ISPR News: Presence and other activities at ISPR 2012

You won’t find a conference that takes better care of you. The ISPR 2012 Organizing Committee is planning a series of presence-related activities in Philadelphia for the Wednesday (October 24) before the formal conference presentations on Thursday and Friday. And some non-presence related activities too! Some of the details:

Activities for Wednesday October 24, 2012 (tentative)

The Comcast Center Lobby

Standing at a robust 975 feet tall, the newly opened Comcast Center is the tallest building in Philadelphia. The building features a public plaza with a gorgeous fountain display, a dramatic eight-story “Winter Garden” and an energy-saving “glass curtain” that wraps around the Comcast Center, allowing for a 360° view of Philadelphia’s urban landscape.

Most stunning of all, however, is “The Comcast Experience,” a 2,000 square-foot LED screen projecting computer-generated images so realistic, you’ll think they’re jumping out of the wall. With a resolution 500% greater than that of an HD television, the experience is a remarkable technological and artistic achievement.

Virtual Environment and Postural Orientation Laboratory (VEPO Lab) at Temple University

The lab uses virtual reality technology to provide a meaningful or unreliable visual environment and a dynamic posture platform with embedded force plates to produce physical instability. Motion analysis infrared cameras and electromyography are used to record changes in muscles and body motion.

Franklin Institute IMAX Theater & Augmented Reality for Interpretive and Experiential Learning (ARIEL)

The Tuttleman IMAX® Theater is a Dome theater that is truly unique in a number of ways. Unlike conventional dome theaters that are 180° encompassing, IMAX® Dome screens are also tilted at 30 degrees. The dome is over 70 feet across and 4.5 stories tall. In addition, 20,000 watts of amplifier power and over 50 speakers will make you feel like you are part of the action. An IMAX® Dome theater truly puts you in the center of the action. Films about dinosaurs (Flying Monsters), and vistas of the Canadian Rockies (Rocky Mountain Express) are being featured during the conference.

The goal of the ARIEL project is the creation of an exhibit platform that uses scientific visualization techniques to transform modern visitor interaction with traditional hands-on exhibits. The project will ultimately demonstrate an innovative solution to a key problem faced by science centers: the reinvention of the exhibit experience for visitors with changing 21st century learning expectations.

Augmented Reality Tours (using the free Layar app for Android or iPhone):

Not just Wednesday but at any point during the conference, attendees can go outside and explore the history of Philadelphia by tapping into augmented reality exhibitions. Also, proceed along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway toward the art museum to view AR artwork.

For more info about AR/Philly history, click here.
For more info about AR/Philadelphia Art, click here.

Other conference activities:

Philadelphia is a great city with interesting places to see, explore, and eat.

We have two events that require some planning ahead:

Eastern State Penitentiary / Jack’s Firehouse

On Friday night we’re organizing a group that will go to dinner at Jack’s Firehouse and then to a tour of the Eastern State Penitentiary (perfect for Halloween):

Eastern State Penitentiary was once the most famous and expensive prison in the world, but stands today in ruin, a haunting world of crumbling cellblocks and empty guard towers. Known for its grand architecture and strict discipline, this was the world’s first true “penitentiary,” a prison designed to inspire penitence, or true regret, in the hearts of convicts. Its vaulted, sky-lit cells once held many of America’s most notorious criminals, including bank robber “Slick Willie” Sutton and Al Capone. Its vaulted, sky-lit cells once held many of America’s most notorious criminals, including bank robber “Slick Willie” Sutton and Al Capone..

The cost is only $65 for a three course meal and a quick pass into the tour. If you’re interested in this event please visit this site  for more information.

If you would like to join us, please email Organizing Committee member Angela Cirucci at by OCTOBER 19, so that we can make reservations.

Saturday Morning Running Tour

On Saturday morning we will be hosting a running tour of the city. If you are anxious to get a workout in while at the conference this is the perfect way to do it. The distance and pace of the run will accommodate all runners. The cost is only $10 a person and will meet in the courtyard outside of the conference site. If you are interested in taking part in this scenic run, please let Angela Cirucci ( know by OCTOBER  24.

We’ll have much more information about the Wednesday night reception, the Thursday night conference dinner, interesting attractions in walking distance of the conference site and more – watch this space and check out the conference web site, Feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns. We look forward to welcoming you to Philadelphia…

Conference Organizing Committee:

Darren Bau-Madsen (Proceedings) –
Gino Canella
Maria Cipollone (presence activities) –
Angela Cirucci (local tours) –
Julia Czaja
Justin Dowdall
Patrick Nugent
Matthew Lombard (conference chair) –


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