Technische Universität Ilmenau

New Technologies: Smart Environments - Modultafeln of TU Ilmenau

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module properties New Technologies: Smart Environments in degree program Master Medien- und Kommunikationswissenschaft/Media and Communication Science 2013
module number101534
examination number2500223
departmentDepartment of Economic Sciences and Media
ID of group 2557 (Virtual Worlds and Digital Games)
module leaderProf. Dr. Wolfgang Broll
term winter and summer term
credit points10
on-campus program (h)67
self-study (h)233
obligationelective module
examalternative examination performance
details of the certificate
  • Amount of participation in group discussions as part of a regular seminar attendance (10%)
  • Quality of the oral presentations of intermediate and final results (20%)
  • Quality of research (empirical study, experiment, application design and/or realization) and scientific paper (50%)
  • Quality of peer reviews (20%)
  • Video, etc. (optional, up to 20% bonus)



alternative examination performance due to COVID-19 regulations incl. technical requirements
signup details for alternative examinations

Die Anmeldung zur alternativen semesterbegleitenden Abschlussleistung erfolgt über das Prüfungsverwaltungssystem (thoska) außerhalb des zentralen Prüfungsanmeldezeitraumes. Die früheste Anmeldung ist generell ca. 2-3 Wochen nach Semesterbeginn möglich. Der späteste Zeitpunkt für die An- oder Abmeldung von dieser konkreten Abschlussleistung ist festgelegt auf den (falls keine Angabe, erscheint dies in Kürze):

  • signup begins: 05.11.2021
  • signup ends: 12.11.2021
  • resignation not after: 12.11.2021
  • last modification of this information: 15.10.2021
maximum number of participants
previous knowledge and experience

Interest in technologies and technology driven innovations. Willingness to discuss and present in English. Knowledge of programming is not required but offers additional opportunities. Literature (as far as required) to be announced at the first appointment.

This course is primarily for master students of media and communication science and open for participants from other degree programs.




learning outcome

New technologies frequently pop up. While some of them are quickly adopted, others need several years to get established and well-accepted while further just disappear or are replaced by something even more sophisticated. New technologies regularly fascinate people and early adopters often just use and buy gadgets and products because of those.

This research seminar typically focuses around a certain technology or a bunch of technologies enabling a new type of usage or application. Participants of the seminar try to develop a deep understanding of the technological aspects involved and investigate into an individual research topic related to them. This allows them to examine general trends and perspectives, types of usage, implications, ethical aspects involved, privacy issues, and user acceptance, but also to create their own (novel) application concepts and ideas. While research may be based or include typical methodologies used in communication science, students are highly encouraged to conduct experiments using the technologies researched and to create their own (mock-up) videos. Ideally, such research finally is accompanied by an application prototype (which may include games). The individual research topics, the related work, and the methods selected will be presented and discussed with other participants throughout the seminar. The research will result in a research paper. Students delivering excellent research are encouraged and supported to submit their work to international workshop and conferences.

The particular topic will be different in each seminar and is presented at the beginning of each term.

Smart Environments

Smartphones, Smartwatches, Smartglasses, SmartTVs, Smarthome, Smartmeter, Smartcars, ....

”Smart” devices are getting more and more important. They provide their users a larger number of new possibilities and by that, improvements of their quality of life. The use a large number of individual sensors, which apps may use to someone’s advantage. Admittedly, they also allow for an almost complete surveillance of all user activities to an extend not seen before.

Thus, smartphones for instance, allow for a complete and precise recording of all user movements by applying GPS tracking and Wifi connections. Inertial sensors in smartphones allow for detailed acquisition of the specific user activities: standing, sitting, walking, or running, etc. Sensors in smartwatches register the body’s temperature, blood pressure and heart rate. Smartcars analyze our driving quality and transfer this to our insurance company. Smartglasses see everything we see! SmartTVs transmit our consumption habits. Smarthomes know our daily routine, ….

Which chances and risks result from this? Are the users actually aware of those? Is this really accepted of rather put up with? Which data of ourselves do we want to reveal? Is there anything we can do against this trend? If yes, what? Are there more positive or negative aspects for the individual?

In this research seminar students will have the opportunity to investigate into these and many other questions, examine trends and create their own concepts and ideas. The individual research topics and the methods selected will be presented and discussed with other participants.



  • New technologies and new types of applications enabled by those
  • Empirical studies on the acceptance, usage, implications, ethical aspects, etc.
  • Experiments, design and realization of new types of applications or application scenarios (including games)
  • Presentation of research and results (oral and in writing)
  • Group discussion and experiments


media of instruction and technical requirements for education and examination in case of online participation

The course takes place online. Self-enrolment (student)

You will need: Camera for video transmission (720p/HD), microphone, Internet connection (suitable for HD audio and video transmission: 4 Mbps), terminal device that meets the technical requirements of the required software.

literature / references

Will be provided in class.

evaluation of teaching