ISPR Presence News

Monthly Archives: February 2010

Call: Virtual Worlds, Second Life and Metaverse Platforms: New Communication and Identity Paradigms

SECOND CALL FOR CHAPTERS

Proposal Submission Deadline: February 28, 2010 (extended and final)

Virtual Worlds, Second Life and Metaverse Platforms: New Communication and Identity Paradigms

A book edited by Nelson Zagalo, University of Minho; Leonel Morgado, University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro; and Ana Boa-Ventura, The University of Texas at Austin

Read more on Call: Virtual Worlds, Second Life and Metaverse Platforms: New Communication and Identity Paradigms…

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ScienceSim, Intel’s virtual land-grant program

[From Aggie Town Square (“Utah State University’s Meeting Place”)]

Aggies use virtual-reality programs for research

by Jesse Fowers
January 27, 2010

Several researchers at USU are collaborating with Intel Labs to conduct their research in a 3-D virtual environment.

Biology doctoral student Arron Duffy is using ScienceSim, a “virtual land-grant” program offered by Intel, to model how population genetics are affected by the unique life cycles of fern plants.

Intel hosts hundreds of virtual acres of land on its powerful servers through a Web application called OpenSim, which is an open-source version of the popular social media video game “Second Life.” Read more on ScienceSim, Intel’s virtual land-grant program…

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Call: Educational sims for Journal of Virtual Worlds and Education

Invitation to submit a “Guided Tour” of an educational sim.

Do you have a favorite educational sim? A treasure that stands out as an excellent example of how to use a virtual environment as a learning and teaching tool? We are looking for your reviews!

The Journal of Virtual Worlds and Education, a peer review journal, will publish its premier issue in Spring 2010. Along with the research articles we have already received, we will be featuring a less formal “Sim Review” section. These articles are not subject to peer review, and will be available on our website and/or in print.  Articles should explore the particular space (or build) in terms of educational value, benefit (or not) over traditional methods of presentation to students, or unique use of environment. Read more on Call: Educational sims for Journal of Virtual Worlds and Education…

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Duke University extends global learning with Cisco TelePresence lecture hall

[From CISCO]

Duke University Extends Global Learning With Cisco TelePresence Lecture Hall

Custom-Built Virtual Lecture Hall Provides Fuqua School of Business Students With Access to World’s Most Influential Leaders and Extends Classroom Environment

DURHAM, N.C., and SAN JOSE, Calif. Feb. 10, 2010 — Duke University and Cisco today unveiled a first-of-its-kind virtual lecture hall for students enrolled in Duke’s Fuqua School of Business in Durham, N.C.  Custom-built using Cisco TelePresenceTM technology, the new lecture facility provides business school students with access to professors, business leaders and guest lecturers located around the globe, extending the in-person classroom environment across campuses and into the business world.

Cisco TelePresence provides students and professors with an immersive, lifelike communications experience that combines high-definition video and high-quality audio to realistically convey the body language and human elements that are critical to the interactive nature of a classroom.  The new virtual lecture hall will also help presenters extend their expertise beyond the physical campus to students across multiple campuses as though they were sitting in the same room.  Read more on Duke University extends global learning with Cisco TelePresence lecture hall…

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Job: Assistant professor in Computer Science at Grenoble Institute of Technology

Job offer in Grenoble, France

Assistant professor in Computer science (signal processing, programming, embedded systems, …) at Grenoble Institute of Technology with Research in the ICA Laboratory on the field of Virtual reality, haptic and real time simulation, applications in Virtual reality, simulation, computer animation and computer sound synthesis and music. The Job will be available for September 2010.

Grenoble Institute of Technology

Job Offering in Scientific Research and Teaching
University: PHELMA, Grenoble INP
Job: Assistant Professor

CNU Sections:  27, 61 (http://www.cpcnu.fr/sectionsCnu.htm)
Starting date of the Job: September 2010
Research Laboratory: Laboratoire ICA, www-acroe.imag.fr
Contact: Annie.Luciani@imag.fr

Title

Interactive simulation software and hardware developments including force feedback interaction for sciences of nature, industry, arts and communication. Read more on Job: Assistant professor in Computer Science at Grenoble Institute of Technology…

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Interacting and identifying with characters in Heavy Rain

[From The Washington Post]

Heavy Rain, the PS3 Exclusive That’s Not a Game

Matt Peckham
PC World
Sunday, February 14, 2010; 12:19 AM

Remember the phrase “interactive movie” tossed around in the 1990s when games like Myst and The 7th Guest and Gabriel Knight were in the headlines? Heavy Rain, Sony’s PS3-exclusive noir murder-mystery, may be the first game worthy of what those words actually mean.

As overused phrases go, “interactive movie” is a doozy, right up there with “virtual reality.” It’s also historically misleading. What we used to call an “interactive movie” looked nothing like an actual movie. Even the industry’s dalliance with full-motion video in the 1990s looked pretty awful compared to 35 mm film viewed on a standard sized movie screen. What we really meant when we said “interactive movie” was that those 1990s games were doing things in terms of dramatic sophistication that we’d never seen before in a video game.

Still, you couldn’t put a realistic body much less an expressive face to a game character, a limitation imposed by the technology, until now…and a game like Heavy Rain. Read more on Interacting and identifying with characters in Heavy Rain…

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Call: 3rd International Workshop on Social and Personal Computing for Web-Supported Learning Communities (SPeL 2010)

3rd International Workshop on Social and Personal Computing for Web-Supported Learning Communities (SPeL 2010)
http://software.ucv.ro/~epopescu/spel2010/
in conjunction with the 21st International Conference on Database and Expert Systems Applications (DEXA’10)
http://www.dexa.org/
Bilbao, Spain
University of Deusto
30 August – 3 September 2010

Read more on Call: 3rd International Workshop on Social and Personal Computing for Web-Supported Learning Communities (SPeL 2010)…

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Wearable robot hitches a ride on human meat-puppets

[From the Plastic Pals blog]

Wearable Robot Hitches A Ride on Human Meat-Puppets

Here’s an unusual robot project from the Tsumaki Telerobotics Laboratory (Yamagata University); a Wearable Robot. The experimental model (Telecommunicator T1) seeks to provide gestural presence that you don’t get from a cellphone conversation. A person connects to the small robot through the internet, controlling where it looks by simply tilting their head. Arm gestures, such as waving, are also possible though limited by the current hardware.

Read more on Wearable robot hitches a ride on human meat-puppets…

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Call: Design and Engineering of Game-Like Virtual and Multimodal Environments (DEnG-VE)

A workshop of the ACM SIGCHI Symposium on Engineering Interactive Computing Systems (EICS)

June 20, 2010, Berlin, Germany

Introduction:

Games, including serious games, have lately received an increased attention from the players’ community as well as from researchers. Among these applications we find an increasing number of games that are realized by means of a virtual or multimodal environment. For instance, more and more serious games make use of simple or advanced virtual worlds to provide a motivational context for medical and rehabilitation purposes. Also, games that have a longer history, such as well-known games designed from an entertainment perspective, demonstrate the need to come up with even more appealing virtual worlds and more full-fledged interactive capabilities with every update that is commercialized.

In order to fulfil the expectations that players have from the game, it is beneficial for the designers and developers to be able to build on an engineering process and best-practices, in the same way as there are established development methodologies for other application areas. Though games are widespread nowadays, game design and engineering is still a rather young research area, and this is in particular the case for those games where a virtual or multimodal environment is a key technology. Opportunities as well as issues related to the realization of multimodal applications / virtual environments come together with demonstrated benefits of games, and difficulties associated with their design and development.

The DEnG-VE workshop welcomes contributions that define the problems that arise when creating such game-like environments, as well as submissions that refer to possible techniques that form the basis for solutions, such as models, notations, and overall design and engineering methodologies. Besides contributions based on best practices with technological development, perspectives related to user experience in games (“player experience”) are appreciated. Read more on Call: Design and Engineering of Game-Like Virtual and Multimodal Environments (DEnG-VE)…

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Game changers: How videogames trained a generation of athletes

[From Wired]

Game Changers: How Videogames Trained a Generation of Athletes

By Chris Suellentrop January 25, Wired Feb 2010

The situation was desperate for the Denver Broncos. On the first Sunday of the National Football League’s 2009 season, with only 28 seconds left in the game, they trailed the Cincinnati Bengals 7-6. The ball was on the 13-yard line — their own 13-yard line. On second down, Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton heaved the ball downfield, only to see a Bengals defender deflect the pass away from the receiver. And then something remarkable, close to miraculous, happened. Instead of falling to the ground, the ball popped into the air and landed in the outstretched arms of Broncos wide receiver Brandon Stokley, who started racing down the field. All across America, in living rooms and basements and sports bars, people broke into cries of wonderment and delight, heartbreak and disbelief.

Then they witnessed something even more startling.

Just before he reached the end zone, with 17 seconds remaining, Stokley cut right at 90 degrees and ran across the field. Six seconds drained off the clock before, at last, he meandered across the goal line to score the winning touchdown. For certain football fans, the excitement of a last-minute comeback now commingled with the shock of the familiar: It’s hard to think of a better example of a professional athlete doing something so obviously inspired by the tactics of videogame football. When I caught up with Stokley by telephone a few weeks later, I asked him point-blank: “Is that something out of a videogame?” “It definitely is,” Stokley said. “I think everybody who’s played those games has done that” — run around the field for a while at the end of the game to shave a few precious seconds off the clock. Stokley said he had performed that maneuver in a videogame “probably hundreds of times” before doing it in a real NFL game. “I don’t know if subconsciously it made me do it or not,” he said.

Today’s football players have an edge that no athletes before them have possessed: They’ve played more football than any cohort in history. Even with the rise of year-round training, full-contact practice time on the field hasn’t increased — in fact, it has actually gone down, as coaches have tried to limit the physical punishment that the game exacts. But videogames, especially the ubiquitous Madden NFL, now allow athletes of all ages to extend their training beyond their bodies. Read more on Game changers: How videogames trained a generation of athletes…

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