Audi Announces Winner of 'The Tony Stark Innovation Challenge'

- MIT Graduate Student Natan Linder wins $15,000 in funding for his invention LuminAR

- LuminAR functions as a digital bulb with built-in Internet technology that can project web content onto any surface

- Social media program brings real-world application to the innovative spirit of Iron Man 2

Jul 08, 2010, 10:51 ET from Audi of America, Inc.

HERNDON, Va., July 8 /PRNewswire/ -- In celebration of Audi's integration in Paramount Pictures and Marvel Entertainment's Iron Man 2, Audi of America, Inc., announced the winner of its social media competition "Stark Expo & Audi Present: The Tony Stark Innovation Challenge."  MIT Graduate Student Natan Linder will receive $15,000 in funding to develop his invention, LuminAR, a digital bulb with built-in Internet technology that can project web content onto any surface.  With the extension of a robotic lamp arm, LuminAR becomes a mobile internet projector. A video describing his invention can be viewed at

"The Tony Stark Innovation Challenge" was designed to mirror Tony Stark's desire to take Stark Industries in a new direction, using vast intellect and resources to eradicate problems through technology. Participants submitted videos with their concepts, and users rated the ideas.  

"The Tony Stark Innovation Challenge has fulfilled Audi's goal to provide support to a forward-thinking innovator who can make the world a better place through technology," said Scott Keogh, CMO of Audi of America.  "LuminAR is a progressive product that brings technology closer to the user."

Linder's LuminAR submission was one of the highest rated videos and received 132,112 views on YouTube, the most out of all the submissions received.  The video then became one of two finalist videos judged by Audi of America executives, where it received the highest ranking. The runner-up video was created by Bobby Triantos, who will receive $5,000 in funding for his in-car Heads-up Augmented Reality Projection System concept.

"There is a transformation that happens from what you see in movies and how you perceive robotics. They eventually become things that we use everyday," said Linder.  "This is the idea that really drew me to the contest because—aside from being a fan of Iron Man—it represents a vision that I feel really connected to."

Linder, who is a first year Masters student in the Fluid Interfaces group at the MIT Media Lab, aims to fully develop LuminAR in three to five years.  He envisions the product becoming as common as everyday light fixtures.  As a ten-year industry veteran of computer science and product design, Linder worked for Sun Microsystems, and was the co-founder of Samsung Electronics Israel R&D Center where he served as its Mobile R&D General Manager. He was also an Entrepreneur in Residence at Jerusalem Venture Partners, a leading VC in Israel. Prior to joining the Fluid Interfaces group, Linder was the Lead UI Designer at Heartland Robotics.

Linder will receive:

  • $15,000 in funding to develop his concept
  • His experience documented and featured on
  • A four-day trip for two to California including air transportation, hotel and meals
  • Transportation in the latest innovation from Audi, the 2011 A8
  • Spa treatments, tailored cocktail attire, and grooming to perfect his Stark style  
  • A tour of Audi Design Center in Santa Monica
  • A VIP day with the ICON Aircraft team, joining them in flight and water testing of the innovative ICON A5 aircraft (one of Tony Stark's toys)
  • A day at the Audi Sports Car Experience to drive Tony Stark's favorite car, the Audi R8 on a racetrack

Tony Stark is seen throughout Iron Man 2 in his Audi R8 Spyder, the new soft top convertible version of the R8 super car which was featured in the first Iron Man. In addition to the R8 Spyder, the A8 sedan is also showcased in the film.  


Audi of America, Inc. and its 272 U.S. dealers offer a full line of German-engineered luxury vehicles. AUDI AG is among the most successful luxury automotive brands globally. During 2009 Audi outsold all other luxury brands in Europe, while in the U.S. market Audi posted the largest market share gain of any luxury automotive brand. Between 2010 and 2012 the Audi Group is planning to invest around euro 5.5 billion, mainly in new products, in order to sustain the Company's technological lead. Visit or for more information regarding Audi vehicle and business issues.


Paramount Pictures and Marvel Entertainment present the highly anticipated sequel to the blockbuster film based on the legendary Marvel Super Hero "Iron Man," reuniting Director Jon Favreau and Oscar® nominee Robert Downey Jr. In Iron Man 2, the world is aware that billionaire inventor Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is the armored Super Hero Iron Man. Under pressure from the government, the press and the public to share his technology with the military, Tony is unwilling to divulge the secrets behind the Iron Man armor because he fears the information will slip into the wrong hands. With Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) and James "Rhodey" Rhodes (Don Cheadle) at his side, Tony forges new alliances and confronts powerful new forces.  Iron Man 2 hit theaters nationwide on May 7, 2010.

About Marvel Entertainment

Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world's most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of over 5,000 characters featured in a variety of media over seventy years.  Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing and publishing.  For more information visit

SOURCE Audi of America, Inc.