Five Tenants of VR Storytelling by Julia Sourikoff

Julia Sourikoff came to MIT to tell us what makes VR storytelling great and how can we achieve good and impactful results with just a bit of creativity. Sourikoff is Head of VR at Tool of North America. Before joining Tool, Julia helped launch the annual Future of StoryTelling summit in New York, growing the company from a small start-up to an exclusive and oversubscribed thought-leadership event with an online presence of over half a million followers. At FoST, she specialized in content curation, partnership development, and experience design, working closely with the world’s leading brands, like American Express, General Electric, Google, Microsoft, and Time Warner.


Sourikoff put enphasis on the future of storytelling and how we can communicate in 360. She gave us the 5 clues to a great experience:

1. Why VR? Transcendence and empowerement

Sourikoff talked about why is VR a powerful medium to communicate and create experiences. One of the quotes she highlighted was 'The computer offers a thrilling extension of human powers' by Janet Murray, Hamlet and the Holodeck. 


2. Human centered design: Vr is a somatic medium

Sourikoff mentioned the 8 phases of enlightment and how with VR we are not watching the world but experiencing it.


3. Stop thinking in rectangles: storyboarding and scripting

Sourikoff went through some technical aspects of 360 filming and designing and how could we achieve a good result with the tools we have in hand. She explained the areas of interest in a 360 experience.

4. This is not a film shoot: production challenges

She talked about the difficulties that one can find when filming and editing in 360 and how to overcome those. She also talked about the importance of testing and iteration when filming in 360.

5. Technology influences story; Future forecasting

Finally she explained how VR is evolving and how we will use it in the future. She talked about different mediums that are getting importance amongst VR specialist such as WebVR.


It was great to have Julia at MIT. We had a great evening with massive attendance and food!! It was an incredibly interesting talk full of little tips for all of you who want to start digging into this great medium! 

Don't miss our next talk at MIT! 


Anna Fuste, VP Marketing & Judith Amores, Co-President VR@MIT

Princeton Envision visits MIT Medialab

  Dylan Mavrides (P.E.), Howard Tam (P.E.), Jacob Loewenstein (VR@MIT), Emily Tang (P.E.), Evan Wildenhain (P.E.), Daniel Chae (P.E.), Judith Amores (VR@MIT), Henry Ha (P.E.), Yuan Wang (P.E.), Wouter Van Gijseghem (P.E.), Claire Adair (P.E. Co-Founder), Sam Bernstein (P.E.), Katherine Hong (P.E.), Adrian Tong (P.E.), Luca Rade (P.E.), Niranjan Shankar (P.E.)

Dylan Mavrides (P.E.), Howard Tam (P.E.), Jacob Loewenstein (VR@MIT), Emily Tang (P.E.), Evan Wildenhain (P.E.), Daniel Chae (P.E.), Judith Amores (VR@MIT), Henry Ha (P.E.), Yuan Wang (P.E.), Wouter Van Gijseghem (P.E.), Claire Adair (P.E. Co-Founder), Sam Bernstein (P.E.), Katherine Hong (P.E.), Adrian Tong (P.E.), Luca Rade (P.E.), Niranjan Shankar (P.E.)

Last week 14 students from Princeton Envision visited the MIT Medialab and had the chance to check out the newest VR/AR projects that are being developed by Medialab researchers.

Here is a brief overview of the experience by Claire Adair, Co-Founder and Vice-President of Princeton Envision:

Princeton's leading student organization in rapidly developing disruptive technologies and their wide-ranging implications, Envision had the privilege of sending 14 students to visit MIT's Media Lab and Fluid Interfaces Research Group with human-computer interaction expert Judith Amores and VR@MIT Co-Founder Jacob Loewenstein. Fascinated by the innovative output of the Media Lab's various research groups, Princeton Envision students learned about the industry applications of Affective Computing, development of smart cities through Changing Places, far-reaching benefits of Biomechatronics research and inventions, as well as the myriad ways in which Fluid Interfaces is impacting the AR and VR industries. Amores's clear explanation of how different VR/AR projects can be applied to education, meditation training, building of user empathy, artistic imagination, communicating sensation, and other fields inspired many of us to consider potential applications and get excited about the reality of seemingly science-fiction inventions. Provoking multiple conversations about both business ideas and technical innovations, our tour and talk with Amores and Loewenstein was by consensus the highlight of our trip, leaving many of us in awe and in pursuit of the Media Lab as a potential future goal destination.

 Visiting MIT Medialab Changing Places Group

Sam Bernstein, '19, CS Major, gives his impressions of the MIT Medialab:

From my short visit, I could tell that the MIT Media Lab is a remarkable and incredibly unique place: the projects are groundbreaking and audacious, the mindset required to effect them is truly "antidisciplinary" and the environment is conducive to much-needed research and development that couldn't be done anywhere else.

We were really happy to host the Princeton Envision students and show them the different VR/AR research being developed at MIT. 

If you are interested in knowing about the VR/AR projects at MIT contact us and we will offer you a visit to check out the latest advances in VR/AR technologies.


Anna Fuste, VP Marketing & Judith Amores, Co-President VR@MIT

Reality, Virtually, Hackathon. Largest ever VR hackathon.

'Reality, Virtually sets record for largest AR/VR hackathon'

- Network World, Steven Max Patterson


Last weekend the 'Reality, Virtually, Hackathon' took place at the MIT Medialab. What an experience! People from all around the world, from a wide variety of backgrounds participated in this massive hackathon that has set a record for the largest VR/AR hackathon ever, with more than 350 attendees.

 Participants at the registration desk.

Participants at the registration desk.

The event started on Friday with a bunch of workshops that all participants could attend. Introduction to Unity, Emotion Sensing, Native VR development, Developing for HTC Vive, Daydream or Gear VR are some of the workshops that took place during the event.

After the workshops, the keynotes started with some big names talking about VR, AR and MR to kick off the hackathon. Some important facts and quotes mentioned during the keynotes:

  • 'Computer programming languages should fit our brain... not the other way around'
  • 'Demographics are 89% male for video game characters'
  • 'Then something magical happened [in VR}: people started thinking about human computer interaction'


 Keynote by Kipp Bradford.

Keynote by Kipp Bradford.

At the end of the keynotes, the categories for the hackathon where announced:

  • Human wellbeing
  • Entertainment & storytelling
  • Commerce & industry
  • Human connection

And the team formation process started! Teams started gathering around and signing in with their ideas. There were exactly 74 submissions from 74 different teams of 3-5 people each. Check them out at devpost!

After 2 intensive days of brainstorming, coding, designing and bringing to live almost a hundred of brilliant ideas, the finalist could demo their work at the MIT Medialab in an open exhibition. Mentors, judges and sponsors could try out their creations.

Finally, the winners were announced. The best VR application prize was for KidCity VR by Anish Dhesikan, Jacqueline Assar, Theji Jayaratne, Emily Pascual and Kachina Stude. The team built an HTC Vive application for parents and kids to play together. The prize consisted of $5,000 from Samsung's Global Innovation Center.

The best AR application prize was for Waypoint RX by Umar Arshad, Sara Remsen, Paul Katsen, Varun Man and Jan-Erik Steel. They built a Microsoft Hololens augmented reality application to reduce prescription errors in pharmacies. They won $5,000 from AT&T.

Check out some of the best moments of the hackathon captured by John Werner during the event.

Judith Amores, Co-President & Anna Fuste, VP Marketing VR@MIT



Welcome to the new academic year at VR@MIT! 

We are excited to welcome you to the new virtual and augmented reality community at MIT for the new academic year. We are making MIT the hub of VR and AR and we want you to be the centre of it all! Our aim is to bring together students and experts who are excited about VR/AR/MR and want to contribute to the community in any way. We are bringing the industry titans to you and featuring the VR/AR leaders right here on MIT’s campus so you can learn and participate in the different discussions, events and initiatives. Don’t miss out on any of our opportunities!

Judith Amores, Co-President & Anna Fusté, VP Marketing