ISPR Presence News

Monthly Archives: February 2011

Call: AVSP 2011 – The 11th International Conference on Auditory-Visual Speech Processing

AVSP 2011 The 11th International Conference on Auditory-Visual Speech Processing

August 31 – September 3, 2011
Volterra, Italy

The 11th international conference on Auditory-Visual Speech Processing (AVSP) will be held from August 31 to September 3, 2011, directly following the INTERSPEECH2011 conference.

Read more on Call: AVSP 2011 – The 11th International Conference on Auditory-Visual Speech Processing…

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Why Madame Tussauds remains so popular in the CGI age

[From The Guardian]

[Image: It’s OK to touch … a fan gets close to the Johnny Depp waxwork at Madame Tussauds. Photograph: Susan Swindells (work experience) for the guardian]

What makes Madame Tussauds’ wax work?

It’s been pulling in visitors since 1835, but why does Madame Tussauds remain so popular, even in the CGI age? Patrick Barkham joined the crowds – plus Brad, Jacko, the Queen and all – to find out

Patrick Barkham
The Guardian, Saturday 26 February 2011

Johnny Depp is getting a peck on the cheek. A bloke peers up Marilyn’s billowing skirt. Teenagers jostle a wobbly Russell Brand. A Kuwait scarf is draped around Bollywood star Aishwarya Rai. “Where is Tony Blair?” asks a tourist from Afghanistan. Who does he want a photograph with? “All of these bastards,” he says, making a beeline for George W Bush. There’s a commotion outside No 10 Downing Street: the top of Nicolas Sarkozy’s right ear has been chewed off. Is Mike Tyson marauding through the building? The diminutive French president is unceremoniously wheeled away for some TLC with molten wax.

In an era of virtual reality, interactive Wiis and 3D TVs, it is difficult to imagine a more anachronistic attraction than a crowded dark room peopled with static wax models. But Madame Tussauds is more popular than ever. After the venerable London attraction’s busiest ever year, next month sees the opening of a new Madame Tussauds in Blackpool. Another, the 12th Madame Tussauds in the world, will be added in Vienna. Almost every month, a new celebrity is added to the waxen lineup. Gok Wan is set for Blackpool, while the much-requested Justin Bieber will arrive in London, New York and Amsterdam next month. Tussauds’ owners, Merlin Entertainments, is the world’s second largest leisure group after Disney, with a portfolio of fun that includes Alton Towers, the London Eye and Legoland. Last year it reported visitor numbers up by 10% across its attractions with a 16% jump in profits to £239m. Madame Tussauds may be its most unlikely success story.

Born in Strasbourg in 1761, Marie Tussaud studied model-making under Dr Philippe Curtius, a doctor who became highly skilled at making anatomical models from wax. They moved to Paris and she created figures for a waxwork exhibition, narrowly escaped the guillotine in the French Revolution, and ended up making death masks of guillotine victims. Tussaud inherited Curtius’s models and her travelling exhibition of waxworks became the touring newspaper of the day, providing vivid impressions of contemporary events, particularly the revolution, in a time before photographs. Read more on Why Madame Tussauds remains so popular in the CGI age…

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Call: Audio Mostly 2011 – 6th Conference on Interaction with Sound

Audio Mostly 2011– “A conference on interaction with sound”
in co-operation with ACM – SIGCHI
September, 7 – 9 – Coimbra, Portugal


Audio in all its forms – music, sound effects, or dialogue – holds tremendous potential to engage, convey narrative, inform, create attention and enthrall. However, in computer-based environments, for example games and virtual environments, the ability to interact through and with sound are still today underused. The Audio Mostly Conference provides a venue to explore and promote this untapped potential of audio by bringing together audio experts, content creators and designers, interaction designers, and behavioral researchers.

The area of interest includes interactivity through sound, tools and methods to support sound design work and evaluation and new and innovative applications of sound. It implies cognitive, psychological and social research studies, as well as applied research and technological innovations in audio analysis, processing and rendering. The aim is to both describe and push the boundaries of sound-based interaction in various domains, such as entertainment, education, safety and health care. Read more on Call: Audio Mostly 2011 – 6th Conference on Interaction with Sound…

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Telepresence market gains momentum; diversifying applications will drive growth

[From ABI Research]

Telepresence Market Gains Momentum; Diversifying Applications Will Drive Growth

NEW YORK – February 16, 2011

Latest global telepresence and videoconferencing equipment market forecasts from ABI Research show that the value of the telepresence, video infrastructure and endpoints market is set to reach $5.5 billion by 2016. In 2010, the market registered greater than 15% year-on-year growth to reach $2.3 billion. During the year, the spotlight shifted to emerging applications such as desktop video, personal telepresence, video integrated within unified communications environments, mobile videoconferencing, and video-over-virtual-desktop infrastructure (VDI).

At the higher end of the telepresence spectrum, the telepresence experience is becoming more immersive with the integration of hologram and 3D technologies. At the lower end, the emergence of personal telepresence products will make adoption more pervasive. Vendors are also taking the telepresence experience to the consumer market with the launch of home telepresence products. Read more on Telepresence market gains momentum; diversifying applications will drive growth…

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Call: 3rd International Workshop on Intelligent Environments Supporting Healthcare and Well-being (WISHWell’11)

Call for Papers
3rd International Workshop on Intelligent Environments Supporting Healthcare and Well-being (WISHWell’11)
July 25th-26th, 2011
Nottingham, UK


The workshop will bring together researchers from both industry and academia from the various disciplines to contribute to the 3rd year of the International Workshop on Intelligent Environments Supporting Healthcare and Well-Being (WISHWell 2011). Healthcare environments (within the hospital and the home) are extremely complex and challenging to manage from an IT and IS perspective, as they are required to cope with an assortment of patient conditions under various circumstances with a number of resource constraints. Pervasive healthcare technologies seek to respond to a variety of these pressures by integrating them within existing health care services. It is essential that intelligent pervasive healthcare solutions are developed and correctly integrated to assist health care professionals in delivering high levels of patient care. It is equally important that these pervasive solutions are used to empower patients and relatives for self-care and management of their health to provide seamless access for health care services. Areas of interest: include, but are not limited to, the following:

Read more on Call: 3rd International Workshop on Intelligent Environments Supporting Healthcare and Well-being (WISHWell’11)…

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Fontana’s ‘Castle of Shadows’: 600 year old ancestor of VR

[From BldgBlog]

[Image: Giovanni Fontana’s 15th-century “castle of shadows,” from a paper by Philippe Codognet]

Castle of Shadows

Posted Monday, February 21, 2011

In a book published nearly 600 years ago, in the year 1420, Venetian engineer Giovanni Fontana proposed a mechanical construction called the Castellum Umbrarum, or “castle of shadows.”

Read more on Fontana’s ‘Castle of Shadows’: 600 year old ancestor of VR…

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Call: ‘Social Computing’ at the International Conference on Computing and Philosophy

Call for Papers
‘Social Computing’ 
at the International Conference on Computing and Philosophy
Check also:

International Association for Computing and Philosophy (IACAP)
First International Conference of IACAP: celebrating 25 years of Computing and Philosophy (CAP) conferences; Conference Theme: “The Computational Turn: Past, Presents, Futures?”
Aarhus University — July 4-6, 2011

Important dates
Feb 28, 2011: Abstract submission deadline
March 30, 2011: Notification of acceptance

NB: Up to six bursaries of $500.00 each will be awarded to authors of the best PhD student or post-doc extended abstract, in support of travel and related costs for attending IACAP?11.

Track Description:

One of the most remarkable recent developments in computing undeniably lies in its social turn. Information and communication technologies (ICT) are increasingly characterized by the interaction between multiple users through those technologies. Widespread examples of social software are blogs, wikis, social bookmarking services, instant messaging services, email and social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn or

Social computing often uses various types of crowdsourcing techniques – aggregation of input from numerous users (public at large). Tools such as prediction markets, social tagging, reputation and trust systems as well as recommender systems are based on collaborative filtering and thus a result of crowdsourcing. So in this first understanding, social computing includes collaborative user-generated media with shared knowledge and community-building of societal ecosystem.

Another meaning of the term social computing refers to computational modeling of social behavior. Social computing constructs generative agent-based computational models in order to explain and predict the behavior of social systems.

Social computing in the first sense (with the focus on social) is a phenomenon which enables extended social cognition, while the second meaning of social computing (with the focus on computing) is computational modeling of (extended) social cognition.

In this track, we invite contributions that tackle theoretical and practical implications of both types of social computing. Read more on Call: ‘Social Computing’ at the International Conference on Computing and Philosophy…

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Microsoft is imagining a Natural User Interface future

[From The Official Microsoft Blog; more information is available in a second post here]

[Larger image available here]

Microsoft is Imagining a NUI future

Microsoft blog editor
26 Jan 2011

You don’t have to look very far to realize that technology is becoming more natural and intuitive. In a typical day, many people use touch or speech to interact with technology—on their phones, at the ATM, at the grocery store and in their cars. The learning curve for working with computers is becoming less and less of a barrier thanks to more natural ways to interact.

As Craig Mundie has stated on many occasions, technology is beginning to behave like we do. For Microsoft, natural user interface (NUI) technology is an area we’ve invested in for many years. The fruits of those investments are now being seen across many of our products, including Windows Phone 7, Microsoft Surface 2.0, Bing for Mobile and Office 2010 Mini Translator. One product that has gotten a lot of attention recently is our Kinect for Xbox 360, which incorporates facial recognition along with gesture-based and voice control. The device knows who you are, understands your voice or the wave of your hand and is changing the face of gaming as we know it. We’ve also witnessed how Kinect has inspired others to explore the potential of NUI, and we’re excited about the potential that others see in this technology.

Even with all the excitement, the reality is that our industry – Microsoft included – has only scratched the surface of what is possible. Most people’s view of natural technology is sensory related – touch or speech – but Microsoft’s exploration into NUI is multi-dimensional. By combining sensory inputs with the knowledge of what you’re trying to do (contextual awareness), where you are and what is around you (environmental awareness), 3D simulation and anticipatory learning, we can foresee a future where technology becomes almost invisible. Imagine a world where interacting with technology becomes as easy as having a conversation with a friend. Read more on Microsoft is imagining a Natural User Interface future…

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Call: Embodied and Narrative Practices: Clinical and Practical Applications

Call for Papers
Embodied and Narrative Practices: Clinical and Practical Applications
A two-day conference

11-12 July 2011, De Havilland Campus, University of Hertfordshire

For applied and clinical work in a variety of areas like psychopathology and physiotherapy, as well as in educational and various institutional contexts, it is important to have a good understanding of how embodied and social cognitive processes function to support everyday interpersonal relations and social understanding. Recent research on social cognition that draws from developmental psychology, phenomenology, embodied cognition, and narrative theory has been challenging standard approaches to social cognition taken in psychology, neuroscience, and philosophy.

According to the standard ‘theory of mind’ framework understanding others depends on cognitive inference and/or simulation routines that allow us to ‘mindread’ – that is, to infer or imagine – the other person’s mental states. In contrast, the Embodied and Narrative Practices (E&NP) Framework builds on the idea that embodied practices of social interaction develop our skills for detecting and dealing with the purposeful intentions of others, without having to represent or attribute mental states as such. Agents, engaged in social interaction, rather than inferring or ascribing mental states in others, directly perceive intentions and emotional states in their bodily movements, gestures and facial expressions, and further specify the other person’s meaning as they see them act in pragmatic and normatively-determined social contexts. Furthermore, the more sophisticated and language-based ways of making sense of ourselves and others, where we understand actions in terms of reasons, are grounded in socio-cultural, and
specifically narrative practices.

The purpose of this conference is to explore the implications that this alternative theoretical approach has for various applications in areas such as psychopathology, psychotherapy, physical therapy, education, institutional organization, and team performance. Read more on Call: Embodied and Narrative Practices: Clinical and Practical Applications…

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Toyota’s 3-seat VR Baja Simulator delivers experience, distracted driving message

[From Automotive Discovery; more information and a 2:24 minute video are available here]

Toyota Announced New Virtual Reality Simulator at the Daytona 500

Written on February 21, 2011 by Lynn Beverly

Toyota has announced the debut of a multi-sensory experience virtual reality simulator at the Daytona 500.  Developed by Digital Tech Frontier, LLC. (DTF), Toyota’s Baja simulator incorporates actual motion, 3D sight and sound as it delivers experiences and a message about distracted driving as you are behind the wheel of the 2011 Toyota 4Runner.

Premiering at the Daytona 500 Toyota Pit Pass event, Toyota’s Baja simulator is the result of Toyota’s desire to exhibit the power and potential of the Toyota 4Runner.  Participants will have a chance to sit in the three-seat state-of-the-art virtual reality simulator and experience an exhilarating, adventurous, driving experience through the eyes of the driver and helicopters while enduring the 672.85-mile drive down to Baja, Mexico.  While participants are taking the thrilling ride demonstrating the endurance and stamina of the 4Runner they will be provided with heart pumping important safety information on the risks of distracted driving. Read more on Toyota’s 3-seat VR Baja Simulator delivers experience, distracted driving message…

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