ISPR Presence News

Monthly Archives: May 2010

Mayo Clinic explores the virtual world of Second Life

[From MedCity News (“Innovation, influence and business in America’s medical cities”)]

5.21.10 | Thomas Lee | Rochester, Minnesota

Mayo Clinic explores the virtual world of Second Life

Mayo Clinic is a world famous hospital and research institution. But owning a tropical island seems a bit excessive, especially for a non-profit organization.

Alas, “Mayo Clinic Island” isn’t real, at least not in the traditional sense of the word. The island only exists in the virtual 3D world of Second Life, where avatars, online personas of real people around the world, freely mingle and attend lectures on cancer and heart disease.

Once confined to tech geeks and online gaming enthusiasts, Second Life and other similar sites have become the ultimate training and modeling tools for health care organizations. Hospitals and medical schools use Second Life to conduct courses, simulate doctor/patient visits, and test innovative designs for emergency rooms and medical clinics. Read more on Mayo Clinic explores the virtual world of Second Life…

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Call: Designing for Performative Interactions in Public Spaces (at UbiComp 2010)

Call for Participation – Designing for Performative Interactions in Public Spaces

UbiComp 2010 – Copenhagen, Denmark
September 26, 2010

Workshop Aims

This workshop seeks to explore performative aspects of ubiquitous and mobile technology when used in public settings.  Based on the idea that interactions with technology conducted in public places may be understood in a ‘performative’ sense, this workshop seeks to examine the variety of technologies that support performative interactions; these can range from explicit performances by actors through to implicit ‘performances’ that are part of everyday actions.  This broad topic includes such technologies as public or large displays, tangible systems, and mobile interfaces as they are used in various public settings such as outdoor urban settings, museums, galleries and exploratoria, and other mobile settings.  This workshop will address these technologies by looking at user experience, spectator and performer roles, and the social acceptability of human performance in public spaces. Read more on Call: Designing for Performative Interactions in Public Spaces (at UbiComp 2010)…

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Augmented Reality billboard puts passersby in a street fight

[From Mashable (“The Social Media Guide“)]

  

Augmented Reality Billboard Puts Passersby in a Street Fight

Barb Dybwad
May 1, 2010

We’ve seen a number of creative uses for augmented reality recently, from Iron Man to virtual pets and even tattoos. An interactive billboard in the Netherlands brings a powerful new example to the category by putting passersby in the middle of a virtual street fight.

Read more on Augmented Reality billboard puts passersby in a street fight…

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Call: IEEE Transactions on Haptics – Special Issue on Haptics in Medicine and Clinical Skill Acquisition

IEEE Transactions on Haptics

Call for Papers

Special Issue on Haptics in Medicine and Clinical Skill Acquisition

The clinical skills of medical professionals rely strongly on the sense of touch, combined with anatomical and diagnostic knowledge. Haptic exploratory procedures allow the expert to detect anomalies via gross and fine palpation, squeezing, and contour following. Haptic feedback is also key to medical interventions, for example when an anaesthetist inserts an epidural needle, a surgeon makes an incision, a dental surgeon drills into a carious lesion, or a veterinarian sutures a wound. Yet current trends in medical technology and training methods involve less haptic feedback to clinicians and trainees. For example, minimally invasive surgery removes the direct contact between the patient and clinician that gives rise to natural haptic feedback. In addition, computer-based simulations are being used to provide objective performance evaluations and make training more efficient. The science and technology of haptics thus has great potential to affect the performance of medical procedures and learning of clinical skills. This special issue is about understanding the role of touch in medicine and clinical skill acquisition. Read more on Call: IEEE Transactions on Haptics – Special Issue on Haptics in Medicine and Clinical Skill Acquisition…

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UPS thinks out of the box on driver training

[From The Wall Street Journal via Yahoo! Finance]

UPS Thinks Out of the Box on Driver Training

by Jennifer Levitz
Wednesday, April 7, 2010 

Vexed that some 30% of driver candidates flunk its traditional training, United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS) is moving beyond the classroom to ready its rookies for the road.

In the place of books and lectures are videogames, a contraption that simulates walking on ice and an obstacle course around an artificial village. Read more on UPS thinks out of the box on driver training…

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Call: Research Project on Body Image in Real and Virtual Environments

Call for Participants

Research Project on Body Image in Real and Virtual Environments

Principal Researcher: Dr. Alexander Mussap
Student Researcher: Mr Jon-Paul Cacioli 

More information and the survey:
http://www.deakin.edu.au/psychology/research/virtualimage/

We have introduced an amazon gift voucher of $100 which will be randomly drawn from all participants who entered after data analysis is complete. If individuals have already entered prior to the prize they can email Jon-Paul at  jcaci@deakin.edu.au and he will add them to the draw.

This is a student research project which is a requirement of the Doctorate of Clinical Psychology at Deakin University. The results of the study will be collated into an academic research thesis and will be possibly published in a peer reviewed psychology journal.

A total of 300 people, all males over 18 years of age, will participate in this project.

Previous research has shown that the way people feel and interact with each other can be influenced by the individual’s perception of themselves. A discrepancy between how an individual perceives their own physical appearance compared to how they wish to look can lead to depression, higher levels of stress and anxiety and a poorer overall quality of life. The Internet has recently reached a level of sophistication whereby an individual can create a digital representation of themselves, such as an avatar, controlling each physical dimension. The purpose of this project is to investigate the differences between individuals and their avatars and examine their experience of how appearance affects them in real life and on the Internet, such as in programs as Second Life and World of Warcraft. Read more on Call: Research Project on Body Image in Real and Virtual Environments…

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Pentagon: Boost Training With Computer-Troop Mind Meld

[From Wired magazine’s Danger Room blog (“What’s Next in National Security”)]

Pentagon: Boost Training With Computer-Troop Mind Meld

By Katie Drummond
April 27, 2010

The Pentagon is looking to better train its troops — by scanning their minds as they play video games.

Adaptive, mind-reading computer systems have been a work-in-progress among military agencies for at least a decade. In 2000, far-out research agency Darpa launched “Augmented Cognition,” a program that sought to develop computers that used EEG scans to adjust how they displayed information — visually, orally, or otherwise — to avoid overtaxing one realm of a troop’s cognition.

The Air Force also took up the idea, by trying to use EEGs to “assess the operator’s actual cognitive state”  and “avoid cognitive bottlenecks before they occur.”

Zeroing in on brainpower is a strategy that reflects the changing tactics of fighting wars: today’s troop needs to be as cognitively ready as they are physically — if not more. They’ve also got to spend more time on the ground in urban settings, interacting with locals and canvassing for information. That’s where virtual cultural trainers often come in handy. Troops are prepped in language, social norms and cultural sensitivity, before they even leave their base.

The trainers are quickly becoming more sophisticated. As Danger Room pal Peter Singer notes, the Pentagon is already using  “three-dimensional experiences that hit multiple senses,” including, in one case, a wearable collar that emits key odors.

Now, the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) is soliciting small business proposals for an even more immersive trainer, one that includes voice-recognition technology, and picks up on vocal tone and facial gestures. The game would then react and adapt to a war-fighter’s every action. Read more on Pentagon: Boost Training With Computer-Troop Mind Meld…

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Call: Special issue and workshop: “Serious Games Development and Applications”

Elsevier Journal Entertainment Computing

Special Issue & Workshop on: “Serious Games Development and Applications”

Call for Papers

Aims and Scope

The recent emergence of serious games as a branch of the video games has introduced the concept of games designed for a serious purpose other than pure entertainment. To date the major applications of serious games include engineering, education, health care, military applications, city planning, production, crisis response, and training. Serious games have primarily been used as a tool that gives players a novel way to interact with games in order to promote physical activities, to learn skills and knowledge, to support social-emotional development, to treat different types of psychological and physical disorders, etc. Many recent studies have identified the benefits of using video games in a variety of serious purposes. Since games technology is inexpensive, widely available, fun and entertaining people of all ages, if combine with conventional methodologies in many application domains, it could provide a powerful means of encouraging people more effectively in designated activities.

Read more on Call: Special issue and workshop: “Serious Games Development and Applications”…

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Immersion, virtual environments, Facebook, and the conceptual hump

[From the Massively blog (“Daily News about MMOs”)]

The Virtual Whirl: Immersion, virtual environments, Facebook, and the conceptual hump

by Tateru Nino
May 15th 2010

Second Life is an immersive virtual environment. That is, it fosters attention and a quality of focus. You might subscribe to alternative definitions of the word “immersion”, but focus and attention are the sense being used when developer/operators talk about an “immersive environment”. They might intend one of the other meanings at other times – the word is a pretty slippery one.

The problem is that for most general-purpose virtual environments (eg: Second Life), that immersivity – that quality of attention and focus – kicks in pretty late. Only after you understand the basics of the context in which your actions, activities and experiences are taking place, do you have the satisfying sort of immersion that comes so easily to flat spaces like the Web and Facebook.

Facebook’s got early-immersion going on, “up the wazoo” (as the cool kids say), whereas general-purpose virtual environments (GPVEs) have delayed immersion. Significantly delayed. Potentially catastrophically delayed, at least insofar as user-retention is concerned. Immersion’s great for business cases and great for role-players and for social users, but you’ve got to get to it first. Read more on Immersion, virtual environments, Facebook, and the conceptual hump…

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Iron Man 2 envisions the future of computing interfaces

[From MIT’s Technology Review Editors blog]

Monday, May 10, 2010

Iron Man 2 Envisions the Future of Computing Interfaces

Think the science in the movie is bad? The real science is in the interaction.

By Erica Naone

Science purists might find much to complain about in the newest installment of the Iron Man franchise, starring Robert Downey Jr. Admittedly, Tony Stark “creates an element,” and heroes and villains alike seem able to break into high-level computer systems with little more than the wave of an iPhone look-a-like. But I expect computer scientists and designers will be impressed by the movie’s natural user interfaces. Read more on Iron Man 2 envisions the future of computing interfaces…

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