ISPR Presence News

Author Archives: Matthew Lombard

Call: Academic Mindtrek Conference 2016

Call for Papers, Posters, Demonstrations and Workshops

Academic Mindtrek Conference
17th to 19th October 2016
Tampere, Finland

In cooperation with ACM, ACM SIGMM, and ACM SIGCHI.
Contributions will be published in the ACM digital library.

DEADLINE: 27th June, 2016

We are pleased to invite you to the Academic Mindtrek conference, 17th to 19th October 2016. Academic Mindtrek is a meeting place where researchers, experts and thinkers present results from their latest work regarding the development of novel technology, media and digital culture for the society of tomorrow.

Academic Mindtrek is part of the renowned Mindtrek business conference. Mindtrek brings together people not only from various fields and domains but also from different sectors such as companies, academia and various other institutions. This is the perfect opportunity for pushing research results in the practice and industry, as well as getting out-the-box research ideas based on the interaction with industry and practitioners. Mindtrek events are accessible for the Academic Mindtrek attendees, and vice versa.

The academic conference features the following major themes:

  • Human-Computer Interaction (HCI)
  • Interaction design and user experience
  • Games and gamification
  • Virtual, augmented and mixed reality
  • Media education
  • Collaboration and multimedia technologies in education
  • Crowdsourcing and citizen participation
  • Open data and data science
  • New forms of journalism and media
  • Theatre, performance and media
  • Enhancing work in socio-technological environments

We are especially enthusiastic about applied research and papers related to practical work. Read more on Call: Academic Mindtrek Conference 2016…

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Microsoft patents ‘telepresence experience’

[Microsoft is working on a new ‘telepresence experience’ technology (will the use of the term ‘experience’ help clarify that presence is a property of the perceiver?). This story is from InAVate; the patent is available from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. –Matthew]

Microsoft telepresence experience patent

Microsoft patents ‘telepresence experience’

Charlotte Ashley
May 11, 2016

Microsoft continues to work on creating virtual environments that facilitate face-to-face communication with those who can’t make it to a meeting or gathering with it’s recently patented ‘telepresence experience.’

The patent details a system which appears to create the effect of talking through a glass to the other participant in video communications. Read more on Microsoft patents ‘telepresence experience’…

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Call: 2016 ACM SIGGRAPH Conference on Motion in Games (MIG)


The 2016 ACM SIGGRAPH Conference on Motion in Games (MIG)
Oct. 10-12, 2016, San Francisco, USA

Paper submission: July 7th 2016

The 9th ACM International Conference on Motion in Games will take place in San Francisco on October 10-12th, 2016 and will be co-located with the AIIDE conference (

Conference mission: Games have become a very important medium for education, therapy and entertainment. Motion plays a crucial role in computer games. Characters move around, objects are manipulated or move due to physical constraints, entities are animated, and the camera moves through the scene. Even the motion of the player is used as input to games. Motion is currently studied in many different areas of research, including graphics and animation, game technology, robotics, simulation, computer vision, and also physics, psychology, and urban studies. Cross-fertilization between these communities can considerably advance the state-of- the-art in the area. The goal of the Motion in Games conference is to bring together researchers from this variety of fields to present their most recent results, to initiate collaborations, and to contribute to the establishment of the research area. The conference will consist of regular paper sessions, poster presentations, as well as presentations by a selection of established researchers in areas related to games and simulation. The conference program will also include social events that foster casual and friendly interactions among the participants and an opportunity to interact with participants of AIIDE. MIG provides an intimate forum for researchers and practitioners to present their research results, inspire new ideas, and promote cross-disciplinary collaborations.

NEW this year! We are excited to have MiG and AIIDE co-located. We will have some exciting shared speakers between the two conferences. There will also be opportunities for participants to interact to help build important linkages between these two communities.

Please stay tuned for more information and refer to for regular updates! Read more on Call: 2016 ACM SIGGRAPH Conference on Motion in Games (MIG)…

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Live 4k, 360, VR and full-body avatars create presence at the French Open 2016

[This story from SVG Europe describes the many technologies being utilized to evoke presence for remote and in-person audience members for this year’s French Open tennis tournament; for more information about the Virtual Reality and the on-site RG Lab, see pages on the website. –Matthew]

RG Lab at French Open (from

Virtual Reality at the heart of France Télévisions Roland-Garros 2016 set up

By Catherine Wright
Friday, May 20, 2016

As Roland-Garros organisers prepare for the French tennis tournament beginning May 21, France Télévisions is again showcasing the group’s latest technology developments at the RG Lab, under the supervision of its Head of Innovations Bernard Fontaine. This year, the focus is on virtual reality and 360° production. For a start, all the matches taking place on the main Philippe Chatrier court, the Suzanne Lenglen court and the number 1 court are being broadcast live in 4K and in 360°. France Télévisions chose to highlight the technology of a number of French technology start-ups — notably VideoStitch — by using the company’s recently launched Orah 4i camera for the first time, backed-up by Intel’s Quick Sync encoding.

All 360° live operations are stored on cloud technology from another French start-up FireKast. The same company also developed a RG360° virtual reality app, which is freely available on iOS, Android or Samsung Gear VR. The app enables viewers to watch the matches of the courts mentioned above in 4K and in a full 360° environment, either live or in replay and to therefore totally immerse themselves in the tennis games.

In the RG-Lab, two other start-ups are demonstrating their know-how in the area of 360° production, Push Pull TV with a 36O° experience on Android TV and Arkamys, with its 360° immersive sound technology.

The replays of the 360° matches also feature on YouTube’s Live 360 player, on the francetvsport channel, as well as on Francetvsport’s Facebook site, as well as on the Roland-Garros Facebook site.

Avatar technology for the fans

But the broadcasting group is going a step further by enabling tennis fans to create their own Avatar. Roland-Garros visitors who wish to do so can step into a 3D scanning booth which will reproduce their entire body and create their own digital clone, which will then be able to play tennis in a totally virtual manner. The technology is developed by French-based Silkke, with the support of Nantes Métropole. Read more on Live 4k, 360, VR and full-body avatars create presence at the French Open 2016…

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Call: MuseumNext 2016

Call for papers – MuseumNext 2016
New York City, November 14-15

Proposals due: 30 June 2016

MuseumNext is a global conference series on the future of museums, taking place in the world’s cultural capitals since 2009.

MuseumNext is a catalyst for innovation, transformation and collaboration in museums, galleries and heritage sites, with more than 800 individuals from 32 countries joining us in 2015.

Our next conference will take place in Tribeca, Manhattan on November 14 – 15 2016, and we are now inviting proposals on the theme of transformation. We are specifically interested in opinions, case studies and discussions on the following subjects:

Transforming Lives – How can museums have a positive social impact on the communities that they serve, changing lives, improving cities and acting as catalysts for change.

Transforming Practices – How is best practice evolving to better meet the needs of a rapidly changing world, we are interested in examples of innovative practice from across the museum.

Transforming Places – How are museums transforming their spaces to meet the needs of their audiences and how are they working with their audiences and external experts to achieve this.

If you feel that you have something to contribute on this theme, we invite you to make a proposal to speak at our conference in New York City. MuseumNext follows a fast paced format of twenty-minute presentations with the focus very much on practice rather than theory. Read more on Call: MuseumNext 2016…

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IMAX plans foray into virtual reality

[IMAX is entering the out-of-home consumer VR market; this story is from The Wall Street Journal; the IMAX press release is available from PRNewswire, and Outer Places has details on the IMAX-Google VR camera. –Matthew]

Starbreeze VR headset at Cannes

[Image: Starbreeze showed its virtual-reality headset at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this month. IMAX, in partnership with the Swedish technology developer, plans to launch VR experiences in locations such as multiplexes and malls. Photo: Alexander Sandvoss/DPA/Zuma Press]

IMAX Plans Foray Into Virtual Reality

IMAX and Google are to develop a camera that will capture 360-degree images to be experienced on VR headsets

By Ben Fritz
May 19, 2016

IMAX Corp., best known for extra-large movie screens, is now betting on a far more intimate viewing format: virtual reality.

The company, later this year, will begin launching VR experiences in locations such as multiplexes and malls, using its connections with movie theaters and Hollywood talent along with new partnerships in the tech community to build the new business.

The plan comes as IMAX and Alphabet Inc.’s Google on Thursday announced plans to collaborate on a camera that will capture 360-degree images made to be experienced on virtual-reality headsets. The camera is expected to be ready for commercial use in roughly 18 months. Read more on IMAX plans foray into virtual reality…

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Call: The Art and Science of Large-Scale Immersive Environments: Merging Cyberspace with Real Spaces – LA ACM SIGGRAPH event

The Art and Science of Large-Scale Immersive Environments: Merging Cyberspace with Real Spaces

Come join LA SIGGRAPH and the LA Video Artists Wednesday, June 1, at the Vortex Dome at the Los Angeles Center Studios.


The explosion of consumer virtual reality is driving a new wave of innovation in 360 video and real-time interactive environments. Video artists can project these environments into physical spaces using spatial augmented reality techniques. This special evening event, produced by LA’s ACM SIGGRAPH chapter in cooperation with LAVA (Los Angeles Video Artists), focuses on large-scale video art including 360 video, projection mapping and real-time group interactive environments. The event will be held in the Vortex Dome, a 360 full-dome projection studio in downtown Los Angeles, and will include live demos from the speakers and other area artists.

Online reservations required Read more on Call: The Art and Science of Large-Scale Immersive Environments: Merging Cyberspace with Real Spaces – LA ACM SIGGRAPH event…

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Hyper Reality: New short film explores a presence-saturated future

[The new short film Hyper Reality explores a possible future when presence via augmented reality has saturated our lives; the information below about the entertaining and thought-provoking film is from, where you can find many more screenshot images and watch the film via Vimeo. Highly recommended. –Matthew]

Hyper Reality screenshot

Hyper-Reality By Keiichi Matsuda

Hyper-Reality (total runtime approx 6 minutes) is a concept film by Keiichi Matsuda. It presents a provocative and kaleidoscopic new vision of the future, where physical and virtual realities have merged, and the city is saturated in media. It is the latest work in an ongoing research-by-design project by Keiichi Matsuda; previous works include Domestic Robocop, Augmented City 3D and Keiichi’s Masters thesis Domesti/city. If you are interested in supporting the project, sponsoring the next work or would like to find out more, please send a hello to


Our physical and virtual realities are becoming increasingly intertwined. Technologies such as VR, augmented reality, wearables, and the internet of things are pointing to a world where technology will envelop every aspect of our lives. It will be the glue between every interaction and experience, offering amazing possibilities, while also controlling the way we understand the world. Hyper-Reality attempts to explore this exciting but dangerous trajectory. It was crowdfunded, and shot on location in Medellín, Colombia. Read more on Hyper Reality: New short film explores a presence-saturated future…

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Call: UbiComp 2016 Workshop on Autonomous Everyday Objects: Exploring Actuation in Ubiquitous Devices

Call for Papers
Workshop on Autonomous Everyday Objects: Exploring Actuation in Ubiquitous Devices
At the 2016 ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing (UbiComp 2016)
Heidelberg, Germany, September 12-16,

Deadline: June 7, 2016 for papers that will be included in the ACM DL
Deadline: June 21, 2016 for papers that will not be included in the ACM DL

This one-day workshop will be held as part of the 2016 ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing (Ubicomp) in Heidelberg, Germany from Sep. 12-16, 2016.

Since the earliest explorations of mechanical devices, technologists have used movement to both fascinate and intrigue observers and to give the impression of intelligence. Equally, classic visions of future homes present environments suffused with actuated devices, moving and responding in response to their inhabitants. As sensors and actuators have become more ubiquitous, our potential to develop low-cost actuated devices, which employ interactive movements, has increased. In this workshop, we wish to critically unpack a design space around autonomous behaviours and smart environments, asking how the objects and devices we use might come to appear more “intelligent” through interaction and movement. We aim to explore how intelligence in such everyday objects is seen and enacted and how physical movement of interfaces can be leveraged for ubicomp and HCI.

We invite submissions of 2-4 page position papers (in ACM Ext. Abstr. format) on the theme of machine intelligence, autonomy and movement in interactive devices. We are looking forward to people from all kinds of fields with and without experience in (autonomous) technologies. In particular, we welcome papers that explore or discuss people’s perception of autonomous and moving ubicomp systems. We are also interested in new design ideas, concepts and frameworks. How can we design for autonomy in ubicomp technology? Furthermore of interest are technical challenges and solutions related to the implementation of such systems. What are the risks and what are the potentials? Finally we invite submission regarding evaluation strategies of autonomous ubicomp devices but also discussions on ethical issues that arise with their use. The workshop will see the presentation and discussion of these ideas, followed by practical sessions in which participants respond to design briefs investigating actuation of ubicomp devices. No expertise is required, as a prototyping kit is provided, which is easily accessible even for non-technical attendees. Through this workshop we aim to open up opportunities to understand human perception of intelligent behaviours and a design space around autonomously actuated interfaces. Submissions should be sent in pdf format to Position papers will be selected on the basis of relevance to the workshop themes, quality of presentation, and potential to stimulate discussion.

For more information, please visit: Read more on Call: UbiComp 2016 Workshop on Autonomous Everyday Objects: Exploring Actuation in Ubiquitous Devices…

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Google announces presence-related technologies

[Google just announced a series of presence-related technologies, including a voice-control virtual assistant incorporated into new products and services; the developments seem likely to move us closer to being able to interact with information, people and companies more naturally and easily, but this story from Slate’s Future Tense blog points to some important dangers too. See also “Google Is Blurring the Line Between Humans and Software” in Inc. And for more of the Google presence news, see the story in Wired about the incorporation of VR into the Android OS and the story in  The Verge about how the new app “Google Duo makes mobile video calls fast and simple.” –Matthew]

Google Home

The Google Home Is Like the Amazon Echo, Only Smarter. And Maybe Creepier.

By Will Oremus
May 18, 2016

For more than a year now, there has been a popular tech gadget that is the only one of its kind on the market. The Amazon Echo, a “smart speaker” that you control by voice, was the company’s end run around the smartphone industry, which it failed to break into with the Fire Phone. Widely viewed as quixotic upon release, the Echo gradually won over many of its critics, and a surprising number of consumers, with its dead-simple interface and just enough practical use cases to insinuate itself into one’s daily routines. It was only a matter of time before one of the other big companies copied it. And now Google has.

At its annual developer conference Wednesday, the company announced Google Home, a “smart speaker” that—well, I probably don’t need to repeat it. It does basically the same stuff the Echo does, plus or minus a few features. It’s also very similar in design, if perhaps a little friendlier-looking. It bears some resemblance to an air freshener, or perhaps a modernist salt shaker.

Usually when big tech companies copy each other’s ideas, they put up some pretense of originality. Google, to its credit, barely bothered to pass off Home as its own innovation. In fact, in a moment of honesty and magnanimity that is nearly unheard of in the world of tech product launches, Google CEO Sundar Pichai explicitly cited the Echo’s success, saying, “Credit to the team at Amazon for creating a lot of excitement in this space.”

I can think of a reason, beyond politeness or human decency, why Pichai might feel comfortable offering this sort of credit to a rival product before extolling the virtues of his own. It’s that he’s supremely confident that Google can beat Amazon at its own game.

Yes, Amazon has a head start in the “smart speaker” space, and the Echo offers more integrations with services like Spotify and Domino’s and 1-800-Flowers than the Google Home will at launch.

But what Google knows is that “speaker” isn’t the operative word here, and the Echo isn’t the real product. The operative word is “smart,” and the real product is the voice-control virtual-assistant software that animates the speaker. In Amazon’s case, that’s Alexa. In Google’s case, it’s the newly rebranded “Google assistant,” which builds on the company’s already successful Google Now software. Read more on Google announces presence-related technologies…

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