Since 2007, New Frontier exhibition at the Sundance Film Festival has provided the highest level of curation in the emerging field, incorporating fiction, non-fiction and hybrid projects to showcase transmedia storytelling, multi-media installations, performances and films.

Experiential VR


This virtual-reality project transforms you into a rainforest tree. With your arms as branches and your body as the trunk, you’ll experience the tree’s growth from a seedling into its fullest form and witness its fate firsthand. The main haptics includes the vibrations on the floor, back and arms, the heat and the wind.


Life of Us

Experience a multi-person participatory narrative that tells the complete story of the evolution of life on Earth. From protozoa to tadpole, dinosaurs, apes, humans, and beyond, you, along with up to three other participants, will simultaneously encounter firsthand the lives of those who came before and those who will come after us.

Users are placed in different physical rooms, but interact in a shared virtual space — participants see themselves (and the person they are partnered with) transform from primordial protozoa to modern man and beyond. A voice modulator encourages the sense of abandon, letting you make noises and lose yourself in the experience. It cuts down on the self-consciousness many people feel in VR.

“We thought a lot about how to make a social experience that wasn’t a game, wasn’t a movie, you weren’t shooting anything, you were just sharing a social experience with someone else,” Within co-founder Aaron Koblin explains. Since this is a social experience, you’ll be going through all these stages in tandem, talking and interacting with others along the way. There are vocal effects that accompany each stage, so your voice is more watery and modulated during the fish scene, deep and powerful during the ape stage. Each stage also has a unique interactive element, allowing you to blow bubbles as a fish, flare your neck flaps as a lizard, breathe fire as a pterodactyl and so on. The pitch and timing of your voice affects how the effects are displayed, so high-pitched, quick noises produce lots of tiny bubbles, while deep, extended sounds create gigantic bubbles.


Synesthesia Suit

The Synesthesia Suit provides immersive embodied experience in Virtual Reality environment with vibrotactile sensations on the entire body. Each vibro-tactile actuator provides not a simple vibration such as traditional game controller, but we designed the haptic sensation based on the haptic design method we have developed in the TECHTILE[1] technology. The new sequel Rez Infinite from Enhance Games sees you flying through cyberspace to a pounding techno soundtrack you can feel all over your skin. You shoot down viruses and soar past shimmering polygons, with your success or failure made much more consequential through the suit’s force feedback.



Mindshow is a remarkably easy-to-use app enabling creator to make virtual reality cartoons with your own body and voice and record a 3D miniature movie set. Instead of just directing avatars from afar, though, they drop directly in the shoes of different characters via a VR headset, recording their actions and then combining them into a coherent story. Viewers can either watch the resulting film, or potentially remix the characters’ actions themselves — then pass it on to someone else, who could record their own take, and so on.


NeuroSpeculative AfroFeminism is speculative project, part virtual reality experience, part art installation.Enter Brooks' Salon, a beauty salon of the future, and peruse a line of speculative low- to high-tech beauty products while waiting for your appointment to get a set of “Octavia Electrodes,” transcranial extensions designed to make the brain’s synapses more excitable and primed to increase neuroplasticity. Participate in a live study on your way out to help Hyphen-Labs better explore the neurocognitive impact of your visit. 

The first is a series of inventions meant to address modern-day problems for women of color — from the potentially dangerous, like surveillance and harassment, to the mundane, like sunblock that won’t blend with dark skin. The second piece introduces an in-development piece of VR speculative fiction, with a cast of characters that includes a transhuman “techno-Africana” expert who crafts prosthetics for her own body, an androgynous and always-connected neurocosmetologist-in-training.

Oculus Medium

Medium is an immersive VR experience that lets you sculpt, model, paint, and create tangible objects in a VR environment. With Medium, you can create expressive works of art, whether you're a total beginner, aspiring creative, or professional artist. Oculus Medium uses Touch controllers to enable authentic hand gestures and movement for a natural, tactile experience.



Heroes (another Oculus-supported piece) is fundamentally a dance sequence set to the David Bowie song of the same name, presented across two formats: first a 360-degree Gear VR video, then a Microsoft HoloLens experience. The former gives you a full view of the stage and dancers, and the second lets you walk through a series of scenes that seem to appear in mid-air, controlled by speaking words that are scattered on physical cards around the room. All the while, the headset is tracking your movements, leaving a bright streamer behind to mark your path. HoloLens is still too uncomfortable and limited for this to consistently live up to its full potential, but when it does click, it’s magical.



From the Oldowan rock to the supercomputer, tools have guided our brain’s evolution, developing it into the most complicated object in the known universe. The human brain today is a natural machine that defines the world as we know it. Journey with a friend on an augmented reality headset to come face-to-face with the earliest days of human brain development, and travel through to its evolution as the fulcrum of our extraordinary and always-growing abilities to create, communicate, and collaborate.

Experience: Sitting across from each other, two participants wearing Meta 2 headsets take turns pushing holographic lobes into place, while directed speakers describe their purpose.

Cinematic VR

Dear Angelica

Dear Angelica is a simple story: A girl who lost her actress mother at a young age reconnects with her by watching old films on a VCR. However, it’s also Oculus’ first VR experience created with the company’s Quill tool, which lets illustrators create immersive 3D animations directly within VR— and the result plays like a fever dream, all brilliant floating images and fleeting memories.

Experience: minimally interactive; the world never waits for your response or forces you to make decisions. But it’s not a static VR film or animation, either. It’s more like being dropped inside a moving painting, where everything feels simultaneously unreal and tangible.



Miyubi is one of the first scripted projects from influential virtual reality studio Felix & Paul, as well as one of the longest VR films ever made, at 40 minutes. It’s also a pretty funny — if occasionally corny — ‘80s comedy-drama written in partnership with Funny or Die. The story, told as a series of vignettes through the eyes of a toy robot, touches on family drama as well as fears about automation and obsolescence. And there’s a Jeff Goldblum cameo, if you can figure out how to unlock it.

wrap up video of some project in VR palace