ISPR Presence News

Monthly Archives: March 2010

Call: International Conference on Auditory Display (ICAD) Student Think Tank

International Conference on Auditory Display Student Think Tank

The Student Think Tank is a full day meeting for students doing, Doctoral or Masters projects in auditory display. It will be held on June 9, two days before the ICAD 2010 coonference in Washington, DC. It will be free of charge for all participants and refreshments will be provided throughout the day.

The Think Tank is your chance to set a whole roomful of auditory researchers to work on your particular research issue, to help you chose which method, tool or technique to use, to save you from heading down a dead end. Besides providing breakthrough insights into your particular project the Think Tank will foster friendships and networks that are essential in an international community for auditory display. Read more on Call: International Conference on Auditory Display (ICAD) Student Think Tank…

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Nintendo announces 3D DS with rumble, moton control

[From PC World’s Game On blog]

3D Nintendo DS Rumble, Motion Control Specs Emerge

Matt Peckham
Mar 23, 2010 6:30 pm

Nintendo says it’ll release a 3D version of its DS handheld gaming portable. We learned that much from Nintendo’s official press teaser this morning. But according to Japanese newshound Adriansang, several mainstream Japanese sources are weighing in with claims of tantalizing supplemental specs. Read more on Nintendo announces 3D DS with rumble, moton control…

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Call: HCI Special Issue: Designing for Personal Memories

HCI Special Issue: Designing for Personal Memories

Special issue editors

Elise van den Hoven
Eindhoven University of Technology, NL

Corina Sas
Lancaster University, UK

Steve Whittaker
IBM Research, USA

Where would we be without our personal memories? We use them to maintain our personal identities, to start and mediate relationships, to shape our likes, dislikes, to regulate our moods and solve problems. They allow us to share rich life experiences and tell our stories to our family and friends. There is no question about the importance of autobiographical and episodic memory – the memories of the events that happen in our lives.

As more and more media become digital (whether these be photos, videos/audio snippets, or even olfactory or haptic cues), new ways of cueing our memory are emerging. These will support, enhance, or possibly even undermine the way we remember our experiences. The growing importance of this research area is indicated by “Memories for Life”, one of the seven grand challenges identified by the UK Computing Research Committee, and by ambitious research programs at Microsoft Research, supporting “Digital Memories (Memex)”, and projects such as MyLifeBits and SenseCam.

The focus of this special issue, Designing for Personal Memories, is on ordinary people using digital media to help them remember in everyday situations. This could mean developing interactive systems or services for supporting, enhancing or extending personal memories, but also studies that inform the design of these systems. Contributions could come from diverse fields, such as HCI, psychology, sociology, interaction design, engineering, computer science, design, material culture, etc. Read more on Call: HCI Special Issue: Designing for Personal Memories…

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U.S. Defense readies system to treat PTSD, brain injuries remotely

[From NextGov (“Technology And The Business Of Government”)]

Defense readies system to treat PTSD, brain injuries remotely

By Bob Brewin 03/22/2010

Thousands of miles and a lack of facilities have kept the Army from providing treatment to soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder. But the Defense Department plans to deploy a solution soon that relies on a transportable telehealth system that will virtually bring doctors to patients. Read more on U.S. Defense readies system to treat PTSD, brain injuries remotely…

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Call: Experiencing Games: Games, Play, and Players

CFP: Experiencing Games: Games, Play, and Players

August 16-17, 2010, Stockholm, Sweden

Research on games has grown into a research area of its own. This conference aims to bring together researchers in the Nordic countries that focus on the study of games and gaming, be it on-line, computerised, or in the physical world. Based on the Nordic tradition on user-centered design, the first Nordic DIGRA conference will place a particular focus on studying design for player experience, and research on tools and methods for player-participatory design. Read more on Call: Experiencing Games: Games, Play, and Players…

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Octopuses experience presence with HDTV

[From New Scientist; a :30 video is here]

HDTV reveals brainy octopus has no personality

12 March 2010 by Shanta Barley

Octopuses make for discerning TV viewers: it seems they prefer high-definition to traditional cathode ray images (CRT). What’s more, the first study using video to trick octopuses, finds that they may be the Jekyll and Hydes of the oceans: aggressive one day, shrinking violets the next.

“People have been trying for over a decade to get proper behavioural responses from octopuses and other cephalopods using videos,” says Roger Hanlon, an octopus researcher at the Marine Resources Center, Woods Hole, Massachusetts, who was not involved in the study. “But this is the first time anyone has managed it.”

Gloomy octopuses (Octopus tetricus) reacted to films shown on liquid crystal high definition television (HDTV) as if they were seeing the real thing, according to a new study by Renata Pronk at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, and colleagues. “They lunge forwards to attack crabs and back off from other octopuses, much as they do in the wild,” says Hanlon. Read more on Octopuses experience presence with HDTV…

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Call: The Online Videogame: New Space for Socialization colloquium



Bilingual colloquium (French/English)

October 28 , 29  and 30, 2010
Montreal, Quebec, Canada

To play is a vital function for the development of individuals. Play is an activity of socialization which enables learning of the rudiments of social interaction. Since the middle of the twentieth century, our societies have placed more value on the playful practice at all ages. As such, playing is more and more present in numerous spheres of society. Huizinga (1938) and Caillois (1958) assert moreover that any playful activity is social, by definition, and gets its real meaning when it is practised in groups. For Gadamer (1960), the charm of playing lies primarily in the fact that it exercises a fascination in the player. Online videogames gather more and more followers worldwide as this phenomenon becomes more important from day to day. It is no longer necessary to question play as a way to spend time. Through the intervention of videogames, play has also become a way to develop social networks, learn new communication skills and tools, a way to learn a foreign language, a place to keep or develop friendships, an opportunity to participate in an online community, or even a way to be exposed to new cultures. Online videogames have become a media of socialization, that is to say, devices of mediation and mediatization which allow people to share large-scale information thanks to its network of exchanges and meetings. Such spaces of socialization arouse interactions convenient to the construction of the “self” and to the renewal of the representations of others and the world. Online videogames can facilitate socialization and be a carrier of values which are not necessarily different than those found in society. Online videogames can also be a place that facilitate values that are not necessarily present in society in general.

Indeed, the experience as much as the manners and representations in videogames contribute to the moulding of cognitive modes, to the development of both technical and social skills and, in a more general way, to the reconfiguration of one’s relationship to the world. From this perspective, it is imperative to explore the modes of socialization shaped by online videogames and to question the various forms of instrumentalization, of domination, of exclusion, as well as forms of dependence and addiction which this kind of community can facilitate. The criteria from which the players give a value and organize their relations into a hierarchy with other players is potentially defined by the customs and contexts of online videogames. The observations, the descriptions, and the analysis of the manners and representations that are connected to the experience of online videogames become essential as a generation is subject to building their social referents partially through playful cyber universes. This type of study is justified all the more as players become imbedded in innovative modes of socialization, rehabilitation, social reintegration, and learning, not only in school and at home, but also in their workplace. This colloquium aims to make inventory of the researches within game studies, while online videogames are becoming more and more popular. Read more on Call: The Online Videogame: New Space for Socialization colloquium…

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Power Gig game uses real guitar controller

[From Gizmag]

Power Gig game uses real guitar controller

By Paul Ridden
March 11, 2010

There’s a Battle of the Bands scenario brewing now that a new contender has arrived on the “play along to your favorite tunes with a game controller instrument” scene. Seven45 Studios has just released details of its new gaming system called PowerGig where the buttoned and plunger interface of the familiar Guitar Hero and Rock Band gaming interface has been tossed out in favor of a real six-string guitar.

Seven45 Studios has taken a more hands-on approach to its game and interface development than most other gaming companies in that it will develop and publish the software and manufacture the hardware. The game is to be called “Power Gig: Rise of the SixString” and will “transport players to an entirely new universe, with its own mythology, politics, settings, heroes and villains, where music rules all”. Read more on Power Gig game uses real guitar controller…

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Job: Reader in social computing or HCI at University of Lincoln

Reader in Social Computing or Human Computer Interaction (HCI)

Salary £45,155 + plus benefits

Post ref: MHT106

Closing date: 1 April 2010.

The School of Computer Science at the University of Lincoln is seeking to appoint a Reader with specific research interests that are aligned with the activities of the Lincoln Social Computing (LiSC) research centre. This post arises directly from the School’s recent success in RAE2008 and demonstrates institutional commitment to reward successful research activity and invest in key areas of strategic importance.

Read more on Job: Reader in social computing or HCI at University of Lincoln…

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Presence, reality and Avatar

[From The New York Review of Books]

Volume 57, Number 5 · March 25, 2010

The Wizard

By Daniel Mendelsohn

a film directed by James Cameron


What’s striking is that so many critiques of Avatar ‘s political shortcomings often go out of their way to elide or belittle the movie’s overwhelming successes as a work of cinema—its enormous visual power, the thrilling imaginative originality, the excitingly effective use of the 3-D technology that seems bound to change permanently the nature of cinematic experience henceforth—as if to acknowledge how dazzling it is would be an admission of critical weakness.[2]

An extreme example of this is to be found in a searching critique posted by the critic Caleb Crain on his blog:

Of course you don’t really believe it. You know objectively that you’re watching a series of highly skilled, highly labor-intensive computer simulations. But if you agree to suspend disbelief, then you agree to try to feel that Pandora is a second, improved nature, and that the Na’vi are “digital natives,” to repurpose in a literal way a phrase that depends on the same piece of ideological deception.[3]

But our “objective knowledge” about the mechanisms that produce theatrical illusion is beside the point. To witness a critic working so hard not to surrender disbelief—the aim, after all, of drama since its inception—is, in a way, to realize how powerful the mechanisms that seek to produce that surrender really are. Read more on Presence, reality and Avatar…

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