What’s Your Big Idea? Researchers Announce Rare 15-Day Challenge to Spark Interest in New Broadcast Technology

WKAR and the Trifecta Initiative for Interdisciplinary Health Research have joined forces to present a challenge for new ideas to pursue in the Media Innovation Lab. They are in search of the next big idea that will promote health using cutting-edge ATSC 3.0 broadcast technology.

The Media Innovation Lab will open this spring, bringing the use of ATSC 3.0 technology to researchers, radio stations and segments of the public. The technology combines broadcast technology with internet capabilities to produce audiovisual products that are targeted, customized and interactive for users.

ATSC 3.0 is the latest version of the Advanced Television Systems Committee standard, and it is positioned to become the next major advancement following high-definition digital television. The technology is not yet widely available to the public. The U.S. broadcasts television in ATSC 1.0, and ATSC 3.0 technology has not been mandated by the FCC, so it will be delivered as a voluntary upgrade to existing TV sets.

“ATSC 3.0 is a new broadcasting standard that is the perfect marriage between over-the-air television broadcasting and the internet,” said Colleges of Communication Arts and Sciences Dean Prabu David. “As you can imagine, this opens up all kinds of new possibilities for digital applications in emergency preparedness and emergency broadcasting, rural health, backseat entertainment and autonomous vehicles, and a host of other areas.”

With broadcast and internet functions appearing on the same screen, ATSC 3.0 technology offers countless ways to change how people watch and interact with TV programs. Users can engage with the technology by keying in their preferences or using a remote to select content options and respond to prompts as they go.

The technology has the ability to be broadcast and carried by devices moving at high speeds, creating the potential for customization on personal digital devices and making backseat entertainment a breeze even across great distances. It also offers the ability for broadcasters to offer personalized commercials on any viewer’s TV screen.

College of Engineering Dean Leo Kempel said ATSC 3.0 has the benefits of high bandwidth broadcast at a cost far lower than competing technologies.

"For data in wide demand, such as weather, traffic density, news, and emergency updates, ATSC 3.0 is a cost-effective technology," Kempel said. "We are likely to see the development of innovative new applications, such as real time emergency and traffic routing, or road conditions based on infrastructure and vehicle sensor data, that will provide community benefits in safety and efficiency.”

While the technology also holds the key to customized advertising across devices, researchers at WKAR and MSU see enormous potential for the use of ATSC 3.0 in the areas of education and health promotion. They invite anyone with an idea to submit a proposal, following the guidelines on the competition website.

To get more information on how ATSC 3.0 technology works, watch the video. This technology could potentially be used to create:

  • Video games that encourage physical activity with interactive prompts
  • A free-standing medication monitor with interactive information
  • A post-surgery device that guides exercise and medication compliance between appointments

The Media Innovation Lab, located on the first floor of the College of Communication Arts and Sciences near WKAR studios, is the newest research space at MSU. The contest is being hosted by WKAR and Trifecta, which is a collaboration of the Colleges of Engineering, Nursing, and Communication Arts and Sciences.

The challenge is open to anyone, but only students or employees of Michigan State University are eligible for prizes.

Visit the Website for Details

Submit Your Idea