ISPR Presence News

Monthly Archives: October 2009

Virtual meditative ‘walk in park’ aimed at relieving long-term pain

[From The Vancouver Sun]

Virtual meditative `walk in park´ aimed at relieving long-term pain

By Kelly Sinoski, Vancouver Sun
October 12, 2009

A virtual meditative walk in the park may be just what the doctor ordered for chronic pain sufferers.

Simon Fraser University associate professor Diane Gromala claims research shows a 3-D stroll in the forest has the power to help people manage chronic pain, sometimes with better results than traditional means such as morphine.

Gromala, head of SFU´s Transforming Pain Research Group, is in the midst of developing such a virtual reality technique called  “walking meditation.”

The technique is one of several programs including virtual reality video games and meditation chambers, used around the world to aid sufferers of chronic back pain and migraines, among others.

“In our scientific tests, it´s proven to be better than opiates, but for people who have chronic pain, they have a range of things they use,” Gromala said.… read more. “Virtual meditative ‘walk in park’ aimed at relieving long-term pain”

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Call: Reality-Based Interaction Evaluation Methods/Challenges

October 12, 2009


International Journal of Human Computer Studies (IJHCS)

Special Issue for Reality-Based Interaction Evaluation Methods and Challenges

Editors: Georgios Christou, Effie Lai-Chong Law, William Green, Kasper Hornbæk

Reality Based Interaction (RBI) is an umbrella term that was proposed to include new interaction styles, such as virtual reality, augmented reality, ubiquitous, pervasive and handheld interaction, tangible user interfaces, lightweight, tacit, or passive interaction, perceptual interfaces, affective computing, context-aware interfaces, and speech and multi-modal interfaces. RBI proposes that the new interaction styles share underlying interaction principles that leverage and take advantage of human knowledge, based on interactions with the outside world. It is a framework that identifies the common principles, and a first step towards making comparisons between the new methods of interaction. But it does not suggest that all the interactions between the user and the computer must be similar to interactions with the real world.… read more. “Call: Reality-Based Interaction Evaluation Methods/Challenges”

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Milwaukee firm shows off star power at White House

[From The Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel]

Milwaukee firm shows off star power at White House

Posted: Oct. 10, 2009

The Milwaukee Eluminati helped the White House host a “star party” last week out on the lawn using two of its GeoDome Theaters, which are portable, inflatable projection chambers that surround viewers in virtual environments.

While more than 100 middle school students showed up with telescopes to gaze at the heavens, D’nardo Colucci, a light plumber with the Milwaukee-based Eluminati, was on location to help NASA run the GeoDomes and give the youngsters a different celestial view inside the portable planetarium.… read more. “Milwaukee firm shows off star power at White House”

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The Ego Tunnel: The Science of the Mind and the Myth of the Self

[From Metapsychology Online Reviews; a more detailed review can be found here]

Review – The Ego Tunnel: The Science of the Mind and the Myth of the Self by Thomas Metzinger

Basic Books, 2009

Review by Kamuran Godelek, Ph.D.

Oct 6th 2009 (Volume 13, Issue 41)

Thomas Metzinger, one of the leading philosophers in theoretical philosophy and a prominent figure in the philosophical discussions of consciousness, in his new book, The Ego Tunnel, tackles with the same problem David Hume dealt with centuries ego which is whether the self exists. Following the footsteps of Hume, Metzinger, in this stunningly original exploration of human consciousness, provides fascinating evidence that the self does not really exist.… read more. “The Ego Tunnel: The Science of the Mind and the Myth of the Self”

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PhotoSketch: Internet Image Montage

[A step beyond photo editing that further blurs the distinction between recorded and created reality, PhotoSketch was created by students at Tsinghua University and the National University of Singapore in China and will be presented at SIGGRAPH Asia 2009 in December – see the 3:41 video at Vimeo (“a respectful community of creative people who are passionate about sharing the videos they make”)]

PhotoSketch: Internet Image Montage

by tao chen

Wed, Sep 9, 2009

We present a system that composes a realistic picture from a simple freehand sketch annotated with text labels. The composed picture is generated by seamlessly stitching several photographs in agreement with the sketch and text labels; these are found by searching the Internet. Although online image search generates many inappropriate results, our system is able to automatically select suitable photographs to generate a high quality composition, using a filtering scheme to exclude undesirable images.… read more. “PhotoSketch: Internet Image Montage”

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Virtual Vehicle Sound Simulator helps design quiet cars

[A press release from Ford]

Sound Effects: Ford Using Virtual Reality to Fine-Tune Sound Quality Inside Future Vehicles

DEARBORN, Mich., Oct. 6, 2009 – It looks a bit like a racing game in a video arcade, but the driver wears headphones. The object of this high-tech drive down the digital highway: perfect the sound quality inside a future Ford vehicle long before the first prototype is ever built.

Ford Motor Company is the first North American automaker to utilize the Virtual Vehicle Sound Simulator to fine-tune sound inside a vehicle’s cabin, part of a continuing effort by Ford to deliver industry-leading quietness and refinement with minimal noise, vibration and harshness.

The Virtual Vehicle Sound Simulator can shave valuable time and cost out of the vehicle development process. Calibrating cabin sound in the virtual world reduces the amount of real-world testing needed in the wind tunnels and on the test track once vehicles reach the prototype stage.… read more. “Virtual Vehicle Sound Simulator helps design quiet cars”

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Call: Eurohaptics 2010

Dear colleagues,

EuroHaptics 2010 will take place in the beautiful and exciting city of Amsterdam from July 8 until July 10. Topics addressed by the conference include:

  • Perception & Psychophysics
  • Neuroscience
  • Haptic Rendering
  • Devices and Technology
  • Medical & Rehabilitation Applications
  • Art & Design Applications
  • Collaborative Haptics
  • Multimodal Interaction & Telepresence
  • Tactile Display & Tactile Sensing
  • Haptic HCI (Interaction, Visualisation)
  • Entertainment and Educational Applications
  • Haptic Cognition (link of haptic sensation to thought/cognition)
read more. “Call: Eurohaptics 2010”
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See-thru AR

[From Delta, the newspaper of Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands; more information is available

October 6, 2009 | Nadine Böke Aantal

On top of the world

It’s the latest craze in smartphone applications: augmented reality. Point your camera at a street and information about restaurants or other attractions are displayed on top of the video image of that particular street. But there is a similar technique that´s arguably even better: see-through augmented reality.

Imagine finding your way by car without having to look at the screen of your tomtom; instead, you’d just put on a special pair of driving glasses and see your route displayed before you on the road. This is one example that Jurjen Caarls, a PhD student, offers as [a] way to use see-through augmented reality (AR), a technique that allows us to look at the real world, but then with virtual information displayed on
top of it.… read more. “See-thru AR”

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A dose of virtual reality: Sanitation workers receive accident training through a simulator

[From The Wyoming Tribune-Eagle]

A dose of virtual reality: Sanitation workers receive accident training through a simulator

October 5, 2009

To become better drivers and reduce accidents, the city’s sanitation workers took a safety course that included videos, computer work and driving a simulator.

By Jodi Rogstad

CHEYENNE — As Chris Hinds turned the packer truck around a corner, the suburban neighborhood and landscape gave way to an abandoned downtown.

It was raining, which made for slick roads.

But Hinds never logged a mile: He was driving a simulator inside a semitrailer parked next to the sanitation department’s transfer station.

It felt like a genuine bouncy ride inside a garbage truck. The massive computer was designed to work in concert with the cab. If Hinds were to, say, drive over the virtual curb, he’d feel the resulting thump.

Hinds and other city sanitation workers were training Thursday to become better drivers.… read more. “A dose of virtual reality: Sanitation workers receive accident training through a simulator”

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Call: Video Games as Research Instruments

CHI 2010 Workshop
To be held at CHI 2010: 10th – 15th April, 2009

Atlanta, GA, USA

Call for Participation

Video games have a history of being used to study phenomena in HCI and other disciplines. They offer an excellent way to motivate participants in HCI studies, and by using online casual games researchers can potentially access hundreds of participants. The use of video games as research tools is becoming more widespread in areas such as addiction, user experience, immersion, strategy, decision making, etc. In this workshop we are interested in identifying the range and characteristics of the current use of video games as research instruments. Unlike the development of games for entertainment or serious games, the workshop will focus on the use of games to study more general phenomena (although this may itself have applications to video games).

The workshop will bring together a diverse selection of research that uses video games in order to develop a better understanding of the specific issues, challenges and opportunities that they provide, and to demonstrate how games can be used as an effective part of research.… read more. “Call: Video Games as Research Instruments”

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