ISPR Presence News

Monthly Archives: August 2011

Job: National University of Singapore – HCI and Interactive Digital Media Design


The Communications and New Media Department (CNM) at the National University of Singapore has an opening for a tenure track position in the area of HCI and interactive digital media design.

CNM’s interactive “Interactive Media Design” area includes researchers and teachers concentrating on theoretical and production issues at the intersection of HCI concerns (usability, interface) and interactive arts/entertainment design (game design, cyberarts). Faculty normally teach three courses per year and supervise honours and graduate research students. Compensation at NUS is highly competitive and includes eligibility for annual salary increments, performance bonuses, heavily subsidized housing, and other benefits, as well as generous research support.

We are seeking someone who conducts research, does creative work, and has teaching and/or industry experience in one or more of the following areas of arts/entertainment HCI: interaction design, experience design, cognitive/social science methods, games, serious games, computer supported cooperative work/play, or cyberarts (e.g., interactive storytelling, music, painting, typography, video, comics, characters, textiles, sculpture, heritage, exhibits, installations). Read more on Job: National University of Singapore – HCI and Interactive Digital Media Design…

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Rob Enderle on why video conferencing sucks

[From TechNewsWorld]


Why Video Conferencing Sucks

Understanding human interaction isn’t easy. We tend to be complex and very different. The reason we aren’t doing video conferencing calls regularly is partially because these systems don’t interoperate, but it is mostly because these systems don’t embrace the way we actually like to communicate.

By Rob Enderle

I’ve been covering video conferencing (now often called “telepresence”) products since the late 80s and saw my first offering in the mid-60s as a child at Disneyland. Over the years, product wave after product wave has come to market with the promise of the next big thing in telecommunications only to fail to meet even reasonable expectations for deployment in a market where users are measured in billions.

Andy Grove, one of the smartest people I’ve ever met, referred to Intel’s (Nasdaq: INTC) axed video conferencing effort as his biggest mistake while running that company. We have laptops, tablets and, most recently, smartphones capable of video conferencing, but only a tiny percentage use them for it, and even fewer do so regularly. It isn’t technology, availability or cost that is the problem — it is people, and I’d like to explore that this week. Read more on Rob Enderle on why video conferencing sucks…

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Call: International Journal of Role-Playing (IJRP)

The International Journal of Role-Playing (IJRP) is now accepting submissions for the 3rd issue, due out in winter 2011. Deadline for submissions is September 15, 2011.

The International Journal of Role-Playing invites researchers, designers, developers, academics, artists and others involved in the growing field of research related to role-playing to submit articles. The IJRP is a peer-reviewed journal, and welcomes submissions from any sphere of interest, knowledge network, research field or development sector that directly or indirectly relates to role-playing interests.

Read more on Call: International Journal of Role-Playing (IJRP)…

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How gaming will change business conferencing

[From Humans Invent, where the story includes additional images]

You’re fired: How gaming killed the boardroom

By Ben Sillis
15th August 2011

Need to get someone out to New York for a crucial business meeting next week? It’ll cost you. At a week’s notice, a business class return trip on British Airways from Heathrow to JFK International will set your company back upwards of £3,800.

As stock markets plunge, and the wait for this “bounce back” continues, that’s money few can afford – but you can’t put a value on being in the same room as a potential client.

Unless of course, you opt for the cheaper solution: a £200 little black box and camera accessory, that you can use again and again. In love with the in-flight perks? They may soon be no more: read on and discover how the humble Xbox Kinect has given the meeting room its P45.

Economics of chat

Any businessman worth his salt will tell you that a phone call is no substitute for a face to face meeting. Too many subtleties are lost, you can’t convey the same confidence, nothing can be underlined with gestures.

To solve this, companies have in recent years turned to video conferencing solutions: everything from Skype chats to huge installations the size of a room. The latter are impressive set ups, near holographic in nature, sold on huge scales by tech giants such as Cisco.

Halo, one enterprise solution, can put you in the same room as people in three other locations simultaneously, and even have participants join the chat from their smartphone’s front-facing camera. It’s employed by companies all over the world, including Nokia, to cut down on travel costs and make collaboration easier. You can see one in action below:

Video: Introducing HP Halo 65: HP’s newest visual collaboration tool [5:10]

It’s big money: in June, HP sold it to Polycom for $89million (£54million). And that’s the thing: it’s for big business. “It’s hugely expensive and the sort of thing for which you need a dedicated team, which many people will not have,” says Guy Clapperton, the editor of the Unified Communications Bulletin.

Smaller companies and start-ups are left without bespoke solutions, or worse, forking out for those airline tickets – and having to brace themselves for grumbling employees when they find themselves flying economy.

But there’s an unlikely solution to all this: the lowly games console. Read more on How gaming will change business conferencing…

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Call: Staging Illusion: Digital and Cultural Fantasy

Call for Papers:
Sussex Centre for Cultural Studies and the Centre for Material Digital Culture present:
Staging Illusion: Digital and Cultural Fantasy

Abstract submission deadline 19th August 2011

November 4th 2011, University of Sussex

Read more on Call: Staging Illusion: Digital and Cultural Fantasy…

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Future augmented reality to dissolve boundaries with digital world

[From SmartPlanet]

Video: How ‘augmented reality’ will make boring cities beautiful

By Christopher Mims | August 10, 2011

In the near future, as you stroll down the street, billboards and street signs will change to suit your interests. Ghostly arrows will float in the air, pointing you toward your destination. Buildings, vehicles, the apparel of those you pass, and the very fabric of the reality you perceive will all be as changeable as your wardrobe.

That’s the vision of futurists and science fiction authors like Vernor Vinge, and increasingly, it’s the reality brought to us by ever-more-powerful mobile devices. Some day soon, when our cell phones are connected to display systems compact enough to project images on the inside of eyeglasses, the boundaries between the digital and the real world will simply dissolve.

September 26, technologists will gather in Munich, Germany to demonstrate the progress they’ve made toward this vision at the annual insideAR augmented reality conference. Read more on Future augmented reality to dissolve boundaries with digital world…

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Call: Design and Evaluation of Innovative Interactive Systems: Interdisciplinary and Trans-sectorial Training (DEVISE II)

Design and Evaluation of Innovative Interactive Systems:
Interdisciplinary and Trans-sectorial Training (DEVISE II)
(COST-IC0904 TwinTide Training School)*

VENUE: Bertinoro international Center for informatics ( [BiCi]
DATE:  30th October 2011 (Sun) – 3rd November 2011 (Thur)

Read more on Call: Design and Evaluation of Innovative Interactive Systems: Interdisciplinary and Trans-sectorial Training (DEVISE II)…

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A new approach to creating high-fidelity, 3-D images of the human face

[From Microsoft Research]

A New Window to the Face

By Douglas Gantenbein

August 8, 2011 9:00 AM PT

The human face is a complicated thing—powered by 52 muscles; contoured by the nose, eyebrows, and other features; and capable of an almost infinite range of expressions, from joy to anger to sorrow to puzzlement.

Perhaps that is why realistic animation of the human face has been what Microsoft Research Asia scientist Xin Tong calls a “holy grail” of computer graphics. Decades of research in computer graphics have developed a number of techniques for capturing three-dimensional moving images of the human face. But all have flaws, capturing insufficient detail or failing to depict accurately a changing expression.

Now, researchers at Microsoft Research Asia, led by Tong and working with Jinxiang Chai, a Texas A&M University professor, have developed a new approach to creating high-fidelity, 3-D images of the human face, one that depicts not only large-scale features and expressions, but also the subtle wrinkling and movement of human skin. Their work could have implications in areas such as computerized filmmaking and even in creating realistic user avatars for use in conferencing and other applications. Read more on A new approach to creating high-fidelity, 3-D images of the human face…

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Call: 3rd International Symposium on Ambient Intelligence – Software and Applications (ISAmI 2012)

3rd International Symposium on Ambient Intelligence – Software and Applications
28th-30th March, 2012 :: Salamanca, Spain

Ambient Intelligence (AmI) is a recent paradigm emerging from Artificial Intelligence (AI), where computers are used as proactive tools assisting people with their day-to-day activities, making everyone’s life more comfortable. Another main concern of AmI originates from the human computer interaction domain and focuses on offering ways to interact with systems in a more natural way by means user friendly interfaces. This field is evolving quickly as can be witnessed by the emerging natural language and gesture based types of interaction. The inclusion of computational power and communication technologies in everyday objects is growing and their embedding into our environments should be as invisible as possible. In order for AmI to be successful, human interaction with computing power and embedded systems in the surroundings should be smooth and happen without people actually noticing it. The only awareness people should have arises from AmI: more safety, comfort and wellbeing, emerging in a natural and inherent way. ISAmI is the International Symposium on Ambient Intelligence, aiming to bring together researchers from various disciplines that constitute the scientific field of Ambient Intelligence to present and discuss the latest results, new ideas, projects and lessons learned. Brand new ideas will be greatly appreciated as well as relevant revisions and actualizations of previously presented work, project summaries and PhD thesis.

ISAmI 2012 will be held at the University of Salamanca, Spain. This symposium will be organized by the Biomedicine, Intelligent System and Educational Technology Research Group ( of the University of Salamanca. Read more on Call: 3rd International Symposium on Ambient Intelligence – Software and Applications (ISAmI 2012)…

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The modern meeting — not a place we go, but a thing we do

[From The Huffington Post]

The Modern Meeting — Not a Place We Go, But a Thing We Do

Brett Caine
President, Citrix Online
Posted: 8/9/11

I recently had the honor of writing the foreword for a new book, Read This Before Our Next Meeting, by Al Pittampalli, who offers a very interesting perspective on meeting culture in today’s workplace. Throughout the book, Pittampalli suggests that many of the meetings we attend throughout the day are a waste of time and prevent us from doing the real work at hand. To solve this problem, Pittampalli proposes the “Modern Meeting,” with seven principles to serve as a guideline for today’s workers.

According to the author, the Modern Meeting:

1. Supports a decision that has already been made.
2. Moves fast and ends on schedule.
3. Limits the number of attendees.
4. Rejects the unprepared.
5. Produces committed action plans.
6. Refuses to be informational — reading memos beforehand is mandatory.
7. Works only alongside a culture of brainstorming.

Part of our business at Citrix is making meetings as easy and accessible as possible for workers around the world. But I agree that it’s time to reassess the status quo, and a big part of that is challenging the idea that employees must be in the office in order for a productive meeting to take place. The workplace is not the same as it was ten or even five years ago, and we are not the same employees. Sure, we’re still hard-working, creative and passionate, but our lives move faster, we’re spread out across the globe, and we’re more concerned than ever with striking the right work/life balance.

So I would propose an eighth principle: the Modern Meeting can be accessed from anywhere, at any time from any device (desktop, laptop, smartphone or tablet). Let’s use today’s technology to help create a better kind of meeting — one that is collaborative, productive, efficient and includes all the right decision makers, even if they can’t be there in person. Read more on The modern meeting — not a place we go, but a thing we do…

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