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Author Archives: Matthew Lombard

Call: CHI 2015 Workshop on Ethical Encounters in HCI: Research in Sensitive Settings

Call for Participation:

CHI 2015 Workshop on Ethical Encounters in HCI: Research in Sensitive Settings
Seoul, Republic of South Korea
18th April 2015

This one-day workshop will be held as part of the CHI 2015 annual ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, held in Seoul, Korea between 18 and 23 April 2015.

Important Dates:

  • Submission by: 5th January 2015
  • Notification of acceptance: 6th February 2015
  • Workshop day: 18th or 19th April 2015

Workshop website:

Research in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) is moving into increasingly sensitive and challenging settings. New technologies are now being designed and evaluated with vulnerable or marginalized participants in contexts that can be emotionally challenging for researchers. Research conducted in these sensitive and emerging areas can produce complex ethical dilemmas where there are no clear “right” or “wrong” answers. These ethical issues are often emergent, diverse, and embedded in the context in which the research takes place. This workshop aims to provide a forum for researchers to discuss, share experiences and learn from ethical challenges encountered in HCI research conducted in sensitive settings. From this workshop we aim to develop a handbook of practical strategies to inform good practice for future HCI research. Attendees will be invited to develop their workshop paper into a chapter for the handbook.

We invite researchers working in sensitive settings to submit 4-6 page position papers (in ACM Extended Abstract format) describing their experiences and lessons learned from ethical encounters such as:

  • Challenges adhering to formal ethics procedures
  • Challenges that emerged in the doing of research
  • Emotional dilemmas researchers have faced and how these have been addressed
  • Sensitive settings that involved blurred research boundaries
  • The processes of obtaining informed consent and ensuring voluntary participation when working with marginalized groups
  • Introducing new and disruptive technologies into sensitive settings

Read more on Call: CHI 2015 Workshop on Ethical Encounters in HCI: Research in Sensitive Settings…

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I experienced Michael Brown’s death in VR and it was incredibly unsettling

[From Bustle, where the story includes more pictures and a 2:34 minute video]

Michael Brown shooting in VR

I Experienced Michael Brown’s Death in Virtual Reality, and It Was Incredibly Unsettling

Alicia Lu
December 18, 2014

Though the precise events of August 9 in Ferguson will never be known, we’ve all formed an idea through numerous testimonies and eyewitness accounts. Each account can differ quite drastically, however, depending on who’s relaying it. Trying to offer an interactive account of what happened that day, graphic journalist Dan Archer created for Fusion a virtual reality experience of the Michael Brown shooting from every perspective.

Yes, really. Through the combination of interactive virtual reality and graphic comics, you can actually experience multiple versions of the shooting based on each eyewitness account. After “experiencing” the Ferguson shooting firsthand, I feel even more unsettled. Read more on I experienced Michael Brown’s death in VR and it was incredibly unsettling…

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Call: “Behavior Coordination between Animals, Humans and Robots” Workshop at HRI 2015

Call for Abstracts/Short Papers

Workshop on “Behavior Coordination between Animals, Humans and Robots”

part of the
10th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction
March 2nd, 2015
Portland, Oregon, USA

Deadline: 15.01.2015


Hagen Lehmann, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, iCub Facility, Genoa, Italy

Luisa Damiano, Research Centre on Complex Systems / Department of Human and Social Sciences, University of Bergamo, Bergamo, Italy

Lorenzo Natale, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, iCub Facility, Genoa, Italy


This workshop intends to bring together researchers investigating one or more aspects of behavior coordination in three different research domains: human-human interaction, human-animal interaction, human-robot interaction.

Our goal is to develop an interdisciplinary dialogue directed towards cross-fertilization between these fields, and to stimulate front line research engaged in (a) deepening the scientific understanding of the natural mechanisms underlying behavioral coordination through their robotic modeling; (b) facilitating and enhancing human-robot cooperation on the basis of the implementation of these mechanisms in human-robot interaction.

The workshop aims at involving in this bi-directional transmission of knowledge between the domain of the ‘natural’ and the domain of the ‘artificial’ all the disciplines included in the traditional and in the synthetic study of behavior coordination: cognitive sciences, developmental psychology, developmental anthropology, developmental robotics, primatology, the sciences and the epistemology of self-organization, the sciences and the epistemology of complex systems, social robotics, HRI, etc.

The interdisciplinary discussion on behavior coordination that will take place during the workshop will focus on dyadic behavior, conceived as the basic systemic unit of coordinated behavior, and on some of the key mechanisms for effective coordination currently under exploration, such as joint attention, action observation, task-sharing, action coordination, perception of agency, motor synchronization.

Some of the questions on which the forum will focus are:

  • What are the differences and similarities between human-human and human-animal behavior coordination?
  • What are the underlying mechanisms for behavior coordination?
  • Which aspects of behavior coordination influence human social perception?
  • How can aspects of natural behavior coordination be productively used to facilitate naturalistic Human-Robot Interaction?

The workshop is directed not only to researchers studying behavior coordination, but also to specialists from other fields who want to learn more about trans-species and technology behavior coordination. Read more on Call: “Behavior Coordination between Animals, Humans and Robots” Workshop at HRI 2015…

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Zero-G simulator lets you float through an Oculus Rift space station

[From The Creators Project, where the post includes several animated gifs and a 4:24 minute video]

Weightless screenshot
Zero-G Simulator Lets You Float Through an Oculus Rift Space Station

By Beckett Mufson — Dec 16 2014

Read more on Zero-G simulator lets you float through an Oculus Rift space station…

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Call: ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing (UbiComp 2015)

Announcement and Call for Papers

The 2015 ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing
September 7-11, 2015, Osaka, Japan

The 2015 ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing (UbiComp 2015) invites submission of full papers and notes describing original research. UbiComp is a premier interdisciplinary venue in which leading international researchers, designers, developers, and practitioners in the field present and discuss novel results in all aspects of ubiquitous and pervasive computing. This includes the design, development, and deployment of ubiquitous and pervasive computing technologies and the understanding of human experiences and social impacts that these technologies facilitate. UbiComp 2015 will be held from September 7 to 11 in Osaka, Japan, and as in past years will be co-located with ISWC 2015 (with a single registration fee).

In the papers and notes track, we welcome high quality submissions that describe original and unpublished research contributions advancing the frontier of pervasive and ubiquitous computing. Relevant research topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Systems & infrastructures: descriptions of the design, architecture, deployment, and evaluation of systems and infrastructures that support ubiquitous computing
  • Devices & techniques: descriptions of the design, architecture, usage, and evaluation of devices and techniques that create new capabilities for ubiquitous computing
  • Applications & experiences: descriptions of the design and/or empirical study of applications that leverage Ubicomp devices and systems
  • Methodologies & tools: new methods and tools applied to studying or building Ubicomp systems and applications
  • Theories & models: critical analysis or organizing theory with clear relevance to the design or study of Ubicomp systems
  • Visions & wildcards: well-argued and well-supported visions of the future of ubiquitous computing; non-traditional topics, viewpoints and perspectives that convincingly bring something new to ubicomp research and practice.

Read more on Call: ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing (UbiComp 2015)…

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Illusion makes people speak with voice of their avatar

[From Disvcover’s Inkfish blog]


Illusion Makes People Speak with the Voice of Their Avatar

By Elizabeth Preston | November 26, 2014

Think you’re in control of your own body? A simple virtual-reality session could not only make you feel like an avatar’s body is your own, but make you speak more like the digital character. Read more on Illusion makes people speak with voice of their avatar…

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Call: Eurographics Workshop on Intelligent Cinematography and Editing (WICED 2015)

Call for Papers:

Eurographics Workshop on Intelligent Cinematography and Editing (WICED 2015)
Zurich, May 4, 2015

Co-located with the 36th annual conference of the European Association of Computer Graphics

Deadline for submission: February 28, 2015.

The expressive use of virtual cameras, mise-en-scene, lighting and editing (montage) within 3D synthetic environment shows great promise to extend the communicative power of film and video into the artificial environments of games and virtual worlds.

Cinematics produced in virtual worlds play a role not just for entertainment, but also for training, education, health-care communication, simulation, visualization and many other contexts. The automatic creation of cinematics in these environments holds the potential to produce video sequences appropriate for a wide range of applications and tailored to specific spatial, temporal, communicative, user and application contexts.

At the same time, recent advances in computer vision-based object, actor and action recognition make it possible to envision novel re-cinematography (re-lighting, re-framing) and automatic editing of live-action video. This fourth workshop on intelligent cinematography and editing is intended to bridge the gap between the two areas and confront research being performed in both domains. One common area of active research is the representation and understanding of the story to be told and its relation to teaching, training or therapeutic goals.

The workshop is open to researchers and industrial experts working on the many related aspects of digital cinematography and film editing in their respective fields, including 3D graphics, artificial intelligence, computer vision, visualisation, interactive narrative, cognitive and perceptual psychology, computational linguistics, computational aesthetics and visual effects.

These researchers will draw upon cutting edge research and technologies regarding both the production and comprehension of cinematographic artworks in virtual worlds and the real world. Read more on Call: Eurographics Workshop on Intelligent Cinematography and Editing (WICED 2015)…

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Jaguar develops ‘transparent’ pillars and ghost cars for urban safety

[From Autoblog, where the post includes more images, a 2:08 minute video and Jaguar’s press release]

Jaguar's 360 virtual urban windscreen

Jaguar Land Rover develops ‘transparent’ A-pillar and ghost car [w/video]

By Noah Joseph
Posted Dec 15th 2014

Jaguar and Land Rover are known for making highly covetable luxury, performance and off-road vehicles, but the British automakers are on a bit of a technology bent lately. Keen to show that it can not only keep up but lead the way when it comes to safety and convenience features, JLR has come out with two more systems to show the way forward.

JLR’s new 360 Virtual Urban Windscreen system, showcased on an XJ sedan, adopts two novel approaches to getting around town. First up is the Transparent Pillar system, which uses a combination of cameras and display screens embedded in the A, B and C-pillars to make them virtually disappear. Instead of acting as blind spots limiting the driver’s visibility, the system uses the roof pillars to display what’s going on around the car. If there’s an obstacle hidden by the A-pillars, the system shows you the potential hazard as if the pillars weren’t there, and brings the obstacle to the driver’s attention. If the driver turns his or her head to see a vehicle passing alongside, it projects the vehicle on the inside of the B- or C-pillar.

The second technology integrated in the next-generation head-up display is the Follow-Me Ghost Car Navigation system, which takes a page out of the video-game playbook by projecting a “ghost car” on the windscreen that the driver can then “follow” instead of listening to turn-by-turn directions or looking at a map in the dashboard display. The system is similar to what Jaguar recently showcased on an F-Type for track use, but applied for more practical use on city streets and highways. Read more on Jaguar develops ‘transparent’ pillars and ghost cars for urban safety…

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Call: Reimagining Interfaces for Older Adults – Special issue of IJMHCI


SPECIAL ISSUE ON Reimagining Interfaces for Older Adults
Official publication of the Information Resources Management Association

Guest Editors: Emma Nicol, Mark D Dunlop, Jutta Treviranus



Many countries have an increasingly ageing population. In recent years, mobile and related technologies have had a massive impact on social and working life. As the older adult population rises, many people will want to continue professional, social and lifestyle usage of such technologies into their 70s and beyond. Mobiles support community involvement and personal independence, but the ageing process can interfere considerably with their usage, e.g. through changes in vision, hearing, attention, memory and motor control.


This special issue will bring together the work and reflections of researchers who are re-imagining interfaces so that they are more suited for use by older adults. This may, for example, be through the redesign of interface elements, redesign of interaction flows or by reassessing user experience to be more suitable for older adults. We aim to highlight the wealth and breadth of applications that are used by older adults, how those applications are used and present high quality research into making those applications better suited to the population of use. We aim to bring together papers that focus on supporting aspects of lifestyle change, acknowledging and supporting changes in our physical & mental abilities as we age, and designing for either specific older user communities or diverse populations as a whole. In bringing together research in these areas we aim to encourage the reimagining of interfaces and interaction for older adults. Read more on Call: Reimagining Interfaces for Older Adults – Special issue of IJMHCI…

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“Wild – The Experience” puts you in the wilderness with Reese Witherspoon

[From The New York Times]

"Wild - The Experience"

[Image: “Wild — The Experience” puts viewers in the wilderness with Reese Witherspoon. Credit Felix & Paul Studios]

Virtual Reality ‘Wild’ Trek, With Reese Witherspoon

By Michael Cieply
DEC. 14, 2014

LOS ANGELES — They read the book. They saw the movie.

Now, a few admirers of “Wild,” Cheryl Strayed’s tale of her lonely trek along the Pacific Crest Trail, can spend several bone-weary, fully immersive minutes in the deep wilderness with Reese Witherspoon, who plays Ms. Strayed in the Fox Searchlight Pictures film about the adventure. On a smartphone.

Fox Searchlight and its partners — including Samsung and Oculus — are planning to demonstrate “Wild — The Experience” at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, both in January. It is a three-minute, 360-degree, virtual reality encounter with Ms. Witherspoon in character as Ms. Strayed, as she lugs her backpack through the trees and plunks down next to the viewer.

She is skinny, scruffy and almost eerily present. Read more on “Wild – The Experience” puts you in the wilderness with Reese Witherspoon…

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