ISPR Presence News

Monthly Archives: October 2012

Call: “Haptics in Rehabilitation and Neural Engineering” – Special issue of IEEE Transactions on Haptics

The IEEE Transactions on Haptics invites papers for a special issue entitled “Haptics in Rehabilitation and Neural Engineering”.

Robotic devices have been shown to be effective at delivering the intensive and repetitive therapy that is known to induce brain plasticity and foster restoration of motor coordination after stroke, spinal cord injury, and other neural impairments. Engagement of the sensorimotor system, including haptic feedback to the participant during rehabilitation, is an important factor in regaining motor control. Further, haptic feedback can enhance the natural control, utility, and efficacy of advancement of prosthetic and orthotic devices that restore mobility and manipulability to lower- and upper-extremity amputees. However, advanced prosthetic devices, for example, have decoupled the normal afferent-efferent loop and rely heavily on visual feedback to the amputee for control in the absence of haptics. The science and technology of haptics thus has great potential to affect the outcomes of rehabilitation and adoption of advanced prosthetic and orthotic devices. This special issue is about understanding the role of touch in sensorimotor coordination, including rehabilitation of motor deficits and use of advanced prostheses and orthoses.

Read more on Call: “Haptics in Rehabilitation and Neural Engineering” – Special issue of IEEE Transactions on Haptics…

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Zombie Booth app helps you join the shambling undead

[Happy Halloween… This is from Know Your Mobile; a 1:54 minute video review is available on YouTube]

Zombie Booth review

We review Zombie Booth, an Android app that lets you see what you’d look like as a member of the shambling undead

Damien McFerran
Aug 1, 2011

For some of us, getting up early in the morning for a long day at work can make you feel like you’re a member of the undead, but if you need to add that additional layer of authenticity then you can do a lot worse than download Zombie Booth for your Android phone.

Zombie Booth is a cunning piece of photo manipulation software that takes facial images and converts them into slavering 3D monsters. You can either snap a new photo or use an existing one from your phone’s gallery, but the affect is always the same – it grants you a seriously disturbing view on what you’d look like should the zombie apocalypse occur. Read more on Zombie Booth app helps you join the shambling undead…

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Call: Anthropotech website and Anphicon 1 conference: Cognitive Enhancement and Other Technologies of the Mind

We are pleased to announce the launch of the Anthropotech website (

Anthropotech is a collaborative project between UWE Philosophy and the Centre for Ethics in Medicine (University of Bristol) that aims to explore the various philosophical and ethical dimensions of Anthropotech: the technological alteration of the body for the purpose of augmenting existing capacities, introducing new ones, or aesthetically improving the body.

We welcome your feedback and comments on the Anthropotech blog ( or via twitter @Anthropotech1

We will also be hosting a conference series under the title ‘Anphicon’ (Anthropotech + Philosophy). The first conference on ‘Cognitive Enhancement and Other Technologies of the Mind’ will take place on 9&10 January 2013 in Bristol. A full description of the conference theme and a list of speakers is available on the website ( Read more on Call: Anthropotech website and Anphicon 1 conference: Cognitive Enhancement and Other Technologies of the Mind…

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Advanced telepresence for cancer specialists in New Zealand

[From Stuff in New Zealand]

[Image: A new teleconferencing system from Telecom will allow cancer specialists to more easily interact over large distances.]

Advanced telepresence for cancer specialists

Tom Pullar-Strecker
October 25, 2012

Cancer specialists across the central and lower North Island will be able to use a secure video-conferencing system to consult with one another and other medical staff from next month.

Phyllis Meier, project manager for the Central Cancer Network which is overseeing the initiative, said the Telecom-supplied system would be used by eight district health boards, from New Plymouth to Hawke’s Bay, and south, including Capital & Coast Health.

The goal was to let “multidisciplinary” teams – which could include surgeons, oncologists, pathologists, radiographers, nurses and pharmacists – consult and view the results of scans and tests. Read more on Advanced telepresence for cancer specialists in New Zealand…

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RealityCave provides 3D virtual tours before construction is finished

[From Ontario’s The Record]

[Image: Jeff Botham, vice-president of RealityCave, sits in the 3D virtual-reality environment in the Tannery building in downtown Kitchener. Peter Lee/Record staff]

A 3D virtual tour, even before construction is finished

Oct 27 2012
Rose Simone, Record staff

KITCHENER — A hospital is embarking on a major fundraising campaign for a new wing, with construction set to start next year. But potential donors have invitations for a “tour” right now.

A new restaurant is being built in Waterloo. Long before walls go up, the restaurant staff gets a walk-through to make sure the space is functional and efficient.

A large company is planning a move into a new office building. But executives get a preview of what the desks and meeting areas will look like.

A transportation department is planning a new highway. Long before the massive project gets underway, engineers and planners see the road they have in mind.

All of these experiences would, of course, be virtual. Advances in 3D virtual-environment technology like Christie Digital’s cave in the Communitech Hub in downtown Kitchener have made it possible to give people a good sense of what a space will look and feel like, long before it becomes real.

But the cost of buying these room-sized virtual environments runs into the millions of dollars, making it prohibitive for most organizations.

That is changing because a new Kitchener company called RealityCave is introducing the concept of time-sharing to allow users such as developers, architectural firms, government planning and transportation departments, hospitals, libraries and manufacturers to rent the caves. Read more on RealityCave provides 3D virtual tours before construction is finished…

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Thank yous for ISPR Presence Live 2012 conference

THANK YOU to everyone who made the ISPR 2012 conference in Philadelphia last week a success. The combination of well-delivered presentations of diverse, interesting projects, extended constructive discussion, and social activities was only possible because of the authors, presenters, participants and an outstanding organizing committee (Angela Cirucci, Maria Cipollone, Darren Bau-Madsen, Gino Canella, Julia Czaja, Justin Dowdall, and Patrick Nugent). Special thanks to Howard Lichtman of the Human Productivity Lab and  Telepresence Options, David Dando of the Interactive Multimedia & Collaborative Communications Alliance (IMCCA), and Tim Downs of Interwork Media, Inc.

Read more on Thank yous for ISPR Presence Live 2012 conference…

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Call: Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) – Special issue of Journal of Online Learning and Teaching (JOLT)

Call for Papers – Journal of Online Learning and Teaching (JOLT)
Special Issue: Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)

Proposal Submission Deadline: November 15, 2012
Full Paper Submission Deadline: January 31, 2013

Guest Editors:
George Siemens, Athabasca University, Canada
Valerie Irvine, University of Victoria, Canada
Jillianne Code, University of Victoria, Canada

Online learning is one of the fastest-growing segments of the education system. One of the recent innovations is the massive open online course (MOOC). Since 2008, numerous MOOCs have been run by public and elite universities. Most recently, Stanford, MIT, Harvard, and other universities have embraced the MOOC format through significant resource allocation. MOOCs are not solely confined to elite US universities, as the format is now offered by institutions and education systems around the world.

While MOOCs are beginning to burgeon in the higher education space, research in the area is still very limited. For educators, learning designers, and university administrators, making decisions around MOOC design and deployment can be difficult given the lack of published research. A special issue of the MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching (JOLT) is planned for Summer 2013 that will address the weak MOOC research base. Both papers reporting on empirical studies/evaluations (research papers, case studies) as well as conceptual and position papers will be considered for publication in the special issue (see for descriptions of the types of papers JOLT accepts). Topics of interest include but are not limited to the following: Read more on Call: Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) – Special issue of Journal of Online Learning and Teaching (JOLT)…

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Utherverse nabs a patent on scalable virtual worlds that can host unlimited users

[From VentureBeat]

Utherverse nabs a patent on scalable virtual worlds that can host unlimited users

October 25, 2012
Dean Takahashi

Utherverse is announcing today that it has won a patent to build a “scalable” virtual world, or one that can support an unlimited number of players in a single region of an online place. That could allow virtual worlds to achieve a critical mass for events like a convention or a concert.

In the past, you couldn’t do something like hold a concert in a 3D simulated world. A band like U2 could put on a “live” concert inside the world with a maximum of 50 to 100 users. That’s not enough to support a real business model. With the new technology, the band could play a concert for 10 million fans, all inhabiting the same virtual world venue. They might sell tickets for 25 cents and pull in revenue of $2.5 million for a single event. Utherverse says this kind of scale allows virtual worlds to become economically viable.

The company hopes to use the patent and the worlds it can build to get rid of what it calls “the flat web” and take us all into a 3D universe for cruising the web. It wants to enable everybody to do that in parallel. That’s a tall order, and one that many virtual world companies have died trying to build. Read more on Utherverse nabs a patent on scalable virtual worlds that can host unlimited users…

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Call: Agent-Directed Simulation Symposium (ADS’13)

Agent-Directed Simulation Symposium (ADS’13)
Bahia Resort, San Diego, CA, USA
April 7-10, 2013

Manuscript Submission: December 21, 2012.

Sponsored by The Society for Modeling and Simulation International (SCS).

Co-located with the Spring Simulation Interoperability Workshop (Spring SIW) 2013 organized and conducted by the Simulation Interoperability Standards Organization (SISO). The Theory of Modeling and Simulation (TMS/DEVS 2013) will be a sub-conference of SpringSim.

As part of the 2013 Spring Simulation Multi-conference (SpringSim’13; the 2013 Agent-Directed Simulation Symposium is a premier platform to explore all three aspects of the synergy of simulation and agent technologies. Hence, it has a special place within simulation and agent conferences, including agent-based (social) simulation conferences. Therefore the ADS symposium fills a gap in the agent community as well as the simulation community. The purpose of the ADS symposium is to facilitate dissemination of the most recent advancements in the theory, methodology, application, and toolkits of agent-directed simulation. Agent-directed simulation is comprehensive in the integration of agent and simulation technologies, by including models that use agents to develop domain-specific simulations, i.e., agent simulation (this is often referred to as agent-based simulation -when other two important aspects are not considered), and by also including the use of agent technology to develop simulation techniques and toolkits that are subsequently applied, either with or without agents.

Hence, agent-directed simulation consists of three distinct, yet related areas that can be grouped under two categories as follows:

  1. Simulation for Agents (agent simulation): simulation of agent systems in engineering, human and social dynamics, military applications etc.
  2. Agents for Simulation (which has two aspects): agent-supported simulation deals with the use of agents as a support facility to enable computer assistance in problem solving or enhancing cognitive capabilities; and agent-based simulation that focuses on the use of agents for the generation of model behavior in a simulation study.

Through the theme of agent-directed simulation, the symposium will bring together agent technologies, tools, toolkits, platforms, languages, methodologies, and applications in a pragmatic manner. In this symposium, established researchers, educators, and students are encouraged to come together and discuss the benefits of agent technology in their use and application for simulation. It is a way for people to discuss why and how they have used agent technology in their simulations, and describe the benefit of having done so. Read more on Call: Agent-Directed Simulation Symposium (ADS’13)…

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Simulated wounds prepare combat medics for real thing

[From The Orlando Sentinel]

[Image: Recently-completed fake body parts wait in bins at Simetri, Inc. in Winter Park on Wednesday, September 26, 2012. Simetri creates “vitrual wounds” used in training combat medics in war games. (Stephen M. Dowell, Orlando Sentinel]

Simulated ‘wounds’ prepare combat medics for real thing

By Richard Burnett, Orlando Sentinel
October 4, 2012

Torn from a soldier’s body by an improvised explosive device, the bloody, severed leg lay on the floor — a sight far too familiar for many of the Americans who have fought in wars during the past decade in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But this injury didn’t take place during some faraway battle; it was a highly realistic simulation, created by an Orlando-area company to help train U.S. combat medics around the world.

From massive leg injuries to faux bullet holes, war-wound simulation has become “makeup science” for Simetri Inc., which has assembled a team of engineers and Hollywood special-effects artists at its headquarters just east of Winter Park.

“These are the most realistic items we’ve ever seen in the market,” Simetri’s founder Angela Salva said recently as she displayed the simulated bomb-damaged leg. “We’ve gone to military-training sites where they train the medics, we see what their needs are, we’ve collected all that data and integrated it into our work to come up with the right products for the Army.” Read more on Simulated wounds prepare combat medics for real thing…

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