ISPR Presence News

Monthly Archives: October 2009

EyePet brings augmented reality into the home

[From The Sunday Times; more information, including a video segment, is available in a post at GameSpot – an excerpt follows below]

From The Sunday Times October 18, 2009

EyePet brings augmented reality into the home

Alex Pell

Parents, pay attention and spare yourself serious aggravation this Christmas. Every year there is a must-have video game. The one for this festive season goes on sale next week so you have time to avoid that dreaded late-December mission where you scour empty shelves like a wild-eyed lunatic.

Why is it special? Well, prepare to cosy up with EyePet, the virtual pet. This long-awaited game from Sony enables you to see a live video feed of yourself and nearby family members on your TV screen alongside a slick-looking animated brown monkey. You can fuss over EyePet, style him to your liking, and play together in a variety of amusing ways.… read more. “EyePet brings augmented reality into the home”

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Job: PostDoc in VR/Hand Gesture Recognition (U of Conn)

PostDoc Position Available in Virtual Reality/Hand Gesture Recognition

The Computational Design Lab at the University of Connecticut is inviting applications from highly experienced and independent postdoctoral candidates to support the project Gesture Based Virtual Reality System for Research in Virtual Worlds”.


UConn’s strategic location on the East Coast is given by its proximity to New York City and Boston, the many beaches along the Atlantic Ocean, and the mountains of Vermont.


The start date is January 15th, 2010. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. This is a one-year research position, but potentially extendable for another year.

Desired Qualifications

1. a PhD in computer science, engineering or mathematics;

2. research experience in geometric modeling and virtual reality;

3. strong programming experience.

Experience in Human Computer Interaction is preferred.

Interested Candidates should submit to Prof. Horea Ilies (ilies@engr.uconn.eduread more. “Job: PostDoc in VR/Hand Gesture Recognition (U of Conn)”

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Cisco telepresence cuts near $1M in travel costs for law firm

[From Network World (“the premier provider of information, intelligence and insight for Network and IT Executives”)]

Cisco telepresence cuts near $1M in travel costs for law firm

Conferencing gear pays for itself within five years, frees up attorneys’ time.

By Tim Greene, Network World, 10/07/2009

Sprawling international law firm DLA Piper has upgraded from videoconferencing to telepresence that will save the firm nearly $1 million dollars per year in reduced travel costs and lost productivity.

The conferencing gear that simulates across-the-table meetings has a provable and achievable return on investment over five years, and may actually pay for itself before then, says Don Jaycox, CIO of  DLA Piper U.S.

Rescheduling half the firm’s in-person board meetings as telepresence conferences and relying on at least two attorneys per week to use telepresence rather than travel accounts for significant savings when lost productivity for travel time is factored in, Jaycox says.… read more. “Cisco telepresence cuts near $1M in travel costs for law firm”

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Call: Brain Body and Bytes: Psychophysiological User Interaction

[From Audrey Girouard.]

Our apologies if you receive multiple copies of this CfP

Call for paper

Brain Body and Bytes: Psychophysiological User Interaction

Workshop at CHI2010
April 11, 2010
Atlanta, Georgia, USA

The human brain and body are prolific signal generators. Recent technologies and computing techniques allow us to measure, process and interpret these signals. We can now infer such things as cognitive and emotional states, to create adaptive systems and gain an understanding of user experience. In this workshop, we aim to bring together researchers from fields such as HCI, interaction design, cognitive science, psychology, psychophysiology, game research, neural or bio-engineering, and BCI.

The workshop will feature small group brainstorming sessions. Participants will discuss situations that arise when researchers attempt to understand requirements for sensors and devices that measure psychophysiological signals; brainstorm how the data may be processed; but perhaps most importantly evaluate the scenarios and applications that the technologies enable.… read more. “Call: Brain Body and Bytes: Psychophysiological User Interaction”

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European Hospitals Test Anesthetists’ Skills On Computers, Not People

[From Business Wire via Reuters]

European Hospitals Test Anesthetists’ Skills On Computers, Not People, Using SensAble`s Haptic Devices

Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:00am EDT

Pan-European Clinical Trials Led by Cork University Hospital Assesses Whether Lumbar Puncture Skills Can Be Accurately Assessed on Computers, At Zero Risk to Patients

WOBURN, Mass.–(Business Wire)– SensAble Technologies, Inc., announced that its customer, the Cork University Hospital, is leading clinical trials in two European hospitals using a haptically-enabled computer simulation system for testing physician competency in administering spinal anesthesia. SensAble is the leading manufacturer of haptic devices and toolkits, and its PHANTOM® force- feedback haptic devices and programming technologies were used to develop this simulator. The clinical trials underway at Cork University Hospital in Ireland and the University of Pecs in Hungary explore whether virtual reality simulations can accurately assess high-risk clinical skills without the need for physicians to practice on patients.… read more. “European Hospitals Test Anesthetists’ Skills On Computers, Not People”

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Job: Sr Interaction Designer at HP Barcelona


SENIOR INTERACTION DESIGNER at Hewlett Packard Barcelona R&D

Primary Responsibilities:

– Deliver solutions that meet customer’s social, emotional and functional needs.

– Define and execute design and persona research projects that inform product/service planning and development.

– Synthetize and incorporate research findings into insights; frameworks and principles that fully-informthe overall design process.

– Communicate research findings thru the organization.

– Develop and propose alternative product or solution ideas based on research findings.

– Define and execute program and product-line research.

– Conduct usability testing and research trhu the design and development lifecycle.

– Communicate test findings thru the organization.

– Model users and their work to create optimum customer experiences.

– Develop use cases and define customer experience requirements for new product development and play a strategic role in product lifecycle planning.

– Deliver wireframes, visual mock-ups, graphics and user workflows, as required.… read more. “Job: Sr Interaction Designer at HP Barcelona”

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Scientists Scan the Brains of Mice Playing Quake

[From BBC News; more information is available in a story in Wired, and a 1 minute video of a mouse performing in the study can be found here]

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Virtual maze ‘maps’ mouse memory

By Victoria Gill Science reporter, BBC News

With the help of mice scampering through a virtual maze, scientists have taken recordings from inside individual brain cells, or neurons.

The researchers report in the journal Nature how they recorded from cells in the brain’s memory centre.

These neurons fired in a rhythmic pattern that could be related to the animal’s location.

They hope their technique will help discover how neuronal activity forms new memories and affects behaviour.… read more. “Scientists Scan the Brains of Mice Playing Quake”

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Call: Re:live09 Histories of Media Art, Science and Technology

[From Image Science]

Re:live09 Third World Conference on the Histories of Media Art, Science and Technology. (Partner: Department for Image Science, Danube University Krems)

MELBOURNE 26-29 November 2009

The Media Art History national and international conference committees would like to invite you to attend the Re:live media art history conference.

Banff 2005 :: Berlin 2007 :: Melbourne 2009

Over three stimulating days, historians, curators, media artists, creative arts practitioners and theorists at the forefront of their practice will explore the latest research and theories;


:: art-science-technology :: biology :: the environment :: liveness :: the life of machines :: innovation ::… read more. “Call: Re:live09 Histories of Media Art, Science and Technology”

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VR for training rugby players

[A press release from Queen’s University Belfast]

Increased success a `virtual´ certainty for rugby players

October 14, 2009

Rugby players worldwide could benefit from a new virtual reality training programme created at Queen´s Belfast.

Team members from Ulster Rugby have been working with researchers in the School of Psychology at Queen´s on a range of virtual training scenarios that test expert players´ perceptual skills.

Lead researcher in the project is Dr Cathy Craig, a Senior Lecturer in Visual Perception who has previously collaborated with Adidas and top professional world class goal-keepers to study perception of curved free-kicks in football. She said: “Immersing players in an interactive virtual reality provides an exciting new way of exploring and understanding human behaviour.

“The advantages of this technology are that unlike playing a video game on a normal desktop computer, the rugby player or athlete is totally immersed in a realistic simulated environment.… read more. “VR for training rugby players”

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Disney debuts do-it-yourself thrill ride

[From CNN]

Disney debuts do-it-yourself thrill ride

Wed October 14, 2009
By John D. Sutter

(CNN) — Any kid can dream up a roller coaster. But those who visit a new exhibit at Walt Disney World’s Epcot theme park can actually take a ride on their fantasy creations.

Epcot on Wednesday opened a new attraction called “Sum of All Thrills,” which lets kids use computer tablets to design a virtual roller coaster, bobsled track or plane ride. After inputting their designs, kids climb into a robotic carriage that uses virtual-reality technology to help them experience the ride they’ve created.

“This is really the next generation — where there’s a lot more personalization involved” in the amusement-park experience, said Eric Goodman, Disney’s lead project manager on the ride.

This make-your-own-ride approach appears to be a growing trend in the world of amusement parks and museums.… read more. “Disney debuts do-it-yourself thrill ride”

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