ISPR Presence News

Monthly Archives: November 2010

Call: NY Academy of Sciences event: “To Be or Not to Be: The Self as Illusion”

Question Of Human Identity And Consciousness To Be Examined At Public Event

The New York Academy of Sciences, in partnership with the Nour Foundation, will present a public event, “To Be or Not to Be: The Self as Illusion” on Tuesday, December 7, at 6:00 pm.

Renowned philosophers Thomas Metzinger and Evan Thompson will join cardiologist and expert on near-death experiences, Pim van Lommel, to examine recent developments in neuroscience and philosophy that shed light on whether our conscious experience of a unified Self is reality or illusion. Krista Tippett, creator and host of Public Radio’s Being will serve as moderator for the evening.

The event is the first in a unique six-part series of interdisciplinary conversations on identity, consciousness, and self-knowledge, examining the question “What is the Self?” Perspectives on the Self: Conversations on Identity and Consciousness will run from December 2010 through May 2011 and will bring together experts from the sciences and humanities to provide an objective overview of the evolving notion, construct, and experience of the Self, without losing sight of the subjective value that makes these matters so integral to each of us. Read more on Call: NY Academy of Sciences event: “To Be or Not to Be: The Self as Illusion”…

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ARmonica collaborative augmented reality makes beautiful music

[From MIT’s Technology Review Editors blog; the original post includes a 1:27 minute long video]

Collaborative Augmented Reality Makes Beautiful Music

With ARmonica, two players bounce virtual balls off musical note bars using Wii remotes.

Kristina Grifantini 11/17/2010

Augmented reality (AR) places interactive, virtual objects and effects over the real world, and it has huge potential for gaming. Imagine wearing an AR headset to play chess with animated virtual pieces on a real chess board, or to fight computerized zombies running into your own home.

For this to happen, computer scientists need to make sure players’ views and motions are in sync, which is doubly hard with two players, because both players need to see the virtual objects in the same space. A new AR environment designed by computer scientists at Columbia University is a step toward this kind of two-player AR gaming. A game, dubbed “ARmonica,” lets two people create a floating, musical world to collaboratively make music. Read more on ARmonica collaborative augmented reality makes beautiful music…

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Call: 3rd Global Conference – Videogame Cultures

3rd Global Conference
Videogame Cultures

Friday 8th July 2011 – Sunday 10th July 2011
Mansfield College, Oxford

Call for Papers

This inter- and multi-disciplinary conference aims to examine, explore and critically engage with the issues and implications created by the mass use of computers and videogames for entertainment and focus on the impact of innovative videogame titles and interfaces for human communication and ludic culture. Read more on Call: 3rd Global Conference – Videogame Cultures…

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Flat Daddies lifelike, life-size photos keep those at war close

[From Parade]

[Image: Family portrait: Jeff, Joel, Marissa, and Mira with Flat Jared. [Photo: Adrianne Stewart]

The Stewart family deploys a novel solution to stay close to Dad

By Brad Dunn

When her husband shipped out to Iraq in August 2008, Marissa Stewart knew nothing could replace Daddy for her three young children. Still, she was afraid they would start to forget about their father. How could she fill the void he left behind?

Today, she points to a lifelike, life-size photo of U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Jared Stewart perched on a chair in her Seattle living room. “That bit of foam board has brought a lot of peace to our family,” she says.

Before Jared left, Marissa saw a story about Flat Daddies—a group that provides large images of deployed servicemen and -women for their families—and decided a Flat Jared might help Jeff, Joel, and Mira through the tough transition. She ordered one, and the boys, then 6 and 3, fell in love with the cutout. They played games with it, dressed it in costumes, and propped it up at the dinner table. Marissa, 32, was surprised by the boys’ enthusiasm and wanted to share it with her husband. She started a blog called “A Year with Flat Daddy” and posted photos of Flat Jared, or “ FJ,” in funny scenes around Spokane, Wash., where they lived until last summer. From 7000 miles away in Ramadi, Iraq, the real Jared could check the blog and see himself still at play with his kids back home. Read more on Flat Daddies lifelike, life-size photos keep those at war close…

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Job: PhD Scholarship for ‘Videogame Classification: Examining Player Experiences’

RESEARCH SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITY in MIDDLE EARTH (Aotearoa New Zealand)

Dr Gareth Schott (University of Waikato, New Zealand) invites applications for a PhD Scholarship connected to a three-year research project, funded by the Royal Society of New Zealand, Marsden Fund. The project, ‘Videogame Classification: Examining Player Experiences,’ is a collaborative project with Prof. Frans Mäyrä (Tampere University, Finland) and Dr Lennart Nacke (University of Saskatchewan, Canada).

We are seeking an individual to join this team and contribute to the production of accounts of gameplay as a gestural, engaging, cognitive and affective activity. Read more on Job: PhD Scholarship for ‘Videogame Classification: Examining Player Experiences’…

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Simulating life in the womb

[From The Design Blog]

NatoStation lets you experience the life inside womb, virtually

Naresh Chauhan | Nov 23 2010

Designed by Colombian designer Nelson Ayala, the “NatoStation” (NS) is a virtual reality simulator wherein the user experiences visual, acoustic and sensory sensations similar to the prenatal environment, i.e. life inside the womb. Featuring an ergonomic and dynamic egg shape, the NS lets the user assume a position comparable to the fetal position, so he/she could virtually escape the atmosphere for a moment and relax in comfort. To experience the calm seclusion, you need to wear a helmet that includes a device to scan your initial brain waves and determine the level, speed and intensity of the stimulation experienced, through video technology, during the course of the session. Read more on Simulating life in the womb…

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Call: 9th International Gesture Workshop (GW 2011)

Call for Papers

GW 2011 – the 9th International Gesture Workshop
Gesture in Embodied Communication and Human-Computer Interaction

May 25-27, 2011
ILSP – Institute for Language and Speech Processing /ATHENA RC,
Department on Informatics and Telecommunications, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Athens, Greece

Organisers:
Eleni Efthimiou, Language Based Assistive Technology Group – Sign Language Technologies Team, Institute for Language and Speech Processing (ILSP)/ATHENA RC
Georgios Kouroupetroglou, Department on Informatics and Telecommunications, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Christian Vogler, Language Based Assistive Technology Group – Sign Language Technologies Team, Institute for Language and Speech Processing (ILSP)/ATHENA RC

The International Gesture Workshop is an interdisciplinary event for researchers working on gestural interaction, who want to meet and exchange their ideas and newest research. GW 2011 aims to bring together researchers from computer science, engineering, and the humanities in order to connect recent theoretical discoveries about the embodied bases of human verbal and nonverbal communication with approaches taken to developing interactive systems that exploit gesture as a means of interacting with machines. The workshop will be the 9th in the Gesture Workshop series initiated in 1996. Read more on Call: 9th International Gesture Workshop (GW 2011)…

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NY newspaper uses augmented reality to make Thanksgiving come alive

[A press release from amNewYork via PR Newswire; a pdf of the paper is available here]

Manhattan’s Most Widely Read and Distributed Newspaper Comes to Life on November 24th

amNewYork innovates again, digitally enhancing paper with metaio’s augmented reality

NEW YORK, Nov. 23, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — amNewYork, Manhattan’s most distributed daily newspaper innovates again, becoming the first U.S. newspaper to present its readers with an augmented reality feature that will breathe life into its Thanksgiving eve paper. Watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day balloons float from the pages of the paper, check out who’s invading Gotham and get answers to the day’s KenKen puzzle instantly.  

Through the use of junaio, the world’s most advanced augmented reality browser created by metaio, the leader in AR technology, amNewYork further bridges the gap between print and digital. On Wednesday November 24th, amNewYork will use the cutting-edge technology to animate parts of the paper with 3D experiences that literally will bring images to life on a few pages of the edition. Read more on NY newspaper uses augmented reality to make Thanksgiving come alive…

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Call: Interacting with Embodied Conversational Agents (special issue of JMUI)

Special Issue of the Journal on Multimodal User Interfaces:

INTERACTING WITH EMBODIED CONVERSATIONAL AGENTS

GUEST EDITORS:

OVERVIEW:

Despite advances in enhancing the expressivity of embodied conversational agents (ECAs), communication with ECAs remains an unnatural experience due to an often encountered asymmetry in communication channels, in which user input modalities tend to be less sophisticated due to the limitation of input processing. This is becoming a limiting factor as virtual actors become an essential element of computer games, intelligent tutoring systems and new media such as Interactive Storytelling. Furthermore, user-agent communication should be properly situated in the context of the application at hand rather than isolated as a laboratory experiment. In addition, interaction with ECAs implicitly creates a social environment which requires mechanisms for recognizing the user’s affective, attentive and social cues. This special issue will provide the opportunity to present research on the integration of speech, vision and other non-verbal sensors into an ECA’s conversational model. We specifically welcome research taking place within realistic scenarios or applications (entertainment, tutoring systems, persuasive systems, Interactive Narrative). Read more on Call: Interacting with Embodied Conversational Agents (special issue of JMUI)…

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World’s largest panorama photo features London in 80 gigapixels

[From Tech2]

Miss London? See It In A Record Breaking 80 Gigapixels

By: Padmini Harchandrai   |   Nov 20, 2010

Talk about being an avid photographer! Whew! Here is a record breaking 360 degree panoramic view of London made from 7886 individual stills, compiled into an 80 Gigapixel photo. The entire image is 400,000 x 200,000 pixels. This panoramic photo was stitched on a Fujitsu CELSIUS workstation comprising dual 6-core CPUs, 192GB of RAM, and a 4GB graphics card. The camera was a digital SLR that used a 400 mm lens and was mounted on a robotic camera mount that seamlessly moved the camera for the photographer. Read more on World’s largest panorama photo features London in 80 gigapixels…

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