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Monthly Archives: August 2011

Call: 11th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS 2012)

CALL FOR PAPERS

11th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS 2012)

Valencia, Spain
June 4–8, 2012
http://aamas2012.webs.upv.es

ABOUT AAMAS

AAMAS is the leading scientific conference for research in autonomous agents and multiagent systems. The AAMAS conference series was initiated in 2002 by merging three highly respected meetings: the International Conference on Multi-Agent Systems (ICMAS); the International Workshop on Agent Theories, Architectures, and Languages (ATAL); and the International Conference on Autonomous Agents (AA). The aim of the joint conference is to provide a single, high-profile, internationally respected archival forum for scientific research in the theory and practice of autonomous agents and multiagent systems.

AAMAS 2012 is the eleventh conference in the AAMAS series, following enormously successful previous conferences, and will be held at the Universitat Politècnica de València in Valencia, Spain, June 4-8, 2012.

See http://www.ifaamas.org for more information on the AAMAS conference series. Read more on Call: 11th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS 2012)…

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How literal should virtual worlds be? Collaboration tool bets bobbleheads beat avatars

[From InformationWeek]

Collaboration Tool Bets Bobbleheads Beat Avatars

Sococo’s virtual office space helps co-workers “see” each other with simple icons. Is this just enough virtual reality to help your team?

David F. Carr | August 22, 2011

Sococo may be just enough virtual reality for organizations wanting to add another dimension to corporate collaboration–but not necessarily three dimensions.

Looking like a buddy list presence icon with eyes and a headset, a Sococo icon moves around the floor plan of a virtual office space like a chess piece moving around the board. You enter and leave rooms to join and leave different meetings–where you are dictates who you can speak to through the integrated conference call system and who you can share your screen with.

“Through this spatial interface, not only can you instantaneously assemble a meeting, but you get the full context of what’s going on in your organization,” CTO and co-founder Paul Brody said in an interview. “Because we give you this picture of a physical office with space cubes, you can peek around to see who’s free and who’s busy.” Read more on How literal should virtual worlds be? Collaboration tool bets bobbleheads beat avatars…

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Call: Special issue of Ethics and Information Technology on “Armed Military Robots”

Call for Papers for a Special Issue of Ethics and Information Technology on “Armed Military Robots”

Ethics and Information Technology is calling for papers to be considered for inclusion in a Special Issue on the ethics of armed military robots, to be edited by Noel Sharkey, Juergen Altmann, Peter Asaro and Robert Sparrow. The need for this Special Issue became apparent at the Berlin meeting of the International Committee for Robot Arms Control in September, 2010. This meeting expressed deep concerns about the proliferation and development of armed military robots and identified a pressing need for more international discussion of the ethics of these systems: www.icrac.co.uk

Recent armed conflicts have seen robots playing a number of important military roles, yet informed ethical discussion has, for the most part, lagged well behind. We therefore invite contributors from a wide range of disciplines including philosophy, law, engineering, robotics, computer science, artificial intelligence, peace studies, and policy studies, to consider the ethical issues raised by the development and deployment of remote piloted, semi-autonomous, and autonomous robots (UXVs) for military roles.

Will the development of sophisticated military robots make wars more likely? If so, can the proliferation and use of war robots be controlled? How might robots change the nature of modern warfare? And how should Just War Theory and International Law be applied to wars fought by robots and/or to the operations of robots in contemporary conflicts? We welcome submissions that discuss or attempt to answer these – or related – questions. Given the contemporary political and military enthusiasm for remotely operated and semi-autonomous weapons, we are especially interested to receive submissions that offer a critical perspective. Read more on Call: Special issue of Ethics and Information Technology on “Armed Military Robots”…

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Don’t stop believing in 3D until you watch ‘Glee: The 3D Concert Movie’

[From PC World]

How ‘Glee: The 3D Concert Movie’ Sold Me on 3D

Not thrilled by 3D movies? Don’t stop believing until you watch ‘Glee: The 3D Concert Movie.’

By Patrick Miller, PCWorld
August 19, 2011

I’d had it up to here with 3D. I thought Avatar was pretty cool in 3D, I didn’t mind it in Up, and I liked Step Up 3D and Tron: Legacy more than I thought I would. But now it seems as if everything except romantic comedies has mediocre 3D effects grafted on, just to (weakly) justify a more expensive movie ticket. It’s enough to make a moviegoer wish Hollywood had sat on this 3D tech for a few more years–or at least rationed out its usage–until the studios had figured out how to do it right.

Then I saw Glee: The 3D Concert Movie, and thought, “Hey, maybe there’s something to this 3D thing after all.”

Don’t get me wrong. Glee: The 3D Concert Movie isn’t a cinematic masterpiece by any stretch. You probably won’t enjoy it unless you’re a fan of the TV show (and judging from the abysmal opening weekend draw, even those fans weren’t watching it, either). If you do go to watch it, though, you’ll no doubt find it an enlightening exercise in how 3D video technology should be used–which is to say, subtly and sparingly. Read more on Don’t stop believing in 3D until you watch ‘Glee: The 3D Concert Movie’…

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Call: Short online survey on the blurring of reality and fiction in ARGs

Research on the blurring of reality and fiction in ARGs: Short online survey

Hello fellow ARG players and researchers,

My name is Mela Kocher and I am a Swiss games researcher. For my post-doc research project I am focusing on the blurring of the line between reality and fiction in alternate reality games (ARGs). The research project is sponsored by the Swiss National Science Foundation (http://www.snf.ch/).

Read more on Call: Short online survey on the blurring of reality and fiction in ARGs…

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Gaetano Ling develops AR goggles and other ‘magic’ tools to improve children’s museum experience

[From Imperial College London, where the article includes additional information; Gaetano Ling’s website is here]

Postgrad develops magic goggles and enchanted maps for a fun museum experience

Imperial graduate from Innovation Design Engineering course showcases his interactive tools as part of his graduation project

Tuesday 19 July 2011
by Colin Smith

An Imperial postgraduate has developed a suite of interactive tools to make museums and galleries more fun for children, including magic goggles, a Harry Potter style map and brushes that make sounds.

The prototype virtual reality glasses developed by Gaetano Ling are called Corbu Goggles and they ‘magically’ reveal the creative processes behind artwork. Mr Ling has also developed a device that enables visually impaired children to hear sounds linked to a particular painting and a Harry Potter style map that gradually reveals more of itself to make navigating galleries and museums a more adventurous experience.

The new tools were created by Mr Ling as part of his final project for the Innovation Design Engineering (IDE) course, which is run jointly by Imperial and the Royal College of Art (RCA). Students receive a joint MA (RCA) and MSc (Imperial) in Innovation Design Engineering after they have completed the 21 month course.

In the [3:04 minute] video, Mr Ling demonstrates the Corbu Goggles and talks about his other innovations.

Read more on Gaetano Ling develops AR goggles and other ‘magic’ tools to improve children’s museum experience…

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Call: Workshop on Human-Centered VR, AR and Gaming (VRCAI-VRAR 2011)

ACM SIGGRAPH VRCAI 2011
Workshop on Human-Centered VR, AR and Gaming (VRCAI-VRAR 2011)
Dec.11-12, 2011, Hong Kong, China
http://liama.ia.ac.cn/vrcai2011/vrar.html
http://www.vrcai2011.org

Paper  submissions (up to 8 pages): 10 September 2011
Notification of paper acceptance: 19 September 2011
Camera-ready papers due: 30 September 2011

While the advances of Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Gaming technologies are breathtaking taking into account the ever increasing power of mobile computing devices, the research community is challenged to investigate the factors that make computer graphics technologies effective, productive but also fun and engaging. Realizing the goals of VR, AR and Gaming and harnessing them to successful applications could be accomplished by human-centered design, employing robust evaluation metrics and human-centered experimentation. The quality of interfaces and platforms implemented could be designed employing information about the human perceptual system and assessed from a human factors engineering point of view. The goal would be to understand the way humans perceive VR and AR worlds across a range of displays including 3D TV and 3D cinema and assess the effectiveness of such technologies for different applications.

This workshop seeks high quality, previously unpublished work on human-centered design and evaluation of computer graphics technologies focusing on AR, VR and Gaming across a range of displays. Read more on Call: Workshop on Human-Centered VR, AR and Gaming (VRCAI-VRAR 2011)…

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An update on telepresence robots

[From MIT’s Technology Review]

[Office bot: This telepresence robot, from Anybots, costs $15,000. Known as the QB, it has built-in obstacle avoidance that automatically prevents it from striking objects such as doorways.]

Telepresence Robots Seek Office Work

New models have reached the marketplace, but high initial prices keep applications limited.

Thursday, August 18, 2011
By Tom Simonite

Building on the trend toward remote work, two companies started shipping wheeled telepresence robots to customers this year, and other versions are launching soon. While prices are steep and sales tepid, some early adopters find that the robots offer advantages over technologies such as videoconferencing.

Telepresence robots are wheeled machines steered by a person sitting at a remote computer; the bots take the person’s place around the conference table or, say, on a facility inspection. They are equipped with cameras, microphones, screens, and speakers so the human controller can interact with real people.

But using one of these robots is far harder than picking up a phone or using a video calling system. I tried one this year (see [the 2:37 minute] video), to stand in for me at Technology Review‘s main office in Cambridge, Massachusetts, as I worked in San Francisco, and encountered a fairly steep learning curve. Piloting a robot, and contending with its sometimes poor hearing and limited vision, can make interacting with people a challenge.

Still, customers find them valuable, says Ned Semonite, VP for product management at VGo Communications, the New Hampshire-based company that sells the four-foot-tall robot I tried. Some engineers and designers enjoy being able to visit a distant lab or inspect a prototype without leaving the office, he says: “It means they can be there more often. You get the immediacy of walking in the door, and that valuable ad hoc contact.” More than 200 of the robots are in use so far, he says, and customers include companies such as Hewlett-Packard and Cisco.

The technology provides advantages over videoconferencing, Semonite adds, because “the person who is remote can choose what they want to see and go places beyond the meeting room.” Read more on An update on telepresence robots…

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Call: International Conference on the Philosophy of Computer Games: The Nature of Player Experience

Call for Papers

6th International Conference on the Philosophy of Computer Games:
The Nature of Player Experience

We hereby invite scholars in any field of studies who take a professional interest in the philosophy of computer games to submit papers to the 6th International Conference on the Philosophy of Computer Games, to be held in Madrid, Spain, on January 29th-31st 2012. Accepted papers will have a clear focus on philosophy and philosophical issues in relation to computer games. They will refer to specific examples from computer games rather than merely invoke them in general terms.

Read more on Call: International Conference on the Philosophy of Computer Games: The Nature of Player Experience…

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Market for flight simulators growing across the world

[From IANS via Gulf News]

[Image: Vaibhava Srinivasan’s cockpit at his home with original Boeing 727 captain seats. The chartered accountant uses the flight simulator as a way of winding down on weekends. He built the cockpit in his house after collecting equipment from all over the world.]

Bust stress by conquering the sky, the virtual way

Market for flight simulators growing across the world

IANS
Published: August 6, 2011

New Delhi: Vaibhava Srinivasan, 33, was flying a Boeing 737 aircraft over the picturesque Himalayan mountain range on his way to China, when he had to suddenly cut short his sortie for an urgent board meeting at office.

No, he wasn’t daydreaming.

On weekdays, the Bengalurean works as a chartered accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers, but on weekends, he brings out the aviator in him and ‘flies’ all kinds of jetliners all over the world with the help of software — the Microsoft Flight Simulator. The software, priced at $40 (Dh147), commands the lion’s share in the virtual flying software market.

“This software is for enthusiasts and has been constantly upgraded over the years. It provides you a virtual experience of flying a jet and is easily available at any electronic gadget or video game shop,” Srinivasan said.

Srinivasan, in fact, went one step further by installing a Boeing 737 cockpit at his home with hardware and software procured from various countries over a period of two years. The cockpit boasts of an imitation panel, yoke, throttle quadrant, multi-functional displays, auto-pilot and auto throttle panels and original captain seats.

Stress-buster

“After slugging the whole week I need an effective stress-buster on weekends to relax and the simulator is just the perfect solution. In fact, many of my friends often visit my place just to lay their hands on it,” he said.

Srinivasan may be an extreme case, but budding aviators can also consider software like X-Plane, which costs around $25-40, depending on the features one opts for.

Siddharth Chowdhri, who owns The English Book Store in central Delhi’s upscale commercial complex Connaught Place, says flight simulator software and hardware like yoke and throttle quadrant are some of his best selling items. Read more on Market for flight simulators growing across the world…

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