First Steps on the Moon

How can AR enhance the future of storytelling and journalism?



In February 2019, our team won a 20k grant design fellowship awarded by the Journalism 360 Awards, a collaboration between the Google News Initiative and Knight Foundation. With NYC Media Lab and the Associated Press (AP), we were prompted to explore the visualization of health and science news in augmented reality with a focus on the coverage of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. Working closely with journalists and digital media experts at the AP, our team designed an experience that brings the readers to the iconic scene of Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon. Consulting a developer, Mike Manh, we tested and presented a stand-alone mobile app at the NYC Media Lab's Spring Open House Demo Day event with 200+ visitors interested in the emerging technologies.


The AR experience takes audience from their current environment to the moment when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin first landed on the Moon on July 20th, 1969. The readers interact with the astronauts and artifacts on the moon, hearing and learning about the fun facts happened 238,900 miles away from Earth 50 years ago.


Scope : 12 weeks
Collaborators : Abhinav Sircar, Andy Kang, Crystal Wang, Mike Manh (AR developer), AP Editorial Team
My Role : Research, Ideation, Prototyping
Tools : Unity, Vuforia ,Torch, Figma, Maximo, Cinema4D, Creo, Sketch





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Torch is a code-free AR prototyping tool. Our team use it to understand and test basic interactions and 3d assets’ scale in relation to the real environment.



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A morning Open House event hosted by the NYC Media Lab at the RLab, Brooklyn Navy Yard to gather engineers, designers, data scientists and creative technologists who showed their demonstrations of new technologies and user experiences. Our playful AR prototype successfully attract the crowd to engage. We also took the opportunity to validate the interactions and gain new insights.


About NYC Media Lab
Founded in 2010, NYC Media Lab is dedicated to driving innovation and ultimately job growth in media and technology by facilitating collaboration between the City’s universities and its companies. Comprised of a consortium including New York City Economic Development Corporation, School of Visual Arts, New York University, Columbia University, The New School, CUNY, IESE, and Pratt Institute, NYC Media Lab's goals are to include generate research and development, knowledge transfer, and talent across all of the city’s campuses.

About Associated Press
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Our teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. We provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands.