Interaction: Columbia University

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.

$500: Second Prize, Future Interfaces & Spatial Computing

Recipe Controller: NYU Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP)

This smart apron prototype makes cooking simpler and cleaner. Users can navigate online videos simply by tapping conductive symbols on the apron.

$1,000: Top Prize, Creative Technology

Digital Arrest: NYU Integrated Digital Media & Columbia University

In this virtual reality experience, the viewer becomes Jarrell Daniels, a young black man whose social media life fueled conspiracy charges leading to a six-year prison sentence in a New York prison. Digital Arrest explores how social media can be used as a tool for policing in the 21st century.

$500: Second Prize, Creative Technology

After Image

The New School, Design & Technology

After Image is an artwork showcasing experiments done with an archive of my own family photographs in relation to a larger archive of South Indian studio photographs from the Studies in Tamil Studio Archives and Society. Each of these experiments employs machine learning techniques to surface semantic and visual patterns.


$1,000: Top Prize, Data Science

Let’s Read a Story

NYU Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP)

This project is an exploration on how computers and technology can turn story time into a conversation between parents, children and a computer. It takes the corpus and investigates the connections between different characters and themes in a new and fun way using machine learning language models.

$500: Second Prize, Data Science

Sounds Of New York City (SONYC): Smart Urban Noise Monitoring

New York University, Music and Audio Research Laboratory (MARL)

An urban sound monitoring system powered by cutting edge machine listening to help mitigate noise pollution.


$1,000: Top Prize, Entrepreneurial Innovation

ARay: Window Solar Charger

School of Visual Arts, MFA Interaction Design (IxD)

The Window Solar Charger is a designer solar panel that charges your devices. Unlike most solar panels, it’s designed to hang in any window. For those who rent or can’t install solar panels on their roof, this is a small way to be more eco-friendly.

$500: Second Prize, Entrepreneurial Innovation

Rx.Health Asthma Program

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, NY

The Bronx, NY has the highest rate of adult asthma in the country (~17%), and health providers have little knowledge of important patient asthma symptoms outside of clinic visits. Our demo provides a unique digital program to deliver educational content and gather patient reported symptoms through a HIPAA secure system.

$1,000: Top Prize, Enabling Technology

Requet: Real-Time QoE Detection for Encrypted YouTube Traffic: Columbia University

As video traffic dominates the Internet, operators need to detect video Quality of Experience (QoE) to ensure video traffic support; however, with deployment of end-to-end encryption, network packet-based detection is becoming ineffective. To resolve this issue, Requet enables real-time QoE metric detection for encrypted video traffic using machine learning.

$500: Second Prize, Enabling Technology

Measuring Channel Dynamics for Next Generation Wireless Networks: NYU Tandon School of Engineering

Millimeter wave frequencies are a key enabler for next generation wireless networks, but these signals propagate differently from those in current wifi and cellular systems. In this demo, we are showing a purpose-built measurement system used to investigate millimeter wave channel dynamics.

$500: Demo Expo Live Poll awards!

NYC Media Lab invited attendees to participate in a live poll during the Demo Expo and Startup Pavilion via the Whova app. The top three exhibiting teams that had the most “likes” were issued prizes in the sum of $500 each. The Live Poll award went to three teams that did not win another NYCML’19 Demo Expo award, and should be seen as an overall honorable mention.

Ghosted AR
NYU Courant Institute
Surprise, you’re dead! But the big guy downstairs has a deal for you: you can get back to life on Earth, but you’ve got to select one of these ghosts to haunt you for the rest of your days. It’s speed-dating from hell. Literally.

Edible Apartment
RLab Creathon “Stories of the Future 2030” Winner
Using a combination of geo-location, 3D modeling and spatial computing, this mixed reality application gives consumers a powerful tool and a one-stop shop to easily integrate hydroponic and other elegant indoor growing systems into their living spaces. Edible Apartment lets users make their homes beautiful, healthy and delicious by leveraging under-utilized square footage of apartments across New York City and around the world.

UNSUNG, An Augmented Reality Storybox
Movers & Shakers
UNSUNG is an interactive, multiplayer AR learning experience. Students can read through passages about female icons of color and answer multiple choice questions within a mobile app. Correct answers will unlock different rooms related to the subject’s lives that students can explore.



NYC Media Lab

NYC Media Lab connects university researchers and NYC’s media tech companies to create a new community of digital media & tech innovators in New York City.