IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Please note that due to the Corona pandemic all appointments will be via Webex!

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.

Course Description

  • 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

Recommended background knowledge

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. 


  • Report on selected research topic (scientific paper, 8-10 pages, conference style)
  • Presentations of the research topic (intermediate and final presentations) 
  • Experiment and/or application (design, concept, or prototype)
  • Peer reviews of scientific papers of other participants
  • Further possible results: (mock-up) video


  • 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)