Retirees are the envy of the workforce, spending their “golden years” filled with leisurely activities like golfing, dining out and socializing with their peers. It’s what most of us picture when we think of retirement. But that lifestyle isn’t for everyone and Mirabella at ASU, a premier retirement community on Arizona State University’s Tempe campus, is poised to create a new standard for retirement living. 

Mirabella at ASU, situated at the corner of E. University Drive and E. Myrtle Avenue, will house up to 430 senior residents who average in age of 76 years. This prime location of the state of the art high-rise building will give residents unprecedented access to the lively ASU community. And will connect residents with lifelong learning opportunities, cultural experiences and multi-generational interactions. 

The first Mirabella at ASU residents are slated to move in October 2020, but educational programming is already underway. Lindsey Beagley, the director of lifelong university engagement, has created an online seminar series via Zoom that connects ASU professors and residents on a multitude of subjects. 

Our very own Daniel Bliss, professor in the School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering, kicked off the series with his presentation entitled Ruining the Fiction Part of Science Fiction

Screenshot of Dan Bliss giving his presentation

Bliss first walked participants through a brief overview of wireless communication and radar technologies.

He then dove into the SciFi technology featured in the media from the 60s, 70s and 80s that are in use or being developed today.

We may not be getting around in flying cars like the Jetson’s predicted, but the act of driving has become simplified or even nullified thanks to the innovative use of radar. As Bliss explained, many of our car’s high-tech gadgets like park assist, blind-spot indicators, and collision warning systems utilize short, medium and long-range radars. Autonomous vehicles use these systems in tandem to create the driver-less experience. 

Another SciFi wonder Bliss discussed with the group is the TriCoder. A hand-held device used in the StarTrek series’ to help quickly diagnose patients. While a true TriCoder might be years down the road, Bliss informed the attendees of the research going on in his lab relating to this topic. Bliss and his researchers have created a diagnostic tool that uses small radar to detect vital signs like heartbeats and breath rates accurately. Conceivably, this technology could be adapted to detect a host of medical issues and accelerate treatment. 

At the end of his presentation, Bliss gave a quick glimpse into his other research projects, including gut biome analysis, neurological measurements during cardiac operations and advanced processor research. The allotted hour was quickly ticking to an end and Bliss offered to come back to discuss those projects in detail. 

In the last few minutes of the Zoom call, Bliss took questions from the participants. The medical retirees focused their queries on the heart radar research and its implications, while the retired engineers had questions on the functionality of the radar in autonomous vehicles. The last question centered around the difficulty of recruiting graduate students, this sparked a discussion between Bliss and the participants about the uniqueness of research programs around the country. 

Special programming like this seminar will continue throughout the summer. Once the residents arrive in late fall 2020 and public spaces are deemed safe from the COVID-19 virus, the series will transition to in-person gatherings. As life returns to a new normal, a myriad of campus interactions will be in store for the residents. These retired industry and community leaders will not only be our newest campus learners but will be sought after mentors to the ASU students and valuable resources to the faculty. 

If you would like to participate in the seminar series or connect with Mirabella at ASU’s residents, contact Lindsey Beagley by email [email protected].

Visit to get more information on Mirabella at ASU.

Learn more about the Bliss Lab at