Category: DataViz Turned-In Assignments

Assignment 5- Vision Post (Tamara Abujaber)

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve learned how to use a number of technologies that I never thought I would even get to test out, let alone use for class and possibly my career. With my degree in New Media Management, I aim to continue working with these technologies if possible. If I end up working within marketing or advertising, I will most definitely try to incorporate these technologies in the execution of whatever project I am working on. I  am sure that we will see much more 360 videos and VR technology usage in advertising and marketing in the near future.

I am most excited to see the progression and development of the use of these technologies in Sports. For fast-paced sports, having certain sensors and body cameras (possibly including 360 cameras) would allow for audiences to watch their favorite sports like never before. Imagine being able to watch a Basketball game from Kevin Durants point of view, moving with his every step, seeing his opponents face in front of you and moving with every step that leads to a 3-point shot or dunk. Or imagine being able to watch Michael Phelps compete in the Olympics from right under the water, with the 360 ability to see how far ahead or behind he is from his competitors.

In my Strategic Brand Management class, we learned about ‘brand storytelling’, where consumers become part of the story being told, meshing together reality and fiction. With Virtual Reality in specific, audiences can actually become part of the movie or video they are watching or using applications such as Unity, they can create and enter fictional worlds from books, or even travel back in time to different monumental periods in history. Being able to truly be part of a narrative as such is one of the most exciting aspects to look forward to from these technologies, in my opinion.

I have worked with a lot of analytics over the past year for my program and I am curious to see how data from these technologies could be used and quantified for. Chat Bots for example would provide useful data about consumer needs and what they question. Data collected from Chat Bot conversations could be used to identify demographic information and create consumer profiles for those communicating with the Bot, with regards to what the Bot is tailored to support (Product, page or service)

I am super excited to see what the future holds for these technologies and for new upcoming technologies that have yet to be released. I hope to still be able to test out the technologies available to us at Newhouse before the semester ends. Since I am currently on the job hunt, I think that having some experience with these technologies puts me at an advantage over some other candidates because these are technologies that will become more widely used in the near future, and not everyone has experience using them.

Assignment #5

Technology is changing the way the world works every day. Virtual Reality is giving people the opportunity to immerse themselves in situations and locations around the world. It’s helping businesses give virtual tours or online shop and it’s changing the world of video games.

I am really hoping to be a television executive that focuses on current programming. Virtual reality might help with promoting content. It might also help with set designing. If set designers were able to use a program like Unity and create virtual sets before building anything in a soundstage, that might help minimize costs. A director would just be able to look into a headset and give feedback.

Since I’m currently working in a marketing department for an apartment complex, virtual reality might be extremely helpful with tours as well. Since we market towards students, VR would help us bring the tours out to students if they aren’t able to come to the property. I’ve heard of some companies doing this but I think it can really change marketing moving forward.

I also think that phones are going to continue to change the way we already do our jobs. Most professionals cannot go anywhere or do anything without using their phones. It will be very interesting to see how it continues to play out in the future.

Independent Learning Requirement

I’ve heard Python mentioned in several groups on and off campus, and decided I wanted to expose myself to it during this class. For my independent learning requirement, I completed a multiple hour program “Learning Python by Joe Marini” on the Lynda site.

I learned the basic syntax of the language, as well as how to install coding languages on my system and use the Visual Studio coding platform. I learned how to work with functions, objects, and classes. The tutorial also covered how to work with time including time deltas, and the creation and modification of files and shell utilities. Most importantly the tutorial explained how to retrieve information from a web server, particularly JSON and XML data. In the tutorial, we parsed data from the USGS Earthquake data feed. As a resource, you can learn more about accessing JSON data here:

While I am by no means an expert, my basic understanding of Python helped me access data sets within the US Energy Information Administration opendata pages. The majority of my data came from these JSON datasets, and my new understanding of python allowed me to better collaborate with a professor, who helped compile custom datasets. I will continue to develop my Python skills, as it has already proven to be very useful.

CB Garrett Field Test — How mainstream wearable tech can change the fitness industry

For my field test, I wanted to see how journalists can use wearable technology to benefit their readers in a niche fitness market, as wearable technology becomes more mainstream and available to the public. Trackers such as Fitbit and other simple trackers such as step counters have seen large rises in popularity.

The technology for these devices has become readily available to the open market and the price point has dropped into the range of about $100 to $150, which makes it a solid investment to some fitness enthusiasts. While the price of commercial wearable technology still remains in the thousands, like everything else, there will become a time when the price point drops to wear the public will be able to afford the technology. With help from Syracuse Basketball and their strength and conditioning coach Ryan Cabiles, I tested the Zephyr heart rate sensor while playing pickup basketball and see if it can be something that can become mainstream for an average athlete trying to stay healthy.

The first thing that I had to get started was pick one of the specially made Zephyr shirts. The shirts are designed to be skin tight and also hold the heart rate sensor at the middle off the chest. The reason for them being tight is that any movement of the shirt moves the monitor and can cause inaccurate measurements. As someone who has never really worn a sleeveless undershirt when playing basketball, it was a little uncomfortable. I usually wear an XL shirt, but had to size down to a large so it fit well. Due to some complications which will be talked about later, the test was performed a second day, wearing a size large tall shirt. There are black strips on the shirt that you can see in the picture below that lead into the sensor that read heart rate and breathing. They are very tight on the ribs and make the shirt uncomfortable. The large tall fit a little better, but was too tall for me so I had to fold it upwards. This is important for users to realize as they try to find a shirt to wear with these types of monitors, is that they might take a while to get used to and that sizing is important. Here is a picture of me wearing the shirt – after a day of pickup really messed with my hair.

The first day we tried the test we tried using the non-live mode of the sensors, but had an issue with data upload later. This is something for users to keep mind. One of the biggest difficulties that these types of sensor could have for translating for general fitness use is that if it has issue with non-live mode, then it would be difficult to use for runners. For live mode, there are two boxes that send signals out to the sensors and allow the information to be displayed on a computer as seen below (I was using Braedon Bayer’s sensor, as they are set to one person at a time). If live mode is needed, it would confine the space of the workout to the reach of the boxes, something unpractical for distance runners. For non-live mode, it gathers information to be uploaded later, which if functioning, would allow it to work for them. Here is an example of what the screen looks like when tracking in live mode; if you click on the picture you can see it in full resolution.

From there I went out and played basketball. We ended up playing pickup for 72 minutes, and played five games. I sat out one of the games due to numbers, so averaging it out I was on the court for about 60 minutes. During the actual on court action there were very few issues. The shirt eventually didn’t bother me as much, but it definitely was not as comfortable as normally playing pickup. The one thing I would worry about is if I took an elbow to the sensor, but that is not a situation that came up during either time I played pickup.

After pickup was complete, I removed the sensor from the shirt. The sensor looks as follows:

The shirt then washed in a normal cold wash, but needs to be hang dried to avoid the area that holds the sensor from getting worn down. With the help of the strength and conditioning coach, I then almost immediately was able to see my data on my workout. This is one of the stronger features of Zephyr. With exception of the difficulties we had with trying to use the sensors in non-live mode, the data input was quick and easy. It also downloads into an Excel file, which allows you to track workouts over an extended period of time.

Since I only performed one workout session and was only one person I could not use this feature, but it automatically color coats different cells based on the standard deviations against other workouts. It also generates a useful chart for see (Note there was a 4 minute warmup session that it is comparing to for this average that makes the workout seem so far above average). If you click on the picture you can see it in full resolution and see each category that is tracked.

Some of the data that was most interesting to me was that I burned nearly 700 calories during my workout. Considering I was only on the court for 60 minutes — and was on the court for longer two or three days out of six last week – it means that I am burning around 1,000 or more calories frequently when I am playing pickup. For someone who does not drink a lot of water during the time when we are actually playing, it shows just how important it is to both rehydrate and refuel. This helps justify that my daily calorie intake is usually much over the usually recommended 2,000 – 2,500 and how throughout high school I always struggled to put on weight.

Another interesting thing was that I took over 7,000 steps during the time that I played pickup. Having never worn a step counter such as FitBit before, I have no idea if this is an above average number, but it does seem a little high. I was also able to raise my max heart rate during the workout to 170, which seems like a good number for high level exercise for someone my age.

Overall I think that if the Zephyr drops in price point, it is something that could be used by the common athlete. It is not as difficult to use as some of the other wearable technology and can provide quick feedback on information such as heartrate, steps, calories, and with the right auxiliary equipment, breathing rate. I think it is also something that can be used in the media as well as part of a Runner’s World type publication. Even as prices drop, people do not want to spend money on technology that doesn’t work or help them much. There will be interest among readers to have these publications “field test” these sensors and help determine which sensors and wearable technology provide the best bang for your buck and might be useful to the advancement of fitness for the user. Once the sensors are in more common in the hands of more everyday people, they will still look upon these fitness type magazines to explain which data and statistics can be useful to the athlete, as well as tips to get as much information and use as possible.

Assignment – 5

Over the course of the 5 weeks, I was able to continually grow and develop a forward-thinking mindset that helped me tremendously throughout all my courses this semester. By being immersed in future innovations it has enabled me to see things differently than my peers and has provided me with the tools to enter the industry as a leader aware and knowledgeable about emerging media.
What I liked most about this class was that it united different disciplines from across Newhouse. Together we were able to learn about major innovations and concerns facing each other’s desired industries. This opportunity enabled us to absorb, share and foster new relationships. When it comes to the future of Television, Radio,& Film industry I think that 360 video has the chance to be the biggest change to the way we watch. 360 experiences in their current form range from short films, games and live onstage concerts. I began to wonder how a TV network can incorporate 360 videos. Think can a food show offer a 360 look into a restaurant to offer a truly immersive experience on how to cook recipes (check out my final project) or what if you can be taken inside a house flipping show getting a glimpse on all the work being done. With this in mind I think that 360 video is a major theme for producers, broadcasters and tech companies alike in the coming years.

However, getting a majority of consumers to commit to buying VR products to watch this content is still a significant obstacle that we must overcome. Overall, the cost of acquisition and development of both hardware and software used to access 360/VR has become less expensive. Mobile device computing power and battery life is at an all-time high and Google has developed an entry-level cardboard set for experiencing watching 360. However, Mass market implementation of this technology will require a set of behavioral changes.

Now I believe more than ever it is important to always be thinking what’s next? What will the world look like in 10 years? I understand that I am entering the job market in the midst of a new era, a changing media environment filled with disruptors that are creating new opportunities on all platforms and fundamentally altering our world. As I leave this course I have obtained a new professional desire. I strive to always be thinking what’s next in digital media and take advantage of as many broadening media opportunities that come my way.

Assignment5_Vision post about the future of media in my career

I’m always passionate in art although I am just an arts journalism student. In order to make more people engage into the arts events, I hope I could still report art and culture news when I graduate. Like film, theater or photography. So, it’s a good way to make a whole art event into a 360 video or other VR staff that lets reader experience immersively, such as the press conference, new exhibitions and collections in the museum or art gallery. Emerging media technologies can make art reporting more artistic. During the spring break, I went to Rhode Island School of Design. My friend there is working for a project of interior architecture design for a Japanese artist to make an exhibition for his painting. They are mainly using installations and lights to display the theme. So, it’s really inspired me that if an exhibition can set up a particular area for immersive media technologies to make visitor understand this artist deeply. For example, creating a VR video for their work that can let people experience in the artist’s painting. If we could put Chat box in the museum, it would be much more fun to engage visitors.

Arts reporting should be like art. My minor major was Photojournalism in my undergraduate study. So, I am thinking about we could also make online VR photo stories or photo collections, which are also good at deliver valuable information in multimedia storytelling. Still photographs can be made into 3D version and adding audio, like podcast and music into the whole VR experience, making news reporting more interesting, not just a serious thing. Another important responsibility for journalists is not only reporting new things, but preserving old classics, making new generations remember history by using new techs since some of the traditional culture and customs are fading with the social development. Therefore, arts journalist could make immersive documentary or photos to display previous essences.


Here is an immersive photography example. If we could make an art exhibition into a pure immersive experience, that will be much exciting.

Sensors and Protests

The first two cases talked about how sensors were used in journalism in situations where there was an environmental crisis. When environmental stories hit the news, the public wants real time updates, data and facts about the issue in order to determine how pressing the issue really is. In the first case in Houston, Texas where the journalist wanted to measure the air pollution in neighborhoods close to plants, I felt as if that was a great use of the technology.

Since climate change has a been a hot topic for some years now, I think using temperature sensors in four areas across the United States for a 4 year span to track the temperature changes in comparison to the time of year would be interesting in a journal story in support of those who believe that climate change is real.

If the public is able to see the data and facts of the rate of change, then this may make the public more inclined to listen to the facts about climate change and in turn believe that it is taking place.

Sensor Journalism

I imagine an array that attempts to measure stress and exertion levels at different workplaces via pressure and heat sensors placed beneath mousepads. I believe that individuals who work in front of computers do in fact ‘take out’ some of their aggression or frustration on the devices, and this is (I hope) measurable via use of the mouse. Basically, what I want to see is if work related stress and how hard a user pushes down on his or mouse are at all related. These results, along with survey answers about work related stress should help to confirm or deny my theory.


Assignment 4- Sensors

I never really thought about sensor journalism until we talked about it in class. This was an entirely new concept to me.

I thought about combining sensors to help with the making of music. Music has a way of making people feel a wide range of emotions. Deejays and musicians write lyrics and music that comes together and forms a song. I think that the NeuroSky MindWave Mobile+ and the SparkFun Spectrum Shield would help artists figure out how their music makes people feel before they release it to the public.

Imagine if musicians and producers played the songs for a small group of friends using both sensors and used that information to figure out whether or not the hook, chorus and melody needs any adjustments. The Spectrum Shield would help indicate music reactors and the MIndWave would show a person’s brain waves during the entire song.

This can really change the way that artists analyze their own music so they can invoke a certain reaction from listeners. This would also be extremely beneficial to deejay’s because of the type of music they produce. They make songs that are best heard in large crowds of people dancing together. If they had a tool like this, it could change the way that music is made. Or, at the very least, help artists understand how the brain interprets their music.

Sensor Journalism -Tamara Abujaber

I can see sensor journalism being used in a number of different fields, varying from sports journalism, weather and natural disasters to gaming. The sensor I selected is the NeuroSky MindWave Mobile+. The headset measures data-waves through Bluetooth technologies and sends the data wirelessly to your computer or smartphone. The headset is used to monitor attention and relaxation. The technology is quite simple, as it consists of a headset, earpiece and a sensor arm which lays right over the eye to collect the data.

I would like to see a sensor as such used to monitor babies’ reactions to different noises and visuals, including music and television. Given that babies and infants are unable to fully verbalize their emotions (Other than through crying, laughing and facial expressions, etc.), it would be fascinating to get a true understanding of what goes on inside their minds and how they react to different sights and sound. This would be somewhat of an experiment that could be documented in a journal rather than reported as a story.

Another idea would be to use the headsets to report on the increased concern of teenage violence caused by video games. It is said that the increased exposure to gore and violence has created a huge impact on teenager’s mentalities. The American Psychological Association stated in 2015 that research showed a link between violent video game use and increased aggression and decreased moral engagement and empathy. If researchers and journalists could monitor behavior and spikes in teenager’s attention and nerves, we could find out what in specific triggers their minds and what grasps their attention. Reporting on these behavioral revelations would raise awareness to the general public about what has the most impact on youth’s brains and what can be done to reduce the negative impact that these games have on their minds and actions.