STARKVILLE, Miss.— Mississippi State’s Eric Anderson is receiving a $50,000 grant from the SMART Business Accelerator Initiative to continue developing a mobile application for his Portable Osteometric Device, a new tool created to ensure the efficiency of human skeletal remains analysis and measurement.

The SMART Business Accelerate Initiative is an extension of the Strengthening Mississippi Academic Research Through (SMART) Business Act, which was adopted by the Mississippi Legislature in 2013 to encourage Mississippi companies to engage with public universities to conduct research.

Anderson and Sierra Malis, both graduate students in the MSU Department of Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures, were featured in the June issue of the National Association for the Practice of Anthropology’s newsletter, the NAPA Notes, for Anderson’s POD. Featuring a compact design and laser sensors to measure bone length, the device is faster, more reliable and more precise than current technology. Anderson collaborated with Malis to form a new company, Advanced Research Collection Technologies LLC, or ARC Tech, to continue improving the POD and disseminate it to the anthropological community.

“My aim is to offer the POD as a new tool that will make research goals faster to obtain and more reliable than ever before,” Anderson said.

The ARC Tech app is user-friendly and customizable, allowing users to meet their specific research parameters in both online and offline settings. It uses Bluetooth technology to automatically transfer measurements to the app, which greatly decreases data entry time and transcription errors. Users can download data into an Excel spreadsheet to allow for the quick transfer of data into their database.

ARC Tech is expected to roll out the POD and its associated app by the end of this year.

“Our goal with ARC Technologies is to produce affordable and reliable equipment for researchers,” Malis said. “We are excited for what is to come.”

Hsain Ilahiane, professor and head of the MSU Department of Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures, said the students “embody the spirit of innovation, openness, application and transformation of knowledge that the department cultivates in its student body.”

Part of the College of Arts and Sciences, the MSU Department of Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures is online at

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at

Story by Sam Kealhofer. Submitted photo. / © Mississippi State University

Original article online and additional photos online at