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Author Archives: Matthew Lombard

Call: Interact 2015 – International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction

Call for Participation

INTERACT 2015
15th IFIP TC13 International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction
14-18 Sept. 2015 in Bamberg, Germany

http://www.INTERACT2015.org

INTERACT is among the world’s top conferences in Human-Computer Interaction. This conference series has been organised under the aegis of the Technical Committee 13 on Human-Computer Interaction of the UNESCO International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP).

INTERACT 2015 solicits submissions in a broad range of categories, addressing all aspects of Human-Computer Interaction. With the theme “Connection.Tradition.Innovation” the focus is on the past, present, and future of the field of Human-Computer Interaction and its paradigms, concepts, methods, and technology. We seek high quality contributions opening new and emerging HCI disciplines, but also leveraging on the wealth of knowledge and experience from within HCI and beyond. INTERACT 2015 provides a forum for researchers and practitioners. Read more on Call: Interact 2015 – International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction…

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You may go to the moon via telepresence robot

[From BBC News; an impressive 1:36 minute video is available on YouTube]

Daniel Shafrir and moon robot

[Image: Daniel Shafrir hopes Andy can transform education about space]

Robot will beam live Moon pictures to Oculus users

By Jane Wakefield, Technology reporter
21 October 2014

Scientists at Carnegie Mellon University have developed a robot which they plan to land on the Moon to act as eyes for Earth-bound space enthusiasts.

The project is part of a $30m prize from Google offered to a team that can send video back from the moon.

The robot has already been shown to potential investors, including Apollo 9 astronaut Rusty Schweickart.

It works in tandem with an Oculus Rift virtual reality headset. Read more on You may go to the moon via telepresence robot…

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Call: 2015 International Conference on Virtual Reality (ICVR 2015)

2015 International Conference on Virtual Reality
April 9-10, 2015,
Los Angeles, USA

http://www.icvr.org

Submission deadline: November 15, 2014

Call for Papers

2015 International Conference on Virtual Reality (ICVR 2015) is the premier forum for the presentation of technological advances and research results in the fields of Virtual Reality. ICVR 2015 will bring together leading engineers and scientists in Virtual Reality from around the world. This conference provides opportunities for delegates to exchange new ideas and research findings in a face to face environment, to establish business or research relationships and to find global partners for future collaboration.

Submitted conference papers will be peer reviewed by the program and technical committees of the Conference.

Topics of interest for submission include, but are not limited to:

  • Immersive gaming
  • 3D interaction for VR/AR/MR
  • Input devices for VR/AR/MR
  • Haptics, audio, and other non-visual interfaces
  • VR systems and toolkits
  • Augmented and mixed reality
  • Computer graphics techniques for VR/AR/MR
  • Advanced display technology
  • Immersive projection technology
  • Multi-user and distributed VR/AR/MR
  • Serious games
  • Tracking and sensing
  • Modeling and simulation
  • User studies and evaluation
  • Perception, presence, and cognition
  • Navigation
  • Applications of VR/AR/MR
  • Teleoperation and telepresence

Read more on Call: 2015 International Conference on Virtual Reality (ICVR 2015)…

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Dexmo exoskeletons bring sensation of touch to VR

[From Bright Side of News, where the story includes more pictures and a 2:48 minute video]

Dexta Robotics' Dexmo Exoskeleton

Dexmo Exoskeletons Bring Sensation of Touch to VR

With the advent of hand-fitted exoskeletons, Dexta Robotics wants to bring the sensation of touch to virtual reality.

Derek Strickland – October 1, 2014

Consumers will soon be able to actually feel digital objects in virtual reality.

A tech firm known as Dexta Robotics is crafting the Dexmo F2, a specially-made exoskeleton that folds over a users hand to simulate the sensation of touch in VR environments. The device will apparently be compatible with the Oculus Rift, and may even transition to other VR platforms.

Originally spotted by Kotaku, a representative from the company launched an AMA on the Oculus Reddit to raise awareness on the Dexmo peripheral and to explain how it works. Read more on Dexmo exoskeletons bring sensation of touch to VR…

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Call: Critical Spaces: Disorienting the Topological – A graduate conference in the critical humanities

London Graduate School
Critical Spaces: Disorienting the Topological
A graduate conference in the critical humanities
Kingston University, London
Monday 5th January 2015

Keynote Speakers:

Claire Colebrook
Eyal Weizman
Eleni Ikoniadou
Fred Botting

Read more on Call: Critical Spaces: Disorienting the Topological – A graduate conference in the critical humanities…

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How one boy with autism became BFF with Apple’s Siri

[From The New York Times, where the story includes more drawings]

Boy and Siri near train (drawing)

[Image: By Louie Chin]

To Siri, With Love

How One Boy With Autism Became BFF With Apple’s Siri

By Judith Newman
October 17, 2014

Just how bad a mother am I? I wondered, as I watched my 13-year-old son deep in conversation with Siri. Gus has autism, and Siri, Apple’s “intelligent personal assistant” on the iPhone, is currently his BFF. Obsessed with weather formations, Gus had spent the hour parsing the difference between isolated and scattered thunderstorms — an hour in which, thank God, I didn’t have to discuss them. After a while I heard this:

Gus: “You’re a really nice computer.”

Siri: “It’s nice to be appreciated.”

Gus: “You are always asking if you can help me. Is there anything you want?”

Siri: “Thank you, but I have very few wants.”

Gus: “O.K.! Well, good night!”

Siri: “Ah, it’s 5:06 p.m.”

Gus: “Oh sorry, I mean, goodbye.”

Siri: “See you later!”

That Siri. She doesn’t let my communications-impaired son get away with anything. Indeed, many of us wanted an imaginary friend, and now we have one. Only she’s not entirely imaginary.

This is a love letter to a machine. It’s not quite the love Joaquin Phoenix felt in “Her,” last year’s Spike Jonze film about a lonely man’s romantic relationship with his intelligent operating system (played by the voice of Scarlett Johansson). But it’s close. In a world where the commonly held wisdom is that technology isolates us, it’s worth considering another side of the story. Read more on How one boy with autism became BFF with Apple’s Siri…

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Call: First Workshop on Tangible Gesture Interaction – TEI 2015

Tangible Meets Gestural: Comparing and Blending Post-WIMP Interaction Paradigms – First Workshop on Tangible Gesture Interaction – TEI 2015
January 15 or 16, Stanford

Submission deadline: November 25

Call for Papers

Tangible interaction and gestural interaction are two evolving interaction paradigms that are gaining an increasing interest within the HCI community. In a world where many objects become intelligent, opening the doors to ubiquitous computing, these two interaction paradigms seem particularly promising to exploit two innate human skills: the ability to manipulate objects and the ability to communicate through gestures. A new interaction paradigm, tangible gesture interaction, tries to bridge the benefits offered by tangible interaction and gestural interaction.

In this workshop, participants will have the opportunity to compare benefits of tangible and gestural interaction and to propose advancements in the field of tangible gesture interaction. Indeed, we encourage participants to submit 4 to 6 page position papers (SIGCHI Extended Abstract format) on the following (or related) topics:

  • Theory and ground knowledge that frames gestural and tangible interaction
  • Application of existing post-WIMP frameworks in tangible and gestural interaction
  • Comparison of gestural and tangible interfaces (user performances, cognitive load, fatigue, learnability, skill development etc.) in specific application domains
  • Expressivity of tangible and gestural interfaces
  • Physical and psychological implications of human senses and skills involved in tangible and gestural interactions
  • Feedback and feedforward for tangible and gestural interaction
  • Novel applications for tangible gesture interfaces
  • Theory, frameworks and future visions on tangible gesture interaction
  • Techniques for mixed gesture and object recognition

During the workshop, after paper presentations, the participants will have also a playful opportunity to design and develop mockups of new interactive objects. Participants are invited to bring an everyday object that could be transformed into an interactive object through gestures or tangible manipulations. The results of the hands-on phases will be used to compare tangible interaction, gestural interaction and tangible gestural interaction, discussing the qualities and limitations of each paradigm. Read more on Call: First Workshop on Tangible Gesture Interaction – TEI 2015…

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NASA testsing VR to reduce stress of long distance space flights

[A press release from Dartmouth College via EurekAlert!]

Oculus Rift with view of space

Houston: We have a problem…but no worries, our virtual therapist is on it

Dartmouth researchers adding new virtual reality to mental health treatment for astronauts

October 14, 2014

Hiking in the mountains or lying on the beach are good ways to relieve stress on Earth, but on spaceflights there’s no way to get back to nature. Astronauts feeling stressed on long-duration flights, however, may soon find computerized solace in the form of a virtual reality-based relaxation system being developed by Dartmouth researchers and their colleagues.

Since 2001, Dartmouth, Harvard, UCLA and The Troupe Modern Media have been developing the “Virtual Space Station”, a set of interactive behavioral health training and treatment programs with support from NASA’s National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI). The NSBRI recently gave Dartmouth a $1.6 million grant to add new virtual reality and conflict management content to the existing Virtual Space Station programs. The NSBRI is a NASA-funded consortium of institutions developing solutions to health-related problems on long-duration missions.

Dartmouth’s Digital Arts Leadership and Innovation lab, better known as DALI, is creating the new technology for the system, including virtual reality content “to help make people feel at ease, at home, happy, comfortable and calm,” says Lorie Loeb, a Dartmouth research professor in computer science and executive director of the lab. Read more on NASA testsing VR to reduce stress of long distance space flights…

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Job: Asst Prof in Ethics & Digital Culture at University of Central Florida

University of Central Florida
Tenure track hire: “Assistant Professor, Ethics & Digital Culture” #33145

The Department of Philosophy at the University of Central Florida (UCF) invites applications for a tenure earning Assistant Professor position in Ethics and Digital Culture beginning in August 2015. This is a shared position between the Department of Philosophy and the Texts and Technology Ph.D. program, and the successful candidate will be involved in both areas. This is a 9-month per year position with an expected teaching load (pre-tenure) of 5 courses per academic year, with the possibility of optional summer teaching. The position is pending budgetary approval.

A Ph.D. in Philosophy or a related field from an accredited university is required by the time of hire.

The successful candidate will have a research specialization in the study of ethics and digital culture. This could include areas such as: ethical dimensions of new media, ethics and digital pedagogy, the ways that digital environments affect ethical action, social behavior and social justice using digital tools or in digital environments, ethics in gaming, and/or ethics in digital humanities, rhetoric, history, media or communications. The successful candidate must be able to teach courses at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. Demonstrated competence in teaching courses such as Virtual Ethics and Ethical Theory is preferred, as is experience with teaching large classes and/or experience or willingness to develop web-based instruction. Thesis direction at the graduate and undergraduate level will be expected, as will participation in program and course development. Read more on Job: Asst Prof in Ethics & Digital Culture at University of Central Florida…

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Futurist: Grant intelligent software all the rights of flesh-and-blood people

[From MIT’s Technology Review, where the story includes a different image. Bina was featured in a (satirical) segment of the The Colbert Report on June 10, 2014. The 1989 episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation titled Measure of a Man highlighted many of these issues; a key scene is available on YouTube]

Bina48 - front and back views

[Image: Source]

Q&A with Futurist Martine Rothblatt

If computers think for themselves, should they have human rights?

By Antonio Regalado on October 20, 2014

Bina48 is a robotic head that looks and speaks like a person—it moves its lips and runs conversational software. Although the robot isn’t alive, it’s hard to say there is no life at all in Bina48. In conversation, it sometimes says surprising things. Google’s director of engineering, Ray Kurzweil, says it’s “wonderfully suggestive” of a time when computers really will think and feel.

Kurzweil makes the comment in the foreword to Virtually Human: The Promise—and the Peril—of Digital Immortality a new book by Bina48’s owner, Martine Rothblatt, who makes legal and ethical arguments for why intelligent software might eventually deserve all the rights of flesh-and-blood people. Read more on Futurist: Grant intelligent software all the rights of flesh-and-blood people…

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