MAPC 611

Emerging Technologies and Applications
Spring 2021, 7 weeks
8/30 – 10/13, 2021
M-F: 6:00 – 9:50 pm
HSHP-241: Health Sciences and Human Performance 241
Professors: Santiago Echeverry (MAPC)

Emerging Technologies and Applications is a course that studies the current and upcoming status of technologies in relation to professional communications and leadership strategies. This hands-on course will explore open source and emerging tools related to visual and aural media, immersive tools, mixed and virtual realities, alternative and embedded screens, physical computing, biosensors, trackers etc., and how those tools provide essential data on how clients and users interact with products. Time based and interactive media, as well as client/server tools, some of them connected to cloud-based sharing strategies, will be key components in the class.

Course Structure:

The course has been designed to be taught both in class and asynchronously. In the case that students have to quarantine (or the class is forced to go fully online), the video lectures and Blackboard materials including slide decks of each lecture will be available for review online and will provide as rich an educational experience as the hybrid in-class modality of instruction.

Course objectives:

  • Understand the intricacies of current developments in technology
  • Have a general knowledge of the history of Applications and Hardware
  • Understand the importance of mixed, expanded and augmented realities
  • Utilize adequately equipment appropriately related to the actual needs of the challenge
  • Implement creative solutions in the context of changing markets and customers
  • Understand the importance of database driven application development
  • Understand user centered development and design
  • Master the integration with cloud services
  • Have an awareness of ethics in current technological environments.


A Outstanding 4.0 | 100-96
AB Excellent 3.5 | 95-90
B Very Good 3.0 | 89-85
BC Good 2.5 | 84-80
C Average 2.0 | 79-75
CD Below Average 1.5 | 69-65
D Passing 1.0 | 64-60
F Failure 0.0 | 59-0
NF Failure
I Incomplete

50% Final Research and Production Project
20% Group Presentation #1
15% Group Presentation #2
10% Individual Research
5% Attendance and Participation


The Black Swan, by Nasim Nicholas Taleb. Prologue: pp. xxi – xxxiii

21 Lessons for the 21st Century, by Yuval Noah Harari. Part I: The Technological Challenge, sections 1-4. (Introduction and pp. 1-81)

Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence, by Max Tegmark (Prologue)

A Comparison of Immersive Realities and Interaction Methods: Cultural Learning in Virtual Heritage, by Mafkereseb Kassahun Bekele and Erik Champion

Highly Recommended Readings:

• Taleb, Nassim Nicholas: “The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable”, Random House Publishing Group; 2nd ed. edition (May 11, 2010),

• Harari, Yuval Noah: “21 Lessons for the 21st Century”, Spiegel & Grau,

Isaacson, Walter: “The Innovators: how a group of hackers, geniuses and geeks created the digital revolution”, Simon & Schuster, ISBN 9781476708713

• Kotler, Steven & Wheal, Jamie: “Stealing Fire: How Silicon Valley, the Navy SEALs, and Maverick Scientists Are Revolutionizing the Way We Live and Work”, HarperCollins, ISBN 9780062429674

• Stephens, Mark: “Triumph of the Nerds (1,2,3)”, documentary produced by PBS, Channel 4 and Oregon Public Broadcasting.


Your own laptop or tablet computer. With enrolment in this class, you have access to Adobe Creative Cloud applications. Download and install the Adobe Creative Cloud Installer at the link below. You may need these to produce videos, soundtracks or graphics for your projects.

Creative Cloud Installer:
Then sign in with your UT Credentials through an institutional account. You will then be able to download any of the CC apps directly to your laptop or desktop computer.

Class Schedule:

Content: General Introduction to the class, presentation, group creations, goals and objetives.
Lecture: History, evolution and definition of Multimedia
Discussion: Personal experiences, goals and presentations. Strengths and weaknesses

Lecture: From Multimedia to Hypermedia
Discussion: Black Swan – Prologue
Read: The Black Swan by Nasim Nicholas Taleb.Prologue
Technology: Collaborative Team Organization Technologies for Project Management: Atlassian: Jira / Trello, Slack, Dropbox, Google Docs
Tools: every week, share with the class the browser extensions and tools that you consider will enhance your productivity (start with Chrome’s “Print Friendly & PDF” and “Asana”)
Application: Try the software out and set up app integration per groups.

Lecture: What is creatiity? Raul Cuero and other examples // What is Disruption?
Discussion: Black Swans, Disruptive Technology & Historical Asymmetry
Read: The Black Swan by Nasim Nicholas Taleb.Part 1: Ch 1- 4
Technology: Adobe Creative Cloud

Group Presentation: GROUP 1
Lecture: Cloud Based Technologies and Applications
Read: 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, Chapter 1 – “Disillusionment”
Technology: Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Services, Microsoft Azure
Watch: Altered Carbon 1/2 Episodes on Netflix
Application: Discuss use cases in groups. Research other forms of implementation specific to your final group projects.

Group Presentation: GROUP 2
Read : 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, Chapter 2 – “Work”
Technology: Real-Time Messaging Protocol vs. Application Programming Interface
Application: Discuss use cases in groups. Research other forms of implementation specific to your group projects. Studio Collaboration Day.

Group Presentation: GROUP 3
Read: 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, Chapter 3 – “Liberty”
Technology: Apple XCode / Google Android Studio / hybrid sites
Tools: Adobe XD (prototyping and storyboarding) – You must have it installed on your laptops!
Application: Discuss use cases in groups. Research other forms of implementation specific to your final group projects.

Group Presentation: GROUP 4
Discussion: Game Engine based Projects/Applications /Unreal / Unity Up and Running
Read: 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, Chapter 4 – “Equality”
Technology: Unreal Engine / Unity 3D / Processing
Watch: Wreck it Ralph PART 2
Application: Discuss use cases in groups. Research other forms of implementation specific to your final group projects.

Content: History | VR | AR // WEBXR + Mozilla WebXR + Examples (FIREFOX) + A-FRAME Workshop
Reading: A Comparison of Immersive Realities and Interaction Methods: Cultural Learning in Virtual Heritage
Group Presentations:
GROUP 1: Virtual Reality – Definition, evolution, examples, tools
GROUP 2: Augmented Reality – definition, evolution, examples, tools
Lecture: History and precursors of immersive realities – why? History, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality
Technology: Oculus Quest / HTC Vive and others. You must have Adobe Dreamweaver and Firefox installed on your laptops for this class.
Watch: Ready Player 1
Application: Discuss use cases in groups. Research other forms of implementation specific to your final group projects.

GROUP 3: Augmented Virtuality – definition, evolution, examples, tools
GROUP 4: Expanded/Extended Reality – definition, evolution, examples, tools
Lecture: Cyborgs / Personal Assistants
Technology: Microsoft HoloLens / Magic Leap
Application: Discuss use cases in groups. Research other forms of implementation specific to your final group projects.

Lecture: Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Discussion: Google Brain, Magenta and others. Why it’s useful and for what.
Tools: Photoshop AI, Platform, Art Breeder, Runway ML
Tools: You MUST have Adobe Photoshop installed on your laptops to work in class.
AI Weirdness, Janelle Shane:
Carnegie Mellon:
Johannes De Young:
Sakhib Khan:

G1: AI
G2: Blade Runner
G3: Blade Runner 2049
G4: Ghost in the Shell

Reading: Life 3.0 PROLOGUE + CH1
1) Harari’s chapter presentation per group (GR1/CH1, GR2/CH2, GR3/CH3, GR4/CH4)
2) Each group will present a brief summary of the science fiction behind the movies they watched
3) General Discussion on Life 3.0 (Prologue)
Lecture: Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Pt 2
Discussion: How can you integrate AI into your projects? Class discussion

Discussion: WORKSHOP
Lecture: The entire class is devoted to Group workshop and development of final projects
Application: Define final elements of your Senior Project Presentation.

Each group will have 45 mins to present + 15 mins Q&A

Group 1: 6-7pm
Group 2: 7-8pm
Group 3: 8-9pm
Group 4: 9-10pm

You can invite whoever you want to your group presentations, and it is highly probable we will have external guests and reviewers to give you feed back on your projects.

NOTE: your presentations WILL BE RECORDED ON VIDGRID for course assessment and archival purposes

Attire: Business Professional


  • Your group must identify a pain point in your field of expertise or personal interests, whether related to clients, customers, employers, or yourselves (check this link for reference
  • Develop a solution that involves an extensive usage of emerging technologies 
  • Your solution must include a mobile app that pushes the limits of mobile equipments, and at least three of the following technologies: AI, VR/AR/AV/XR, Gaming/Virtual simulations, Real Time streaming and communication services, Cloud Computing, Robotics, Intelligent Spaces (the internet of things)
  • You will develop a layered proposal with a realistic implementable component that could be run with the resources you currently have at hand, and a much more ambitious component that has no limits in budget and technology. 
  • You are allowed to imagine technologies and solutions that do not exist at this point in time.
  • Your presentation will happen as a pitch to a potential sponsor: dress to impress!
  • You will 1) introduce your research on the specific pain point, 2) present your tiered solution using graphics, animations, videos, mock-ups, storyboards, interaction books, case scenarios, etc.  and 3) a justification on the tech choices.
  • You will be graded on 1) the creativity 2) the research 3) your presentation 4) the correct usage of technologies 5) the visual methods used in your presentation 6) the feedback from your piers 7) your interaction with the audience

 Your Final Project can be divided into two components: 

  1. the down to earth solution, with the resources that you currently have so it can be implemented: an inner core that is a strong solution
  2. the “DREAM” solution, where you have no budget or technology limitations, and you can imagine how the usage of AI, VR, Cloud Services, real time video streaming, can bring your solution to the stratosphere. It is an outer core – totally imagined, totally outside of real boundaries in your current situation – that would provide a futuristic vision of how these integrated tools can enhanced your approach to the solution. 

It really is a question of imagining the future, foreseeing how these technologies that we will talk about in class, will affect your problem solving abilities, thinking totally outside the box.


I understand that the list of topics above may appear daunting to study within a two-week course, but be aware that this class will first and foremost survey these technologies so students understand the full functionality and capacity of the tools available to professionals in communication. Thereafter, the student teams will produce projects and pitches that employ these tools from the level of conceptual understanding on prompts and problems.

Syllabus Subject to Change

This syllabus is informational in nature and is not an express or implied contract. It is subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances, as a result of any circumstance outside the University’s control, or as other needs arise. If, in the University’s sole discretion, public health conditions or any other matter affecting the health, safety, upkeep or wellbeing of our campus community or operations requires the University to make any syllabus or course changes or move to remote teaching, alternative assignments may be provided so that the learning objectives for the course, as determined by the University, can still be met. The University does not guarantee that this syllabus will not change, nor does it guarantee specific in-person, on- campus classes, activities, opportunities, or services or any other particular format, timing, or location of education, classes, activities, or services.


All text/images/audio/video/CODE/clips you will use in any of your projects will have to be credited correctly. EVERY single text/image/video/audio/CODE you use should be yours and/or copyright free. If you use code/source material from somebody else, it needs to be re-contextualized according to your needs with sufficient differences between the source and your application.

There are sites such as that provide copyright free material. If you ever use their material you MUST give proper credit.


  • Face coverings are required to be worn throughout the session. (I will have mine on too.)
    • All teaching at UT is scheduled to be face-to-face, no zooms as a replacement for class.
  • If you have not already done so, I encourage all of you to please get your shots.
  • Local Pharmacies are offering appointments for shots, with openings maybe even today and tomorrow.
    • This will make life and production easier and safer for all of us.
    • Based on a relatively recent survey UT 90% of Faculty have been vaccinated, and only 70% of students.

I reserve the right to modify this syllabus at any time for any reason