Research in Media Tech

Research in Media Tech

Current Projects

Augmented & Virtual Reality

Non-fictional Virtual Reality Narrative Experiences

Dan Pacheco, Makana Chook

We work with partners, such as Gannett Digital (publisher of USA Today and 120 regional news sites) to create and publish virtual reality news stories. The first, Harvest of Change, recreated a 5-generation family farm in rural Iowa and used a game interface to connect users to eleven 360-degree videos of the same location.

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Applied Neuroscience


Leanne Hirshfield

This line of research, which involves collaborations with the Advertising department at Newhouse, uses functional near-infrared spectroscopy to measure the brain activity of people while viewing advertisements.

Psychosocial Effects in Media

Group Representation, Identity, and Marketing (GRIM)

Charisse L’Pree

GRIM lab encompasses multiple projects that address the psychological effects of demographic representation on identity, attitudes, and behaviors. Studies qualitatively assess expectations of culture, experimentally manipulate the composition of promotional materials,and critically explore the composition of user produced content like blogs, selfies, and music videos.

Full details at:

Interaction Design

MIND Games for Health Communication: Nightlife (NL)

Frank Biocca, Charles Owen

M.I.N.D. games in health communication project involved the creation of tailored health persuasion environment designed to alter health behaviors. The game, called Nightlife is a full, night city simulation with bars, stores, and other environment. Created by a team of 25 writer, designers, and animators the game is characterized by heavy social interaction with characters and includes heavy dialog engine and intimate interaction.

The game has been tested nationally and proven to be relatively effective. In this first version the game was targeting young, urban males and was designed to encourage safe sex behaviors and condom use.

Drones in Journalism

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for News & Information

Dan Pacheco

Our lab has one DJI Phantom 2 and, through partnership with the student-run SkyWorks Project which the lab advises, access to a higher-end DJI Naza. In order to comply with FAA regulations, the faculty does not fly university-owned equipment outside, but advises the SkyWorks Project on how to stay within the legal requirements of the longstanding FAA hobbyist guidelines. This allows us to study the types of outdoor footage that will be able to be obtained by news organizations in the future while also giving instructions to students on how to keep themselves and the public safe from accidents. We are also involved in various projects with the NUAIR drone test site at Griffiss Air Base near Rome, New York, of which Syracuse University is a member.

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