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Innovation Day allows ASU journalism students to experience new technology

An exhibit visitor and Cronkite professor Steve Doig fly a drone on Cronkite's first annual Innovation Day. (KTAR Photo/Mike Sackley)

PHOENIX — Students at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication got to experience virtual reality and fly a drone during the school’s first annual Cronkite Innovation Day on Wednesday.

The event also featured telepresence robots, 3D printers and wearable technologies, including Thync, a device which can help someone calm down or build up energy.

The event was intended to give students a better idea of the newest technologies out there and how they can be applied to journalism.

Cronkite School Director of Engineering Ian MacSpadden said it’s even more important because the media world is changing rapidly.

“Part of the change is due to the advances in technologies,” MacSpadden said. “(We’re) making the students aware of what those technologies are and how they may affect them in their future careers.”

He hopes that students have a forward thinking mindset when it comes to technology. He said some classes are already using new devices like a 360-degree video camera.

“There’s so many other ways of telling stories and finding stories,” said Steve Doig, Knight Chair for Journalism at the Cronkite School. “That’s what we’re trying to do with something like this is show some of those other technologies.”

Doig said items like drones attached with video cameras will soon become a staple for media outlets.

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