If you haven’t yet made your way over to the Navy Yard to see New Lab, you can still get a peek at what its resident companies are up to. The current edition of New York magazine features a photoessay on the founders of New Lab’s resident companies. The spread includes much-buzzed about companies Honeybee Robotics and Strongarm Technologies, as well as a few other tenants of the space.
While the piece doesn’t delve at length into the companies’ activities, it does offers a cool peek inside their offices and the products they’re working on. Take Farmshelf, for example, whose hydroponic shelves are bound to catch your eye as you walk around the top floor of New Lab’s facilities.
New Lab has been billed as the “cathedral of manufacturing,” but as New York‘s Alexa Tsoulis-Reay puts it, it’s also perhaps a new East Coast destination for the “moon shot” thinking commonly associated with Silicon Valley. (The print version of the piece even has the words “moon shot” in the headline.)
Even seemingly run-of-the-mill products and services get a futuristic sheen. For instance, Andrew Ochoa, the CEO of Waverly Labs, which translates languages in real-time via earbuds, likened his company’s service to Star Trek‘s universal translator. And Jessica Banks, the founder of furniture maker RockPaperRobot, gave an especially intriguing description of her company’s products: “Think what you might find on Charles Eames and Judy Jetson’s wedding registry.”
The New York mag treatment feels like a sign that Brooklyn tech has risen to mainstream consciousness (with even a dash of tech fetishizing, as publications with an general audience often do, as the story speaks of the companies “imagining the future” and New Lab as place to “hunker down and dream,” though only describing each company with a sentence or two).