ComArtSci at the Forefront of New Technology

To keep pace with emerging technologies, ComArtSci faculty and students are gearing up for what promises to be an exciting and busy year on many fronts. I have highlighted three projects that examine game-changing technologies that will change the way we are informed and entertained.

Autonomous Vehicles

At the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, in collaboration with the College of Engineering, ComArtSci had a strong presence. A virtual reality (VR) simulation of a driverless car, designed by our researchers Robby Ratan, Taiwoo Park and Sanguk Lee, was a big hit. Their work addressed social aspects of the human-machine interface in driverless cars.

Specifically, our team focused on trust, which is an important criterion in the acceptance of a new technology. With our investments in augmented reality (AR), VR research and proximity to Detroit, we have a distinct edge in comparison to our peer institutions to shape the design of human-machine interface in autonomous and connected vehicles.

Next Gen TV

As you travel to the lake in your driverless car, what do you do for the next six hours? What you would normally do, of course — watch a movie, listen to music, catch up on news or binge watch your favorite show. There’s a technology for that and it is coming to a car near you through a new technology.

Known as ATSC 3.0, the new television broadcasting format that combines broadcast and broadband, commonly referred to as Next Gen TV, can reach moving vehicles with a clearer and stronger signal. In essence, under the new standard, the tall TV towers that currently broadcast signals that only a TV tuner can pick up will be transformed into a gigantic Wi-Fi tower that transmits via Internet Protocol. Next Gen TV offers a number of other possibilities, including the delivery of AR and VR content, and ComArtSci and WKAR are leading the way to establish an Innovation Lab for Next Gen TV.


As baby boomers age, a new generation of spectator sport is on the cusp of breaking through. If you still believe nobody would pay money to watch nerdy kids play a video game, think again. eSports like League of Legend, Overwatch and Rocket League command international online audiences in the tens of millions.

Celebrity players make big paychecks and these games offer a massive international audience of millenials that advertisers strive to target. Faculty from ComArtSci’s game design program are in active collaboration with MSU athletics to design a space for eSports and to develop curriculum and research to understand this new phenomenon in sports.

By Prabu David

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