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NextGen Interactions


NextGen Interactions logo

Virtual Reality Heads-Up Display
3rd Place - $15,000 Prize

About the Team

Team Members: Jason Jerald, Co-Founder; Blake Boyd, Firefighter; Luke Tannenbaum, Developer; Simon Mangiapelo, Developer

NextGen Interactions is a consulting and contracting firm that specializes in virtual reality. Founded in 2012, clients and partners consist of a wide range of organizations such as Oculus, AT&T, and MergeVR. Work includes company advising, feasibility reports, customized workshops, and system/application development. Most recently, NextGen Interactions, in partnership with Sixense, HTC, and Digital ArtForms, helped to create and release MakeVR, an award-winning modeling application where content created within VR can be transformed to the real world via 3D printing. Other VR projects include an educational dinosaur game, integration of physical elements with the virtual, and the development and study of a new method to reduce motion sickness.

Jason Jerald is CEO of NextGen Interactions, is Adjunct Faculty at Duke University, serves on multiple advisory boards, and speaks various events throughout the world. Jason has been creating VR systems and applications for over 20 years. He has been involved in over 70 VR-related projects across more than 40 organizations including Valve, Sixense, NASA, General Motors, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, three U.S. national laboratories, and six universities. Jason's work has been featured on ABC's Shark Tank, on the Discovery Channel, in the New York Times, and on the cover of the MIT Press Journal 'Presence.' He has held various technical and leadership positions, and has served on the ACM SIGGRAPH, IEEE Virtual Reality, and IEEE 3D User Interface Committees. Jason has numerous publications, most notably, the best-selling book 'The VR Book: Human-Centered Design for Virtual Reality.'

Blake Boyd works part time for NextGen Interactions, and full time with the Town of Cary Fire Department where he serves as the department's lead technical advisor and data analyst. With 18 years of experience, he has served in numerous capacities in the operations division and on several advisory committees. Blake also volunteers with the American Red Cross as the Fire Department Liason for the Home Fire Prevention Campaign. Blake's passion lies with technology and is actively engaged with utilizing VR for training development and using 3D printing to solve everday issues.

Luke Tannenbaum is an Unreal Engine developer who is just starting to jump into VR. As a recent computer science and music graduate from UNC Chapel Hill, Luke likes to compose video game soundtracks and design tabletop games for fun. He is a proud member of the ACM SIGGRAPH and IGDA organizations.

Simon Mangiapelo is an Unreal Engine developer and VR enthusiast who loves nothing but VR and programming. With three years of experience in UE4, Blueprints, and C++, Simon is the one bringing art to life. Simon spends most of his free time specializing in VR experiences.

The Solution

Key Features

  • Multiple UI Elements: User interacts with UI elements such as air supply, breadcrumb trail, alerts, smart watch through head gaze and controller input.

  • Navigation Map: can be interacted with at waist level, placed on ground or viewed on wrist.

Created July 10, 2018, Updated December 27, 2022