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Texas State Innovation Lab

Texas State University Innovation Lab and Reception
@ SXSW Interactive Festival
Sunday, March 11, 2018

The W Austin - Ballroom
Austin, TX

Sponsored by Oracle

An exclusive look at game-changing technology created by our inspired student inventors, the lab features how our corporate partners are helping to take these new ideas to the marketplace. From biometric authentication and virtual reality to environmental impact and sustainability, Texas State student research is solving real-world problems.

The Texas State Innovation Lab is open to all SXSW Interactive badge holders and Texas State's registered special guests.

American Solar Car ChallengePresenting 2018 Innovation Lab Teams

American Solar Car Challenge

College of Science and Engineering
Team Mentor: Nathan England
Team Members: Stephen Akanji, Migdalia Blanco, Daniel Caballero, Alex Rangel
Corporate Sponsors: Ingram School of Engineering

The solar car requires a direct current to a three-phase, variable frequency motor controller. A three-phase inverter could be used for many applications such as renewable energy, industrial automation, aerospace, vehicle motor power and micro-grids.

Commute Relief 2.0 Commute Relief 2.0

 McCoy College of Business Administration, Department of Finance & Economics
 College of Fine Arts and Communication, Department of Communication Design
 Team Mentors: Dr. Janet Hale, Grayson Lawrence
 Team Member: Austin Andrus, Kristie Bocanegra, Nikita Demidov, Kristina Kasprowicz, Jae Lee, Lorena Martinez
Corporate Sponsors: Bliss Transit, Rocky Mountain Institute, SPLASH Co-Working Space, Austin + SocialGood, Net Impact

This online tool educates commuters about the true cost of their commute in dollars, environmental impact and time. The commuting data they collect will be used for research in city-planning, marketing or the general industry and will be shared with other businesses to further optimize the internal economy.


College of Fine Arts and Communication
Team Mentor: Dr. Marian Houser, Dr. Michael Burns
Team Members: Dr. Kristen Farris, Dr. Rebekah Fox, Dr. Luz Murillo, Megan Newhouse-Bailey, Dr. Prisca Ngondo, Dr. Christine Norton, Dr. Lindsay Timmerman, Dr. Shawna White

Teams of researchers and artists from various departments at Texas State University collaborate to solve real world problems. The interdisciplinary research team uses their unique talents and networks to conceptualize a research project with a goal to produce and bridge research and creative processes that help communities. At SXSW, the minds behind CoSearch will give on-the-spot advice and solve problems from past CoSearch research teams.

HEX Design dating apps  HEX Design

 College of Fine Arts and Communication
 Department of Communication Design
 Team Mentor: Hannah Park
 Team Members: Yajayra Barragan, Valeria Flores, Nicholas Gatti, Hayley Gompertz, Ryan Holm, Christina Rodriguez, Brittany  Savant, Courtney Whitehouse

Designing a series of mobile dating apps exploring innovative ways to evolve the online dating industry, the HEX Design team provides unique matchmaking strategies for various demographics. The dating apps pair singles together through customized features based on users' specific needs and lifestyles. From people with visual impairment to the elderly who enjoy socializing.

Kosmik Energy, Inc.Kosmik Energy

Graduate College, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering program
McCoy College of Business Administration, Department of Finance & Economics
Team Mentors: Dr. David Cameron, Dr. Bahram Asiabanpour
Team Members: Katherine Casey, Saifali Maredia, Alex McGraw, Ricardo Ramirez

By capturing sunlight, this system reduces the cost of electric bills by replacing artificial light with natural light. It concentrates and funnels the light into fiber optics, and distributes the light interiorly to a structure through routing and luminaries. This system would be incredibly beneficial for urban and vertical farming, as well as many commercial applications.


 College of Science and Engineering
 Ingram School of Engineering
 Materials Science, Engineering and Commercialization program
 Team Mentor: Dr. Gary Beall
 Team Members: Maedeh Amiri, Nicholas Bassett, Grace Luangisa, Hector Marroquín

NABACO has developed a solution for the problem of fruit and vegetable spoilage by creating a novel coating technology called Natuwrap. It is a cost-effective patent-pending technology approved by the FDA as Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS). The material utilized for this technique is transparent and coats fruits and vegetables to prevent oxygen and moisture from causing the produce to age too quickly.

Person Recognition via Eye Movement-Driven BiometricsBiometrics

College of Science and Engineering, Department of Computer Science
Team Member: Dillon Lohr
Corporate Sponsors: National Science Foundation, National Institute of Standards and Technology

Virtual and augmented reality devices will all have eye-tracking capabilities in the future, and the biometrics research conducted at Texas State University will support new applications of this technology, including secure identification using eye movements.

Pockets for jeans  Pockets

 College of Science and Engineering
 Materials Science, Engineering and Commercialization program
 McCoy College of Business Administration,  Department of Computer Information Systems &  Quantitative Methods
College of Fine Arts and Communication, School of Journalism and Mass Communication
Team Mentor: Dick Johnson
Team Members: Amanda Gregory, Chance Ursprung, Nick Williams, and non-students Timothy Covey and Erica Rasmussen

Women's clothing has been made of less durable materials, with minimal amount of pocket space, and the sizing is inconsistent across brands. The goal of Pockets is to create better and more functional clothing for women.

Green waste solution Reduce. Reuse. Regrow. (R3)

College of Applied Arts, Department of Agriculture
McCoy College of Business Administration
Team Mentors: Dr. Tina Cade, Dr. Janet Hale
Team Members: Maggie Ericksen, Alex McMoran
Corporate Sponsors: Bobcat Blend, Staples, Waste Management

Instead of hair and fur being disposed of in a landfill, this material can be used as a sustainable compost and soil stabilizer material for landscaping and construction projects. This provides a “green” waste solution, and is environmentally friendly solution rather than using chemical sprays or netting.

STAR Park Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Park

 Texas State University
 Team Mentor: Dr. Mike Blanda, Assistant Vice President for Research and Federal Relations
 Team Member: Stephen Frayser, Executive Director

STAR Park is a collaborative effort of Texas State University and research partners serving as a catalyst for continued public/private development of new or improved technologies. Anchored by the STAR One technology business incubator, the 58-acre STAR Park is home to five new and emerging technology companies, student startup teams, an advanced polymers and nanomaterials center and Texas State’s Small Business Development Center.


College of Fine Arts and Communication School of Journalism and Mass Communication Team Mentors: Dale Blasingame, Dr. Cindy Royal, Jonathan Zmikly Team Members: Steffanie Agnew, Nicole Avalos, Emily Burns, Annabel Fidler, Kaila Paloma Gray, Megan Boyle Gray, Nicole Jones, Logan Self, Sean Smith, Alexandra White

In its 11th year, the student project publishes a SXSW Interactive blog, interviews panelists and executes a social media plan to promote the SXSW event.

Texas Economic Atlas Texas Economic Atlas

 College of Liberal Arts, Department of Geography
 Team Mentor: Dr. Lawrence Estaville
 Team Members: Kaliegh Benck, Mark Deka, Ritchie Jose, John Ponstingel

Through interactive visualizations and a straightforward point-and-click interface for nontechnical users, the cloud-based atlas enables industrial leaders, large and small businesses, government policymakers, researchers, students, and the general public to explore a myriad of Texas economic data.


College of Science and Engineering, Materials Science, Engineering and Commercialization program
McCoy College of Business Administration, McCoy Graduate School of Business
Team Mentor: Dr. Gary Beall
Team Members: Conor Brantley, Archana Gujjari, Thi Nguyen, Dr. Michael Opoku

TX2O is a reusable system for safely treating water produced by oil and gas extraction. The system does not require landfilling, which reduces long-term costs and risks to oil and gas producers.

Water Quality Drifter Water Quality Drifter

 College of Science and Engineering, Ingram School of Engineering
 Team Mentors: Lee Hinkle, Dr. Austin Talley
 Team Members: Isaac Bondoc, Jacob Johnson, John Marquez, Will Poeppelmeyer, Joshua Torres
 Corporate Sponsors: Jacobs, NASA

This prototype aims to create a mobile and low-cost unit to measure water quality. The goal is to reproduce the design in kits that can be used by students and hobbyists for environmental data collection. The device is solar-powered with the ability to continuously measure temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, total dissolved solids and pH every 15 minutes.

XReality: Where Augmented Reality Meets the Internet of Things XReality

College of Science and Engineering, Ingram School of Engineering
Team Mentor: Dr. Georgios Koutitas
Team Members: Jeschel Jabez, Shivesh Singh Jadon, Chaithra Radhakrishna, Varun Kumar Siddaraju

This project aims at integrating Internet of Things (IoT) smart devices with augmented reality holograms, empowering users with the ability to interact with smart objects in real time, in the real physical world. Virtual Environment of Things (VEoT) is a new concept of integrating real-world smart things and virtual-world objects. This project will create a state-of-the-art VEoT platform, focusing on smart infrastructures.



For questions or more information, contact Anna Chowdhury, assistant director of Strategic Corporate Partnerships, at 512.245.6037 or

Guests fill room at 2016 SXSW Innovation Lab

2016 Innovation Lab at SXSW Interactive Festival

Students presented their research projects and products in March 2016.

Virtual Reality demonstration

Virtual Reality

This virtual reality experience highlights the dangers of distracted driving.

Networked Weather Station

Networked Weather Station

This station transmits temperature, wind speed, direction and other data over a Thread network to a cloud server.