ISPR Presence News

Monthly Archives: June 2012

Riken’s ‘substitutional reality’ system blurs line between virtual and reality

[From The Japan Times; a 3:26 minute video is available here and the full research report is here]

Riken develops system blurring line between virtual and reality

June 28, 2012

The Riken research institute says it has developed a “substitutional reality” system to study how the brain works when people become confused about the reality of what they perceive.

In an experiment using the system, subjects could not tell the difference between real-life scenes and recorded ones displayed on special head-mounted gear, according to an article by Riken published in the British journal Scientific Reports. Read more on Riken’s ‘substitutional reality’ system blurs line between virtual and reality…

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Question: “We have a great paper to submit for the ISPR 2012 conference but we can’t make the submission deadline; is there any way we can get an extension??”

Answer:  “YES!”

The ISPR 2012 submission deadline has been extended until JULY 15.

Full details on the conference, which will be better with you than without you, are below!



ISPR 2012 “Presence Live!” Conference
International Society for Presence Research Annual Conference

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
October 24 – 26, 2012

Online submission is open at: Read more on CALL: ISPR 2012 – DEADLINE EXTENDED TO JULY 15…

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Jobs: 2 game design/development/technology faculty positions at University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT)

Dear colleagues,

Please distribute this call widely to anyone interested in a game development faculty position.

The University of Ontario Institute of Technology is looking to grow its game development program with excellent new researchers. UOIT is a young, vibrant university in the Greater Toronto Area in Canada and currently seeking to grow the game development faculty with excellent new members.

Read more on Jobs: 2 game design/development/technology faculty positions at University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT)…

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Different types of immersion and how they work

[From TekGoblin]

Different Types of Immersion and How They Work

Posted by Daniel Moeller June 25, 2012

In virtual-reality speak, ‘immersion’ can mean a number of different things. Ever taken a look at the Matrix, and thought about what it might mean for us? Rene Descartes was one of the first to ask this question – if we’re totally ‘immersed’ in an environment where all sense stimuli are artificially produced and fed to us, how could we distinguish that environment from external reality?

Immersion is a critical concept in game design, and it comes in four main flavors. In this article, we’re going to take a look at what those are, and what we might need to take virtual reality from being an emergent technology to on-the-shelves. Read more on Different types of immersion and how they work…

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Call: Special issue of Ethics and Information Technology (ETIN) on the Internet of Things (IoT)

Call for Papers for a Special Issue of Ethics and Information Technology (ETIN) on the Internet of Things (IoT)

The vision of the Internet of Things portrays a world where physical objects are connected to the Internet, through technologies such as radio frequency identification (RFID), sensors and smartphones. Internet-enabled objects can share sensor data with web services and applications. As the physical and virtual worlds begin to interact with one another, boundaries between these worlds begin to erode. Our interaction with computers moves away from the desktop and into the environment, and becomes increasingly intertwined with our everyday lives. As this happens, we lose the ability to examine the artifacts we interact with as computing technology. They become invisible and infrastructural.

The sensing and monitoring capabilities of the Internet of Things often raises concerns of privacy. The ubiquitous nature of the Internet of Things raises questions regarding the autonomy of the people that (sometimes unknowingly) interact with it. It raises questions regarding trust. Besides these concerns, the Internet of Things also holds large positive potential. It can help people and monitor their energy consumption (down to individual appliances), encouraging a more sustainable lifestyle. It can help authorities monitor the structural integrity of dikes, benefiting the safety of regions. In short, many of the positive and negative implications of our interactions with the Internet of Things are related to our (moral) values. Read more on Call: Special issue of Ethics and Information Technology (ETIN) on the Internet of Things (IoT)…

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Tupac’s hologram appearance sparks trend, raises issues

[From The Hollywood Reporter, where the story includes more images and links to videos and related stories]

[Illustration: Kagan McLeod]

Marilyn Monroe Hologram Concert in the Works Amid Growing Controversy

The trend ignited by a Tupac Shakur resurrection in the desert portends rights battles of epic proportions.

5/31/2012 by Eriq Gardner
This story originally appeared in the June 8 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

When Tupac Shakur took the stage in hologram form at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in April, hundreds of thousands of onlookers reveled in seeing one of hip-hop’s greatest performers seemingly brought back from the dead. Shakur’s music soon returned to the Billboard 200 album chart for the first time since 2000, and almost immediately, word spread about a possible tour.

But in the weeks since that headline-grabbing stunt, many in the music community have begun wondering about the potential financial and legal repercussions from using technology to resurrect legendary artists onstage, even as speculation has centered on which superstars might be next to receive the hologram treatment.

For instance, The Hollywood Reporter has learned that a “live” Marilyn Monroe concert is being planned to take place before year’s end with the working title Virtual Marilyn Live — A Musical Celebration of the Birth of the Pop Icon. The concert, which has yet to secure a venue (organizers also plan to stream it on the web), will feature the projected blond bombshell singing and interacting alongside live music stars. Becky Altringer, managing director and co-founder of Digicon Media, the company doing the planning, says the event will employ the technology used at Coachella to launch virtual Marilyn’s new career as “a performer, spokesperson, cultural pundit and computer avatar.” Read more on Tupac’s hologram appearance sparks trend, raises issues…

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Call: Fifth Workshop on Intelligent Narrative Technologies

The Fifth Workshop on Intelligent Narrative Technologies
Colocated with 8th AAAI Conference on
Artificial Intelligence in Interactive Digital Entertainment
October 8th and 9th at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California

Call for Papers


Narrative is a pervasive aspect of human culture; it is one of the fundamental frameworks by which people view the world and comprehend their experiences. The processes of understanding and manipulating a narrative comes naturally to people, but this task poses significant challenges to computational systems. As computers play an ever-increasing role in social interaction, education, and entertainment, they introduce novel opportunities for leveraging narrative technologies to facilitate communication.

The last several years has seen growing interest and progress in narrative intelligence. Approaches to story generation and adaptation continue to become more sophisticated as important concepts like as intentionality, suspense, and conflict are incorporated into narrative models. Methods for expressing stories are advancing, especially in the areas of emotion modeling, character dialog, and environmental effects such as lighting and sound. The rapid growth of on-line knowledge and communication has prompted new interest in the long-standing AI goal of narrative understanding. There is also a growing body of research in narrative-based learning environments and authoring tools for narrative-based games, just to name a few.

The Intelligent Narrative Technologies workshop series, now gathering for the fifth time since 2007, aims to advance research in artificial intelligence for the computational understanding and expression of narrative. This workshop brings together a multidisciplinary group of researchers including computer scientists, psychologists, narrative theorists, media theorists, artists, and members of the interactive entertainment industry. Read more on Call: Fifth Workshop on Intelligent Narrative Technologies…

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Experimental 50 megapixel camera: World comes at you full blast

[From The Wall Street Journal, where the story includes a slideshow, an interactive graphic and a 5 minute video]

Next Cameras Come Into View

Experimental Device Has a Billion Pixels, Can Zoom In After a Photo Is Taken

By Gautam NaikK
Updated June 21, 2012

Scientists at Duke University have built an experimental camera that allows the user—after a photo is taken—to zoom in on portions of the image in extraordinary detail, a development that could fundamentally alter the way images are captured and viewed.

The new camera collects more than 30 times as much picture data as today’s best consumer digital devices. While existing cameras can take photographs that have pixel counts in the tens of millions, the Duke device produces a still or video image with a billion pixels—five times as much detail as can be seen by a person with 20/20 vision.

A pixel is one of the many tiny areas of illumination on a display screen from which an image is composed. The more pixels, the more detailed the image.

The Duke device, called Aware-2, is a long way from being a product. The current version needs lots of space to house and cool its electronic boards; it weighs 100 pounds and is about the size of two stacked microwave ovens. It also takes about 18 seconds to shoot a frame and record the data on a disk.

The $25 million project is funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, part of the U.S. Department of Defense. The military is interested in high-resolution cameras as tools for aerial or land-based surveillance.

If the Duke device can be shrunk to hand-held size, it could spark an alternative approach to photography. Instead of deciding where to focus a camera, a user would simply shoot a scene, then later zoom in on any part of the picture and view it in extreme detail. That means desirable or useful portions of a photo could be identified after the image was captured.

Taking a picture with a traditional digital camera “is like looking through a soda straw since you can only see a narrow part of the scene,” said David Brady, optical engineer at Duke, who led the team that designed the one-gigapixel camera. “Ours is more like a fire hose—the world comes at you full [blast].” Read more on Experimental 50 megapixel camera: World comes at you full blast…

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Job: PhD position at HIT Lab NZ: VR exploration for multi-dimensional land use management

Open PhD Position
Virtual reality exploration for multi-dimensional land use management
The Human Interface Technology Laboratory New Zealand

The goal of this PhD project is to explore how virtual-reality technology and super-computing capability can be used to assist decision-makers in understanding the impact of alternative optimal solutions in land management. Over 50 years worth of spatial data showing land use changes over time has been collected.  An evolutionary algorithm has been developed to find optimal solutions for land use, using this data set. However the output of this algorithm is difficult to visualize and understand. So the PhD work will cover visualising this preprocessed multi-dimensional data on a virtual reality (VR) immersive display. The system will allow users to explore the solution space interactively using motion-tracking technology and get greater understanding of the data set and evolved solutions. This is a joint project between the University of Canterbury, SCION and the US NSF-funded BEACON Center. This project has a duration of three years and is funded by a NZD 25K P.A. SCHOLARSHIP. Read more on Job: PhD position at HIT Lab NZ: VR exploration for multi-dimensional land use management…

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Long distance family portraits via Skype

[From The New York Times Magazine, where eight portraits are featured; more information and portraits are available on John Clang’s web site]

Futuristic Family Reunions

Be Here Now

Julie Bosman
June 1, 2012

In Singapore, it is a common practice for entire families to gather on special occasions for a formal picture, often at a studio, with the resulting image framed and prominently displayed at home. The growing tendency of younger family members to take jobs abroad, however, has left many modern portraits missing a relation or two. So the Singaporean photographer John Clang devised a solution, piggybacking on the video-calling technology that already helps ease the dislocation of separated family members: Skype. Clang, who is based in New York, tried this with his own family first, then used the Internet, embassies and recommendations from friends to track down other Singaporean families with members there and in far-flung places. Those in Singapore stood before their webcam-enabled computers and called their distant relatives on Skype. In these various locations, Clang projected the Skype image onto a wall and then photographed the callers together with their flesh-and- blood kin. No Photoshop was needed, and the entire process is simple enough for people everywhere to take advantage of in migratory times. ‘‘It bridges the gap between the two families that are apart,’’ Clang says. Read more on Long distance family portraits via Skype…

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