ISPR Presence News

Monthly Archives: January 2011

Call: Log In: Making Sense of Social Networks

Log In: Making Sense of Social Networks
Skepsi’s Fourth Annual Multi-disciplinary Conference

University of Kent
Friday, 27 May 2011

At the threshold of the twenty-first century, people all over the world were getting used to the notion of email, which soon came to replace, almost completely, the more traditional pen and paper. At the same time, the virtual spaces of chat rooms and instant messaging applications were establishing themselves as new means of socialisation. Now a decade has passed and email and IM clients are already becoming obsolete, overcome by the spread of social networks. What has the social network come to replace? What would be the real-life equivalent of a social network? In a matter of seconds, with a single click on Facebook, our bewildered faces can reach not just the other side of the world, as was the case with e-mail, but millions of people, all together, all at the same time. On 26 June 2009, the Iranian authorities blocked the international press from operating openly in Iran. The Iranian people relied on Twitter to narrate their struggle to the outside world. Information no longer simply travels quickly; it instantaneously and effortlessly reaches billions of people.

But these situations are, of course, not enough to encompass the totality of the social network phenomenon: along with the massive circulation of information, something else is filtering into the form of social networking. Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games, or MMORPGs, now gather together tens of thousands of people who meet in a virtual environment with their avatars, virtual copies of themselves, not simply to socialise in the strict sense of the term but to create new narratives, build a different world, defeat a lingering evil and abide by new physical and moral rules: all from the safe environment of their own desks.

Although social networks and the Internet have been explored by a variety of disciplines, few in the Humanities have ventured into the virtual world. The international and interdisciplinary conference Log In aspires to make up for this gap, by inviting speakers from all disciplines in the Humanities and Social Sciences to send their proposals investigating any of the following themes (the list is neither prescriptive nor exhaustive): Read more on Call: Log In: Making Sense of Social Networks…

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Augmented reality iPhone app lets people take a picture with Esquire’s sexiest woman alive

[From The New York Times; more information and a 1:13 video are available here]

Appearing Virtually at a Store Near You …

Published: January 18, 2011

Sexy may not be the first word that comes to mind to describe Barnes & Noble, but the sex appeal of the bookseller rose considerably this week among some readers of Esquire magazine.

Beginning Tuesday, Brooklyn Decker, who was voted the sexiest woman alive by Esquire readers recently and is featured on the cover of its February issue, began appearing at the stores to pose for photographs with fans.

Ms. Decker is not setting foot in the actual stores, but is appearing virtually through a novel use of GPS technology with broad marketing potential. Using an iPhone with a special app, visitors to the stores can select from among several poses by Ms. Decker, who then appears in the center of the viewfinder and is superimposed wherever the smartphone is pointed. Read more on Augmented reality iPhone app lets people take a picture with Esquire’s sexiest woman alive…

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Call: American Telemedicine Association Annual Meeting (ATA 2011)

ATA 2011

American Telemedicine Association
16th Annual International Meeting & Exhibition

May 1-3, 2011
Tampa, Florida

The ATA Annual Meeting is the premier educational and networking event for individuals involved in health technology and remote medical services.  ATA 2011 is a forum for reaching the world’s largest gathering of telehealth professionals–over 4000 researchers, clinicians, administrators, technicians and entrepreneurs, all focused on the development of telemedicine.  It is the single most important telehealth event of the year! Read more on Call: American Telemedicine Association Annual Meeting (ATA 2011)…

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Kinect hack makes robot mimic its master

[From PC World]

Kinect Hack Makes Robot Mimic Its Master

By Elizabeth Fish, PCWorld  Jan 17, 2011

Here at GeekTech, there have been a lot of great hacks for Microsoft’s Kinect, but this robot one has to be the best.

This humanoid robot has been programmed to copy your every move via the Kinect. It does this by using the Kinect (connected to a PC) to map the human body; it then sends that data to Japanese robot Website V-Sido. Thanks to the Kinect and V-Sido, the robot-to-human coordination is pretty flawless. Read more on Kinect hack makes robot mimic its master…

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The First Workshop on Pervasive Urban Applications (PURBA 2011)

The First Workshop on Pervasive Urban Applications (PURBA)
In conjunction with Pervasive 2011
San Francisco | June 12-15, 2011

Submission Deadline: February 4, 2011

Selected extended papers will be considered for possible fast track publication in the PERVASIVE AND MOBILE COMPUTING (PMC) journal published by Elsevier.

The IBM award is given to the best student paper presented at the PURBA 2011 workshop.

Over the past decade, the development of digital networks and operations has produced an unprecedented wealth of information. Handheld electronics, location devices, telecommunications networks, and a wide assortment of tags and sensors are constantly producing a rich stream of data reflecting various aspects of urban life. For urban planners and designers, these accumulations of digital traces are valuable sources of data in capturing the pulse of the city in an astonishing degree of temporal and spatial detail. Yet this condition of the hybrid city – which operates simultaneously in the digital and physical realms – also poses difficult questions about privacy, scale, and design, among many others. These questions must be addressed as we move toward achieving an augmented, fine-grained understanding of how the city functions – socially, economically and yes, even psychologically. This workshop aims to bring together researchers and practitioners to discuss and explore the research challenges and opportunities in applying the pervasive computing paradigm to urban spaces. We are seeking multi-disciplinary contributions that reveal interesting aspects about urban life and exploit the digital traces to create novel urban applications that benefit citizens, urban planners, and policy makers. Read more on The First Workshop on Pervasive Urban Applications (PURBA 2011)…

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“Chasm in Images” exhibition shows us spaces real and virtual

[From Korea JoongAng Daily; information about the exhibition from the Museum is available here]

[Image: Kang Young-min’s “Hillerova’s Faces” (2008) is part of the “Chasm in Images“ show at the Seoul Museum of Art.]

Exhibition shows us spaces real and virtual

January 5, 2011

In a small black box on the first floor of the Seoul Museum of Art, which is holding an exhibition called “Chasm in Images,” viewers may feel like they are in a horror movie. White screens installed here and there seem to bulge with vague human shapes, as if someone were hiding behind each of them. But no one is there, and a closer look reveals that the images are actually just video projections. The creepy feeling that somebody was hiding behind the screens was created by an optical illusion.

In this way, the work by emerging artist Kang Yi-yun, titled “In Between 03,” creates the sense of disorientation by playing with the gap between the real and the virtual. To some viewers, the sensation may evoke a feeling of terror; to others, it is tantalizing.

SMA’s exhibition features works by Kang and 18 other emerging artists who, like Kang, explore the art of the illusion.

“In today’s society, which is dominated by images, everyone has had the experience of perceiving an image as reality through its continuous reproduction,” the museum said in a press release.

“While able to sense the gap between what we see and what we know, between images and reality, we live without appreciating this. This show intends to examine aspects of contemporary art that will make viewers aware of this gap.” Read more on “Chasm in Images” exhibition shows us spaces real and virtual…

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Call: International Conference on the Social Aspects of Digital Gaming


The social side of gaming: International Conference on the Social Aspects of Digital Gaming

Thursday 21 July to Saturday 23 July 2011

University Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany


In the past decade, digital games have become a widely accepted form of media entertainment, even outside the traditional ‘core gamer’ segment. In tandem with this shift into the mainstream media market, we have seen an increasing interest in ‘social’ multiplayer gaming activities, from both the audience and the gaming industry.

The development of social games is of great academic interest. Wide-ranging studies have been initiated to investigate the sociality of virtual worlds, massively multiplayer role playing games (MMORPGs), multiplayer shooters, e-sports, and cooperation in party-oriented console gaming, yet games research remains a relatively new field. Despite explosive growth in the field over the past decade, many aspects of social gaming still remain largely unexplored.

This international conference, titled The Social Side of Gaming and hosted by the University Hohenheim (Germany), will take a closer look at the various forms of human interaction in digital games. The aim of the conference is to bring together researchers from a variety of disciplines interested in social interaction in games, including (but not limited to) the fields of communication research, media studies, sociology, psychology, education studies, and economics. Read more on Call: International Conference on the Social Aspects of Digital Gaming…

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Tomorrow’s gadgets will have emotional intelligence

[From Computer World]

Elgan: When the iPhone feels your pain

Smartphones are smart, but tomorrow’s gadgets will have emotional intelligence

By Mike Elgan
January 17, 2011

Computerworld – We love our gadgets. But they treat us with an indifference that sometimes feels like contempt. They’re like cats.

But soon, they’ll act more like dogs — perceptive of how we feel, and reacting to our moods by joining in on our elation or treading lightly when we’re angry.

Such capabilities are nearly inevitable, either sooner or later, because the trajectory of interface design is always toward making machines increasingly “human-compatible,” which means they’ll interact with us like another human being would. And that requires some level of empathy. Read more on Tomorrow’s gadgets will have emotional intelligence…

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Call: World Conference on Innovative Virtual Reality (WINVR2011)

Call For Papers

ASME 2011 World Conference on Innovative Virtual Reality (WINVR2011)

WINVR (The World Conference on INnovative Virtual Reality) 2011 will bring together international leaders from academia and industry to discuss state of the art research and practice in the use of Virtual Reality to solve industrial problems. The conference builds on the previous success of WinVR09 and WinVR10.

The WIN VR 2011 Scientific Programme Committee invite academics, researchers, engineers and students from around the world to submit Draft Papers for their consideration.

Over 30 conference sessions, including Plenary and Keynote speaker sessions, will be organised into tracks, focusing on innovative trends in Virtual Reality, and the application of Virtual Reality technologies and techniques in a range of situations. Read more on Call: World Conference on Innovative Virtual Reality (WINVR2011)…

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Cisco program uses telepresence to connect cities to the world

[From BusinessWest, “The Western Massachusetts Business Journal”; the web site for the Smart+Connected Communities Institute is here]


Cisco Program Is Bringing the Future to Holyoke — Now

Posted on 04 January 2011.

Along several different social and economic fronts, Holyoke is transforming itself from an industrial center — it’s still called the Paper City — to a technology-driven hub with a major emphasis on all matters ‘green.’ One of the key drivers in this transformation is a series of pilot programs that are part of Cisco’s Smart+Connected Communities initiative, which is building a framework for modern, network-driven city services. Cisco and Holyoke are still early in this process, but all those involved say the sky, or perhaps the imagination, is the limit when it comes to its potential to connect the city and create economic-development opportunities.

Imagine an emergency first-response team able to stream high-definition video for triage in the emergency room. Or a classroom with students in one or more locations while the instructor is on another continent. Picture a business office in a single room with a client base around the globe. The common thread among all of these scenarios? The ability to be connected via technology.

This isn’t science fiction, just science. And it might not be many years before it’s a common reality in Holyoke. California-based Cisco Systems calls them Smart+Connected Communities, and local officials in Holyoke, the newest location for this technological advance, are calling it one of the most important chapters in the city’s history. Read more on Cisco program uses telepresence to connect cities to the world…

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