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 nameNew Technologies: Smart Environments
module number101551
departmentDepartment of Economic Sciences and Media
ID of group 2557 (Virtual Worlds and Digital Games)
module leaderProf. Dr. Wolfgang Broll
credit points10
obligationelective module

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.



certificate of the module Individual achievements or exams
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
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.


Starting in summer term, our seminar topic is: 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.



The module contains the following subjects:
New Technologies: Smart Environments
credit points10
obligationelective module
certificate of the modulealternative examination performance
term ganzjährig