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Author Archives: Matthew Lombard

Job: Lecturer in HCI at University of Lincoln (UK)

Lecturer in Human Computer Interaction
University of Lincoln (UK)
School of Computer Science

We are currently looking to recruit a full-time permanent Lecturer in Human Computer Interaction (HCI). Applicants should hold a PhD (or very nearly completed it), and should be able to demonstrate an excellent existing track record in HCI, or related, research fields commensurate with experience. The post holder is expected to join the Lincoln Social Computing (LiSC) research centre, to develop their own research portfolio, to publish their work in the highest quality outlets (including CHI) and to contribute to the School’s teaching activity at undergraduate and postgraduate levels in areas aligned with HCI. The School is now the highest ranked ‘new’ (post 1992) computer science department in the country.

LiSC conduct a broad range of HCI, social computing and games-related research and we are interested in applied areas such as health and wellbeing, digital civics and activism, sustainability and the digital economy. Our work is currently funded by sources including EPSRC, ESRC, AHRC and TSB. The group will host the British HCI conference in 2015. For more information see

To apply go here:

Deadline is Monday 05 January 2015 Read more on Job: Lecturer in HCI at University of Lincoln (UK)…

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Documentary investigates “future of love and sex in the digital age”

[From VICE Media, where you can watch a 0:47 minute trailer and the 32:47 minute program. For another status report on the topic see “When Porn and Virtual Reality Collide (NSFW)” from Gizmodo.]

Read more on Documentary investigates “future of love and sex in the digital age”…

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Call: Toward a Science of Consciousness 2015


University of Helsinki, Finland, 9-13 June 2015
Pre-conference workshops: 8 June 2015

Submission deadline: 30 November 2014

Toward a Science of Consciousness (TSC) is the largest and longest-running interdisciplinary conference emphasizing broad and rigorous approaches to the study of conscious awareness. Topical areas include neuroscience, philosophy, psychology, biology, quantum physics, meditation and altered states, machine consciousness, culture and experiential phenomenology. Cutting edge, controversial issues are emphasized.

Held annually since 1994, the TSC conferences alternate yearly between Tucson, Arizona and various locations around the world. The University of Helsinki is proud to host TSC 2015 in the Great Hall of its neoclassical main building located in the downtown area.

Jean-Pierre Changeux | Patricia S. Churchland | David Chalmers | Jaakko Hintikka

Harald Atmanspacher | Susan Blackmore | Peter Bruza | Deepak Chopra | Travis Craddock | Rocco Gennaro | Philip Goff | Stuart Hameroff | Riitta Hari | John Heil | James Ladyman | Steven Jay Lynn | Ariane Lambert-Mogiliansky | George Mashour | Alyssa Ney | David Papineau | Antti Revonsuo | William Seager | Petra Stoerig | Jennifer Windt | Dan Zahavi


  1. Social Neuroscience, Body Image and Phenomenology (Hari, Stoerig, Zahavi)
  2. Dreams, Virtual Realities, and Hypnosis (Lynn, Windt, Revonsuo)
  3. Anesthesia, Physics, and Consciousness (Mashour, Hameroff, Craddock)
  4. Metaphysics of Consciousness (Heil, Ney, Papineau)
  5. Quantum Ideas in Consciousness Studies (Bruza, Atmanspacher, Lambert-Mogiliansky)
  6. Consciousness and Structuralism (Goff, Ladyman Seager)
  7. East vs. West on the Hard Problem (Blackmore, Chopra, Gennaro)

TSC 2015 calls for contributed papers, contributed posters, contributed symposia and proposals for pre-conference workshops. The list of conference topic areas is on the conference webpage: Read more on Call: Toward a Science of Consciousness 2015…

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The NASA playground that takes VR to a whole new level

[From Gizmodo, where the story includes several more images and a 3:11 minute video]

NASA's virtual ISS

The NASA Playground That Takes Virtual Reality To a Whole New Level

Brent Rose
November 18, 2014

Gizmodo’s Space Camp is all about the under-explored side of NASA. From robotics to medicine to deep-space telescopes to art. All this week we’ll be coming at you direct from NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, shedding a light on this amazing world. You can follow the whole series here.

We’ve seen how NASA recreates the vacuum of space right here on Earth, but what about the gravity of space? What about the forces of inertia? When large objects move and behave so differently, how to you train for a mission so you know what to expect when you get there? Like this.

We visited the lab where NASA creates incredibly intricate virtual worlds, then blends them with real life and robots in the most advanced virtual reality we’ve ever seen. Virtual reality that puts Oculus to shame. A freakin’ robot that simulates the physics of space. And yes, a jetpack.

NASA’s Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston, Texas, is home to the agency’s Virtual Reality Lab, which is arguably the most high-tech training the astronauts will receive on Earth. In it, they will encounter DOUG. DOUG is not a person; it’s an acronym for Dynamic Onboard Ubiquitous Graphics program. It’s an impeccably detailed rendering program that models everything on the space station, from the decals to the fluid lines and electrical lines.

According to James Tinch, NASA VR Lab manager, “Anything that the crew might see outside on the Space Station we model in here so that when they go outside they feel like they’ve already been there, because they’ve experienced it here in the virtual world.” Read more on The NASA playground that takes VR to a whole new level…

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Call: CEPE-IACAP 2015 – Computer Ethics: Professional Enquiries and Intl Assoc for Computing and Philosophy

Call for Papers

CEPE-IACAP 2015 Joint Conference
Computer Ethics: Professional Enquiries / International Association for Computing and Philosophy
June 22-25 2015 at the University of Delaware

Philosophical and ethical enquiries about information technologies, computing, and artificial intelligence have acquired a focal place in the academic and societal debate on the design, development and deployment of technological artefacts. As the issues to be addressed are increasingly complex and interwoven, the need to consider different stakeholders and to endorse both multi- and inter-disciplinary approaches in addressing such problems become more pressing. For this reason, in 2015 the International Society for Ethics in Technology (INSEIT) and the International Association for Computing and Philosophy (IACAP) will hold a joint meeting to offer the opportunity to members of both communities to exchange ideas and discuss issues of common interest.

The conference will be held on June 22-25 2015 at the University of Delaware and will be hosted by Professor Tom Powers, Department of Philosophy, School of Public Policy and Administration and Delaware Biotechnology Institute, and Director of the Center for Science, Ethics & Public Policy, University of Delaware.

This year’s meeting will have a single main track focusing on topics at the core of IACAP and INSEIT member’s interests. Symposia will also be organized and run by members, or member groups, to focus on more specific topics of discussion.

We invite submissions of abstract (up to 3000 words) as well as submission of proposals for symposia focusing on ethical and philosophical problems relate to information technologies and computing. A selection of the papers presented during the meeting will be published in a volume of the ‘Synthese Library’ (Springer).

The conference theme is open to the following topics: Read more on Call: CEPE-IACAP 2015 – Computer Ethics: Professional Enquiries and Intl Assoc for Computing and Philosophy…

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Artist to spend 28 days living as another person via VR

[From The Verge, where the story includes more pictures]

Farid's Seeing I - eating as another wearing Oculus Rift

How to live for a month in virtual reality

Artist Mark Farid will spend 28 days as someone else in ‘Seeing I’

By Adi Robertson
on November 18, 2014

Next year, artist Mark Farid wants to give up a month of his life to virtual reality. If a crowdfunding campaign succeeds, he’ll spend 28 days in a gallery, wearing a VR headset and a pair of noise-canceling headphones. For the duration of the show, all he’ll experience will be video and audio captured by a complete stranger, going about their daily life. When they eat, he’ll eat. When they sleep, he’ll sleep. As much as modern technology permits, he will let his individual identity evaporate.

This isn’t escapism. He’s not trying to live as a famous actor, or a star athlete, or someone from a vastly different culture or time period. Spending minutes in virtual reality can be uncomfortable, let alone days. So why do it? “It’s to see if who we are is an individual identity, or if there is just a cultural identity that kind of takes us on,” says Farid. “I’ve grown up in the city my whole life. So everything that I’ve seen — the square gardens that we have, the tree that’s planted in that specific place, the way the wind travels down the road … all of that is artificially created,” he says. “Every experience that we’re having is synthetic.”

His project, called Seeing I, isn’t just meant to test the limits of artificiality; it’s also meant to bring him as close as possible to looking through someone else’s eyes. An “Input,” as Farid calls the person whose life he’ll see, will spend a month wearing a pair of glasses that can capture 180-degree video and 3D audio. The data for each day will be looked over for glitches or gaps, then sent to Farid six days later, giving assistants time to prepare the right meals and gather other materials they’ll need to make the experience as realistic as possible. Visitors might see him at the gallery, but he won’t know they’re there. Read more on Artist to spend 28 days living as another person via VR…

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Call: Federal Consortium of Virtual Worlds 2015 Workshop


Federal Consortium of Virtual Worlds 2015 Workshop

The U.S. Army Research Laboratory, Human Research and Engineering Directorate, Simulation and Training Technology Center’s Military Open Simulator Enterprise Strategy (MOSES) and AvaCon are pleased to announce the Federal Consortium of Virtual Worlds 2015 Workshop will take place on March 6-7, 2015 in a virtual conference center designed specifically for the event.

The Federal Consortium for Virtual Worlds invites proposals to be a speaker, presenter, or performer at the workshop. While lecture style presentations are acceptable, we highly encourage proposals that are interactive in nature, involve the audience in hands-on learning experiences, or otherwise showcase and take advantage of the immersive nature of the OpenSimulator platform. In addition, though we will provide an auditorium-style venue for breakout sessions, we encourage presenters to consider constructing or sharing a build, region, or other audio-visual aids beyond a PowerPoint slide presentation to accompany their presentation. OAR and IAR uploads can be coordinated with workshop organizers if your proposal is accepted.

Review the specific Calls for Proposals in each track below and submit your proposal using the form at the bottom of the call page. See here: Read more on Call: Federal Consortium of Virtual Worlds 2015 Workshop…

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Samsung’s Project Beyond: 360-degree 3D camera that creates virtual reality worlds

[From The Verge; more information, including video material, is available from Samsung]

Samsung Project Beyond 'transporting' user to lighthouse scene

Samsung announces Project Beyond, a 360-degree 3D camera that creates virtual reality worlds

By Nathan Ingraham
on November 12, 2014

Samsung just announced Project Beyond at its 2014 Developer Conference — it’s a 360-degree camera module that captures everything around it in 3D. It captures a gigapixel of 3D footage every second, and can stream that footage back to someone wearing Samsung’s Gear VR headset, essentially transporting them into that world. Essentially, Project Beyond continuously creates a virtual 3D environment of wherever it is placed — Samsung said people would be able to tune in live or record footage to be viewed at any time. In a lot of ways it feels like the cameras seen on a Google Street View backpack, but much smaller and more portable. It’s otherwise a pretty unique (and surely expensive) piece of hardware. Read more on Samsung’s Project Beyond: 360-degree 3D camera that creates virtual reality worlds…

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South Park tackles Oculus Rift, The Matrix, Inception and more

[From io9, where the post includes a video clip and more images; the full episode is available on the South Park web site]

South Park "Grounded Vindaloop" screenshot

Behold The Terrifying Real-Life South Park From Last Night’s Episode

Read more on South Park tackles Oculus Rift, The Matrix, Inception and more…

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The Who launching Oculus Rift, 3D mobile apps for 50th anniversary

[From The Guardian, where the story includes more images]

The Who  Oculus Rift app

[Image: The Who’s Oculus Rift app will be released in early 2015. Photograph: PR]

The Who to launch virtual reality app for Facebook’s Oculus Rift

Fly-through app will celebrate band’s 50th anniversary, alongside 3D retrospective apps for Android and iOS

Stuart Dredge
Monday 10 November 2014

I’d always hoped I’d fly through a virtual reality environment on a Lambretta listening to some of The Who’s greatest hits before I got old. Now I have, courtesy of an official app being developed for Facebook’s Oculus Rift headset.

The app, which is due to be released in early 2015, is preceded by a smartphone and tablet app for Android and iOS, which launched this week.

Both apps are the results of a partnership between The Who, their management company Trinifold Management, label Universal Music and developer Immersive, tying in with a new compilation album and tour to celebrate the band’s 50th anniversary.

The mobile and tablet app also takes the form of a 3D world, dotted with imagery from The Who’s career, as well as rare photographs from Roger Daltrey’s archives; and music courtesy of fans’ own iTunes collections, or streaming services Spotify, Deezer or Rdio. Read more on The Who launching Oculus Rift, 3D mobile apps for 50th anniversary…

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