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Cronkite Innovation Day to feature drones, telepresence robots

The public expo at ASU will showcase cutting-edge technologies for journalists

Innovation Day

The Cronkite School is hosting Innovation Day Feb. 7, a public expo featuring hands-on activities with cutting-edge technologies.

February 05, 2018

Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication is hosting a large-scale public expo featuring cutting-edge technologies for journalists.

Cronkite Innovation Day features backpack journalism kits, indoor drones, telepresence robots, virtual reality experiences and more. ASU students, faculty, staff and the public are invited to attend the event from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 7, at the Cronkite School on the ASU Downtown Phoenix campus.

Cronkite Innovation Day was established in 2015 by the school’s innovation chief, Eric Newton, who champions cutting-edge ideas throughout the school and at Cronkite News, the school’s multiplatform daily news operation.

“Innovation Day is a fun way to get used to ever-changing technology,” Newton said. “Some of these tools and techniques are new, and some haven’t yet been used by journalists. Imagining how good journalism can be made with this technology is the first step toward adopting it.”

B&H Photo, Canon, Sennheiser and Sony are among the technology companies who will showcase products at the event. Faculty and staff also will demonstrate new tools that are — or could be — useful to journalists. They include:

• Drones Aloft: Learn how to fly a drone and see firsthand how drones can be used by journalists to cover the news.

• Backpack Journalism: Get acquainted with video equipment so compact it can fit neatly inside a backpack for journalists covering stories in the field.

• Virtual Reality Tours: Choose from more than 60,000 virtual adventures, from exploring the inner-workings of a human cell to touring the honeycombs in a beehive.

• The Zone — Transport Yourself: With an Oculus Rift virtual reality headset and high-quality, noise-canceling headphones, attendees can transport themselves to a tranquil desert in this sensory-immersive experience.

• Download that App: Some of the most impactful tools for journalism are apps. Experiment with some of the latest phone apps that are reshaping how journalists research, report and share the news.

Innovation Day also will include a contest with prizes awarded to attendees who share great ideas for journalistic uses of technology. Contestants will post their ideas on social media during the evening with the hashtag #CronkiteInnovation to win prizes, which includes cameras and filmmaker gear. Students are encouraged to post on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Innovation Day will be located in the Cronkite School’s First Amendment Forum at 555. N. Central Ave. in Phoenix. It is open to the public at no charge. 

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