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2022 - 2023 Recap

Symposiums, hackathons, art installations, residency programs, and engineering projects: our founders Alice Cai and Aida Baradari reflect on their past year.

Across Augmentation Lab, AR/VR Developers, and Conflux art tech collective at Harvard University, we’ve brought together dozens of graduate and undergraduate students across departments to work on developing new technologies and meaningful experiences this year.

From eye-gaze-controlled supernumerary robotic limbs to natural language-driven XR game engines to haptic gloves that reinvent IoT interactions, we’re exploring cognitive augmentation, physical augmentation, & immersive worlds through research, engineering, and creative practices.

The following is a chronology of what we’ve worked on this year:

[Event] DALL-T & Nervous Networks & Notes on Love. Introducing the community to AI art, data visualization, wearable tech, biosensing, and virtual reality through interactive art tech experiences. Evenings of art tech exhibits and conversations centered around the theme of life, love, creativity, collective emotion, and connection between people.

[Event] Research & corporate lab visits. Touring MIT Immersion Lab, MGH AR/VR Lab, & PTC’s CXC in partnership with the Harvard Grid, trying state-of-the-art technologies & scanning our bodies into the metaverse. Thanks Talis Reks, Raul Uppot, Min Lang, and PTC for the tours!

[Event] Harvard AR/VR Symposium. Bringing together the community in Harvard’s premiere AR/VR symposium connecting researchers and industry leaders, in partnership with the Harvard Grid.

[Residency] Winter Residency. Bringing together 18 students from various disciplines for 2.5 weeks to work on projects, workshops, & a final exhibition centered around the intersection of art and technology. Big thanks to all our fellows, mentors, and supporters!

[Exhibition] Liminal Interfaces. A public exhibition exploring the ways in which art tech can transform liminal spaces—the transitory, ambiguous, and often painful spaces between locations or states of being—into personal and meaningful places. Featuring six student art tech installations experimenting with various liminal spaces, integrating technologies across AR/VR, semantic visualization, generative art, biosensing, gesture control, and more.

[Hackathon] Dream Hack. Bringing together students from across the country for a 3-day AR/VR hackathon, exploring XR accessibility, co-presence, patient care, storytelling, & more. Big thanks to all our participants, mentors, & sponsors!

[Project] J[AR]VIS. Intelligent AR assistant that provides real-time information and insights to users within their environment. Users can ask J[AR]VIS for information about anything in their world, facilitating human curiosity in understanding the environment around them.

[Project] ControlXR. Universal haptic gloves using piezo-electric actuators that integrate tactile sensations with keyboard and controller input functionalities to develop a novel language for both interaction and tactile perception of virtual and augmented worlds.

[Project] Wormholes. How do we form connections across spatial boundaries in a world of digitalization? Audio-visual installation through which people in different places can see and interact with each other, examining the nature of transience, connection, and serendipity.

[Project] LimbX. How can we control and feel ownership of body parts that don’t belong to us? To advance interaction and control methods for technology-augmented humans, we built a supernumerary robotic limb and a novel eye-gaze & voice-driven control system under the guidance of Dr. Hugh Herr at MIT Media Lab that allows users to move the limb intuitively with low cognitive load.

Thank you to all the amazing people we have worked with on these projects: Paul Hayre, Rachel DeLucas, Elena Glassman, Gu-Yeon Wei, Leon Pietschmann, Rus Gant, Talis Reks, Peggy Yin, AnhPhu Nguyen, Caine Ardayfio, Treyden Chiaravalloti, Aghyad Deeb, Vikram Gupta, Aryan Naveen, Davide Zhang, Aria Xiying Bao Kidist Alemu, Priscilla Cheav, Ibta Chowdhury, Taylor Fang, Holden Edmonds, Adrian Hackney, Liya Jin, Julian Li, Karen Li, Sera McDonald, Kassandra Rodriguez-Acosta, Izumi Vazquez, Ricky Williams, Alina Yu, Kaitlyn Zhou, Max Allison, Alicia Guo, Audrey C., Diana Yue, Yutong Wu, Madison Davis, Ziwei Gu, Eric Wang, Rob Nilson, Yuqi Yan, Daeun Yoo, Dünya Baradari, Deepika Gopalakrishnan, Xian-Hao Liao, Shea Landeene, Tushar Kanade.

Coming up next:

2023 Augmentation Residency. Bringing together 6-10 creative technologists in an all-living-expenses paid residency to build the next innovations in wearable tech, AR/VR, and AI/ML. If you or anyone you know is interested, apply here (3 spots remaining). If you’re interested in collaborating or sponsoring the program, shoot us a message.

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