(Photo by April Joyner)
This past weekend, Brooklyn’s own cathedral of hardware, New Lab, celebrated its first anniversary in style. The Saturday evening event featured art installations, virtual-reality demos, tours inside the offices of resident companies, food trucks and plenty of libations on hand. As this reporter approached New Lab’s doors, there was a line of people waiting to get inside.
(Perhaps entrepreneurs really are the new rock stars.)
The borough’s tech personalities came out in full force. This reporter ran into quite a few people whose projects and companies we’ve covered here at Technical.ly. We caught up, for instance, with Donnel Baird of BlocPower, whose company keeps a few seats in New Lab for its employees focused on hardware development. BlocPower’s main headquarters is now in Brooklyn, too: the company moved to Dumbo from Grand Central Tech earlier this year.
“It was time to get back to Brooklyn,” Baird, a Bed-Stuy native, said.
We also ran into local tech supercouple Rachel Haot and Max Haot. Rachel recently left incubator and workspace 1776NY, and Max’s company Livestream was acquired by Vimeo last month, but the two weren’t yet ready to speak at length on their next career steps. Here’s what we can say, given a quick peek at Max’s LinkedIn profile: he’s currently working on a new company developing satellites, Launcher, which is based in New Lab.
Below, we’ve included a few scenes from the evening.
A photo alone couldn’t capture the essence of this installation, so here’s a quick video:
It’s the Dream Machine, from artist Emilie Baltz. Each horn in the installation is labeled with an emotion or quality. Want to hear what sadness and strength sound like (with a DJ in the background)? Push play.
A drone from Spacial hovered over the festivities. (The company has a video of its first flight over New Lab from earlier this year, if you’re curious to see the fruits of the drone’s labor.)
Liminal Scope by Hovver Studios, which debuted at Industry City earlier this year, is a light and sound installation that seeks to evoke the passage of light through space. As you can see in the photo, it was an object of fascination among attendees.
Another company that opened its doors to the public: Jason Krugman Studio, which specializes in light sculptures.
New Lab also held an exhibit from Bushwick virtual and augmented reality studio Superbright entitled New Theories in VR. Among the exhibit’s featured artists was Sarah Rothberg, one of whose projects we previously covered. Here, an attendee is pictured demoing Rothberg’s VR installation, Touching a Cactus, which the artist describes as “a meditation on physical/virtual desire and consequences (or lack thereof).”
Marcel Botha, the CEO of hardware design and consulting firm 10xBeta, also opened up his company’s office — though unfortunately, most of its projects were tucked away in the back. (They’re not ready to be unveiled to the public yet.) Botha did let us know that there is a new application in the works for its BeatBot, the racing robot featured in a Puma campaign with Usain Bolt.