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Cronkite Innovation Day to feature drones, telepresence robots at ASU

Innovation Day

ASU's Cronkite School is hosting Innovation Day on Feb. 3, a public expo featuring hands-on activities with cutting-edge technologies. Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now

January 27, 2017

Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication is hosting a public expo featuring a host of cutting-edge technologies impacting journalism’s future.

Cronkite Innovation Day includes a variety of interactive attractions, including indoor drones, telepresence robots, wearable technologies, 3-D printers, virtual reality experiences and more. The event is open to all ASU students, faculty, staff and the public.

Innovation Day is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 3, from 4-8 p.m. at the Cronkite School on ASU's Downtown Phoenix campus. The event is happening in conjunction with ASU’s Night of the Open Door, a public open house with free activities across the Downtown Phoenix campus, and First Fridays, a monthly art walk in Phoenix.

Innovation Day was established last year by Cronkite Innovation Chief Eric Newton, who drives cutting-edge ideas at the Cronkite School and Cronkite News, the school’s multiplatform daily news operation.

“Imagine a festive environment in which the curious try new technologies and brainstorm ways these new tools can help make journalism better,” Newton said. “That’s Innovation Day.”

Cronkite and ASU faculty and staff are joined by technology companies big and small to provide information and instruction about the technologies. Attractions include:

  • Drive a Robot, See the Drones: Drive a telepresence robot and learn how the school uses them. Witness different types of drones and how they can impact news coverage.
  • Inside a Human Cell: Experience what it’s like to walk through a cell inside a human through a virtual reality experience from ASU’s Center for Education Through eXploration. 
  • Visit a “Future Classroom”:  Demo a new learning platform that enables teachers to interact with students using both screen displays and phones.
  • Experience 360 News Video: See how immersive news video is becoming more journalistic, with more compelling productions, with the help of the Cronkite New Media Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lab. Watch a live stream of Innovation Day itself at a camera station — and try to find yourself in the picture.  
  • Visit the Desert: The ASU School of Arts, Media and Engineering invites you to put on an advanced Oculus Rift headset and feel like you are right in the middle of the desert, with sights and sounds from every direction.
  • Try Apps and Wearables: Try out more than a dozen mobile reporting apps that are reshaping journalism with help from Cronkite News faculty members. Or test wearable media that helps you stay informed — or keep fit (with the help of the College of Nursing and Health Innovation).
  • See 3-D Printers: Check out 3-D printers in action from the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering and the ASU library system, and learn how they are transforming industries and everyday life.
  • New Ways to Broadcast: Test a variety of clip-on lenses, microphones, tripods and other accessories that transform a smartphone into a broadcast camera. If your phone isn’t enough, try the fully loaded Video Journalist Backpack with even more equipment. Check out the highest-quality mics and headphones from leading brands.

“Innovation Day reflects the creative and entrepreneurial spirit of our fantastic students and faculty at the nation’s most innovative university,” said Cronkite School Dean and University Vice Provost Christopher Callahan. “We are excited to welcome the community to tour our school and experience the future of journalism and beyond through some fun hands-on activities.”

Students who tweet great ideas for journalistic uses of technology using the hashtag #cronkiteinnovation can win prizes in continuous giveaways during the evening.

Participating companies include the event’s lead sponsor, Sony, as well as B&H Photo Video, Suitable Technologies, Sennheiser, Rode, iOgrapher, Reticare, PanzerGlass, Whoosh!, Mobile-Catch and Plasticase.

Innovation Day will be located in the Cronkite School’s First Amendment Forum at 555. N. Central Ave. in Phoenix. 

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