ISPR Presence News

Monthly Archives: July 2013

Presence Picture #3: Heads in Houston

Statue heads across from a Target parking lot in Houston

From a colleague’s Facebook post. Obviously artificial and not at all to scale but they still seem to evoke social presence.

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Read more on Presence Picture #3: Heads in Houston…

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Looksi Pups, digital pets for the iPhone generation

[From the Telegraph, where the story includes additional images; for more information including images and two videos, see the project’s Kickstarter page]

Looksi Pup in doghouse

Virtual insanity: the rise and rise of the digital pet

Could Looksi Pups become the Tamagotchi for the iPhone generation? Rhiannon Williams investigates

By Rhiannon Williams
29 Jul 2013

Digital pets have long been big business for video game developers and toy manufacturers – they’ve been cashing in on the hopes and dreams of children worldwide for over 20 years. Read more on Looksi Pups, digital pets for the iPhone generation…

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Call: ‘Games for Learning’ – Special issue of Interaction Design and Architecture(s)

Call for Papers: Special Issue on “GAMES FOR LEARNING”

to be published at the
Interaction Design and Architecture(s) Journal (IxD&A)
(ISSN 1826-9745)

Guest Editors:

  • Kostas Karpouzis, Institute of Communication and Computer Systems, National Technical University of Athens, Greece
  • Ginevra Castellano, School of Electronic, Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Birmingham, UK
  • Rilla Khaled, Institute of Digital Games, University of Malta
  • Evangelia Dimaraki, University of the Aegean, Ellinogermaniki Agogi

Important dates:

Deadline: 22 November 2013

Other important dates:

  • Notification to the authors: 20 December, 2013
  • Deadline for submission of the final camera ready version of accepted papers: 10 January 2014
  • Publication of the special issue: January 2014

Overview

So we know that people of all ages like to play. There are even attempts to formulate the concept of play theoretically and to identify why it’s so important to our lives. We can even recall that play is one of the first things we do after we are born, constituting our first man-machine interface (with toys) and one of the first social activities we engage in. Even though playful learning is a recurrent vision in pedagogical thought, the educational system in most countries treats play as something antagonistic to learning: young students are allowed to play only during pre-defined sessions between classes and learning usually relies on formal teaching methods. This distinction was carried over, until recently, to the respective research fields in digital technologies: CS people working on games concentrated on the AI-side (how to make successful computer agents and non-player characters that play games in an unsupervised manner), while research on technology-enhanced learning looked for theoretical foundations in the most traditional learning research, missing out almost completely on concepts of engagement, playful learning and related concepts which recently emerged, such as ‘gamification’. As a result, most of the games produced for explicitly educational purposes from the collaboration of CS and TEL researchers, may have been effective with respect to their learning objectives, but they were not in the end adopted by their prospective users. In addition, game-based learning research has yet to tap into the potential of using games to cultivate creativity. While traditional media such as arts and crafts are essential to the enhancement of certain creative skills, games can be used to explore approaches to enhancing creativity that draw upon the broader digitally mediated culture: playing games requires creative skills that many students are now familiar with in terms of learning and then optimising the mechanics of a game.

This special issue of the IxD&A journal intends to expand the results of the Games for learning workshops at the Intelligent Tutoring Systems 2012 (http://www.image.ece.ntua.gr/events/its-emotion-in-games/) and Foundations of Digital Games 2013 (http://sirenproject.eu/content/fdg-2013-workshop-games-for-learning) conferences, by bringing together researchers from the fields of games research, game AI, intelligent systems, affective computing, design, human-computer interaction and user experience with people from the fields of education, technology-enhanced learning, cognitive sciences, psychology and ergonomics in order to foster the exchange of ideas and experiences from designing, developing and evaluating learning games in terms of usability and learning effect. Read more on Call: ‘Games for Learning’ – Special issue of Interaction Design and Architecture(s)…

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Carl the robot bartender serves customers at German bar

[From the Daily Mail, where the story includes many more images]

Carl, robot bartender

Vorsprung durch tech drink! Carl the robot bartender serves customers at German bar

The humanoid robot measures out spirits at the Robots Bar and Lounge

Nine customers can take a seat at the bar in Ilmenau, eastern Germany

27 July 2013

He’s handy with a shot glass and customers travel from far and wide to admire him at work.

The only strange thing about Carl the bartender is that he’s not quite human.

The humanoid robot mixes drinks for guests at the Robots Bar and Lounge in Ilmenau, eastern Germany.

The robot is the creation of mechatronics engineer Ben Schaefer, who has spent 23 years working in the field.

He built Carl from the parts of disused industrial robots from the German firm KUKA. Read more on Carl the robot bartender serves customers at German bar…

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Call: Social Believability in Games Workshop at ACE2013

Call for papers to Social believability in games workshop

The Social Believability in Games Workshop intends to be a point of interaction for researchers and game developers interested in different aspects of modeling, discussing, and developing believable social agents and Non-Player Characters (NPC). This can include discussions around behavior based on social and behavioral science theories and models, social affordances when interacting with game worlds and more. The intention is to invite participants from a multitude of disciplines in order to create a broad spectrum of approaches to the area. Read more on Call: Social Believability in Games Workshop at ACE2013…

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Telemonitoring as an alternative to hospital admissions

[From MobiHealthNews]

Telemonitoring

Orlando Health explores telemonitoring as an alternative to hospital admissions

By: Neil Versel | Jul 23, 2013

While other hospitals are trying to comply with a new Medicare policy by assuring recently discharged patients don’t have to be readmitted, Orlando Health is trying to prevent inpatient admissions in the first place by sending some patients home from the emergency department with telemonitoring equipment.

The Central Florida health system is a month into a planned four-month pilot of home-based videoconferencing units tied to simple vitals monitors and a visiting nurse program, in hopes of lowering costs and boosting patient satisfaction. “It’s about trying to bring quality healthcare to people at lower cost,” explained Dr. Timothy Bullard, medical chief of business development and innovation. Read more on Telemonitoring as an alternative to hospital admissions…

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Call: JVRC 2013 – Joint Virtual Reality Conference of EGVE-EuroVR

2013 Joint Virtual Reality Conference of EGVE – EuroVR
EGVE – the 19th Eurographics Symposium on Virtual Environments
EuroVR – the 10th EuroVR Conference

Paris Saclay, France
December 11-13, 2013

http://jvrc2013.sciencesconf.org/

Call for Papers and Short Papers: DEADLINE July 29th, 2013

Original, unpublished papers and short papers documenting new research contributions, practice and experience, or novel applications, from all areas of virtual environments, augmented reality, mixed reality and 3D user interfaces, are invited. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Advances in display technologies
  • Audio and Multimodal Interfaces
  • Haptic systems and devices
  • Tracking and sensing
  • Real-time rendering, modeling & simulation
  • Image-based 3D modeling and rendering
  • Interactive and immersive multimedia
  • Augmented Reality (AR) and mobile devices
  • Mixed Reality (MR)
  • VR/AR/MR system architecture
  • Collaborative and distributed VR/AR/MR
  • User studies and evaluation trials
  • Presence and cognition
  • 3D user interfaces
  • 3D interaction metaphors
  • Self-representation and embodiment
  • Virtual humans
  • Human Factors
  • VR, AR, and MR applications

Authors of the best papers will be invited to submit extended versions of their papers for publication in a special issue of Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments journal (MIT press). Read more on Call: JVRC 2013 – Joint Virtual Reality Conference of EGVE-EuroVR…

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Atlas to use Oculus Rift, iPhone and motion tracking to insert you into the game

[From Yahoo! News]

Atlas

[Image: Using an Oculus Rift with Atlas to play a shooting game. On the bottom right hand corner is what you see through …]

The Atlas looks like the most insane home video-gaming experience ever

Jason Gilbert July 25, 2013

As video games have become more and more realistic over the past few decades, we are quickly approaching the dream of the movie Tron: to be able to actually physically exist within our games, to bring a new level of immediacy to the act of playing.

Improvements in graphics have made this partly possible; innovative systems like the Oculus Rift gaming headset, which you wear over your eyes to plunge yourself into those graphics, have inched us even closer. But with the Oculus Rift, you still have to be sitting down as your character moves, so you don’t get the full out-of-body experience you might want with virtual reality.

A wild new concept from developer Aaron Rasmussen appears to take this idea to the next level. It’s called Atlas, and it uses Oculus Rift, an iPhone and motion tracking sensors to allow you to insert yourself into the game you are playing, mapping the environment of a video game into the physical space you are inhabiting. Read more on Atlas to use Oculus Rift, iPhone and motion tracking to insert you into the game…

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Call: Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS) 2014 conference

13th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS 2014)

http://aamas2014.lip6.fr

Marriott Rive Gauche
Paris, France
May 5-9, 2014

Electronic Abstract Submission:  October 8, 2013 (11:59 PM HST)
Full Paper and Extended Abstract Submission:  October 11, 2013 (11:59 PM HST)
Rebuttal Phase : November 29 – December 2, 2013 (11:59 PM HST)
Author Notification:  December 20, 2013

AAMAS-14 encourages the submission of theoretical, experimental, methodological, and applications papers. Theory papers should make clear the significance and relevance of their results to the AAMAS community. Similarly, applied papers should make clear both their scientific and technical contributions, and are expected to demonstrate a thorough evaluation of their strengths and weaknesses in practice. It is strongly encouraged that papers focusing on specific agent capabilities do so in the context of autonomous agent architectures or multiagent systems. A thorough evaluation, conducted from a theoretical or applied basis, is considered an essential component of any submission. Authors are also requested to pay particular attention to discuss how their work relates to the state of the art in autonomous agents and multiagent systems research as evidenced in, for example, previous AAMAS and related conferences. All submissions will be rigorously peer reviewed and evaluated on the basis of the quality of their technical contribution, originality, soundness, significance, presentation, understanding of the state of the art, and overall quality. Read more on Call: Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS) 2014 conference…

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Robots: The future of elder care?

[From CNN]

Espingardeiro with P37 S65

Robots: The future of elder care?

By Heather Kelly, CNN
July 19th, 2013

Would you let a robot take over as a live-in nurse for your aging parent or grandparent?

In 2050, the elderly will account for 16 percent of the global population. That’s 1.5 billion people over the age of 65, according to the Population Reference Bureau. Caring for those seniors – physically, emotionally and mentally – will be an enormous undertaking, and experts say there will be a shortage of professionals trained and willing to take on the job.

“We have to find more resources and have to get new ways of delivering those resources and delivering the quality of care,” says Antonio Espingardeiro, an expert in robotics and automation at the University of Salford in Manchester, England, and a member of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society.

Enter the elder-care robot.

Robots have the potential to meet many of the needs of an aging population, according to Espingardeiro. A software engineer, Espingardeiro is finishing his PhD on new types of human and robotic interaction. He has developed a model of elder-care robot, P37 S65, which can monitor senior patients and communicate with doctors while providing basic care and companionship. Read more on Robots: The future of elder care?…

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