ISPR Presence News

Monthly Archives: May 2013

Call: Museum Education Today: Synergies and Innovations in Multicultural Contexts (Special issue of Museum & Society)

Call For Papers

For a special issue of Museum & Society journal
Museum education today: Synergies and innovations in multicultural contexts

Guest editors Dr Stella Sylaiou & Dr Anastasia Filippoupoliti

We invite papers for a forthcoming special issue of Museums & Society which will explore the current state in museum education theory and practice. Our rationale begins with the notion that museums can engage new audiences, trigger aesthetic sensitivities, exercise creativity and imagination. In today’s multicultural societies, museums need to explore new synergies with educational institutions and develop innovative means to address educational challenges in engaging ways. In addition, information and communications technologies (ICT) as a burgeoning field of investigation provide to museums a plethora of tools to share resources and communicate broadly to a wide range of users.

The purpose of this special issue is thus two-fold: (a) explore the synergies developed by museums in order to address the impact of informal education in multicultural contexts and (b) the ICT innovations imported in enhancing learning in informal and non-formal contexts. Read more on Call: Museum Education Today: Synergies and Innovations in Multicultural Contexts (Special issue of Museum & Society)…

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VR expert Sebastien Kuntz: “VR can change the world with the right apps”

[From 3D Focus, where the story includes several additional images and a video]

Immersive Cocoon

[Image: Immersive Cocoon]

“VR can change the world with the right apps” says VR expert

May 20, 2013

Sébastien ‘VR Geek’ Kuntz is one of the world’s foremost experts on virtual reality.  A board member of the French national VR association AFRV, Kuntz worked at Virtools / Dassault Systèmes as the lead virtual reality engineer for four years.

He founded ‘i’m in VR’ to achieve his goal of providing the most immersive VR experiences to everyone. One of the company’s software tools – MiddleVR, won a Laval Virtual Award in 2012.

MiddleVR and MiddleVR For Unity are immersive virtual reality plugins designed to work with different 3D applications.  You can design something based on Unity and the software will configure the environments so they can be integrated into many different type of displays such as HMDs and CAVE environments.

In this exclusive interview, Kuntz reveals his thoughts on the state of VR and talks about how the MiddleVR software can speed up the creation of virtual reality applications. Read more on VR expert Sebastien Kuntz: “VR can change the world with the right apps”…

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Call: SIGGRAPH Asia 2013 Art Gallery & Art Papers

SIGGRAPH Asia 2013 Call for Submissions: Art Gallery & Art Papers




The SIGGRAPH Asia 2013 Art Gallery brings to ACM SIGGRAPH an exhibition of art in a major Asian city that reflects on the public domain as demarcated by the artist whose creativity is empowered by their access to a digitally-enabled means of expression.

Art can form an understanding of ideas not easily expressed by any other means. Shared themes form a collective understanding in an ever merging narrative of expression. The sensory aspect of an effort of artistic practice provides us with a glimpse of ideas made perceivable by the grace of their expression, taking us away from the distractions imposed by our senses into a vision that though defined by what we have experienced, creates a new future. The Art Gallery at SIGGRAPH Asia 2013 proposes to examine concepts of modernity enabled by digital approaches to art and art making. How do these new forms of expression impact us? In a world defined by ideas, to what degree are we and the world around us made from thoughts conceived in our minds?

The SIGGRAPH Asia Art Gallery 2013 welcomes proposals for art works and artistic installations that utilize digital technology including visual and sound works, public and private Augmented Reality (AR) installations, visual and sound focused performance installations, and in addition papers and talks that demonstrate visions of art for gallery contemplation and public spaces, excellence in the field of curatorial installation within museum venues, and theoretical papers discussing art in the context of technological determinism and contemporary art. Read more on Call: SIGGRAPH Asia 2013 Art Gallery & Art Papers…

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Playing God: Meet the man who built the most lifelike android ever

[From Digital Trends, where the story includes additional images]

David Hanson

Playing God: Meet the man who built the most lifelike android ever

By Andrew Couts — May 18, 2013

Next month, leaders in the world of robotics, neuroscience, and artificial intelligence will converge on New York City for the second annual Global Future 2045 Congress, an event devoted entirely to the quest toward “neohumanism” – the next evolution of humankind. GF2045 is the brainchild of Russian billionaire Dmitry Itskov, who’s made it his life’s goal to transpose human consciousness into a machine, thus giving us the power of immortality. (Really.)

Among those presenting during the two-day GF2045 conference is renowned roboticist Dr. David Hanson, who will unveil the world’s most lifelike humanoid android, designed in the likeness of Itskov. Founder of Hanson Robotics, Hanson is a true Renaissance Man, with a background ranging from poetry to sculpting for Disney to the creation of humanlike androids that are said to possess the inklings of human intelligence and even emotion. As we edge closer to GF2045, which takes place June 15 and 16, we chatted with Dr. Hanson over Google+ Hangouts to get his insight on mankind’s march toward the future. Read more on Playing God: Meet the man who built the most lifelike android ever…

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Call: “Designing and Evaluating Sociability in Online Video Games” – Special issue of Computers in Human Behavior

Special Issue of Computers in Human Behavior: “Designing and Evaluating Sociability in Online Video Games”

Special Issue Editors

Georgios Christou, European University Cyprus
Panayiotis Zaphiris, Cyprus University of Technology
Effie Lai-Chong Law, University of Leicester
Lennart E. Nacke, University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT)
David Geerts, KU Leuven


Computer games are at the forefront of technological innovation; their popularity in research continuously increasing. Their wide presence and use makes computer games a major factor affecting the way people socialize, learn and possibly work.

As increasingly more people become involved with computer games, researchers need to address various questions on topics as diverse as social impact, ethical questions, design, flow, presence, and game experience. This special issue will focus on bringing together work from various disciplines such as sociology, anthropology, computer science, human-computer interaction, psychology and others, that look at how to design and evaluate the social structures that make online video games so appealing. Read more on Call: “Designing and Evaluating Sociability in Online Video Games” – Special issue of Computers in Human Behavior…

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Second Life founder’s new virtual world uses body tracking hardware

[From MIT’s Technology Review]

High Fidelity avatar test

Second Life Founder’s New Virtual World Uses Body Tracking Hardware

Hardware that tracks your head, eyes and hands will make the follow up to Second Life very different to the pioneering virtual world

Tom Simonite
May 20, 2013

The founder of once-popular virtual world Second Life, Philip Rosedale, is working on a new 3D digital world that looks like it will be operated using gestures and body-tracking hardware. Rosedale declined to talk about his new company, called High Fidelity, just yet. But videos and other material posted online by the company suggest it is working on an impressively immersive virtual reality experience where you control an avatar using head and hand movements. Read more on Second Life founder’s new virtual world uses body tracking hardware…

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Call: Touch Me – Haptic Evaluation Methods for Emotional Experiences (Workshop at Mensch & Computer conference 2013)

Full-day workshop at the Mensch & Computer conference 2013 held in Bremen, Germany ( from 8-11th of September 2013.


Submission deadline: May, 24th, 2013, to
Notification: June, 26th, 2013
Submission format: 2-4 page position papers, formatted according to Mensch & Computer format (anonymized).


We plan to explore, discuss and collect ideas on haptic materials for evaluating users’ emotional experiences with interactive systems. Haptic evaluation materials allow for a qualitative, playful and holistic evaluation of emotional factors – without interfering with the users’ personal experience during interaction. This provides a tactile enhancement to classical visual or verbal-based evaluation methods and therefore includes users and participants with special needs that otherwise could face difficulties expressing their experience (UX-evaluation-4-all).

There are various methods for evaluating emotional experiences of users interacting with systems, e.g. emotion questionnaires, interviews and physiological measures. Most of these methods only rely on visual or verbal stimuli, do not capture emotion in a holistic way or are too invasive (e.g. physiological measures), interrupt the experiences of users or face other shortcomings (e.g. exclude blind, illiterate or users with lower cognitive abilities). Read more on Call: Touch Me – Haptic Evaluation Methods for Emotional Experiences (Workshop at Mensch & Computer conference 2013)…

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VRcade sets its sights on the next leap in immersive gaming

[From Gamespot, where the story includes an additional image and two videos]


VRcade Sets Its Sights on the Next Leap in Immersive Gaming

Using the Oculus Rift, VRcade’s engineers are designing what they believe will become the future of virtual entertainment.

May 8, 2013
By Peter Brown, Editor

The Oculus Rift has single-handedly revived public interest in virtual reality and it represents a tremendous leap forward from the immature head-mounted display tech that was touted so passionately in the ’90s. For developers interested in advancing the field of immersive gaming, it has already proven to be a catalyst of sorts, inspiring unexpected and offbeat experiences after a few weeks of experimentation (guillotine simulator, anyone?). It’s opening up previously unexplored avenues of expression for some creators, since it’s likely the first reason they’ve seriously considered designing software for virtual reality.

But there are some people and teams who live and breathe the hunt for immersion. They’ve waited years for the realization of virtual reality (wrap your head around that) to occur, and the Rift’s arrival is finally opening doors for projects that were previously roadblocked due to the lack of a viable headset. The team at VRcade in Seattle, which started tinkering with concepts for a large-scale virtual reality system back in 2010, saw the Rift’s wide field-of-view as the solution to their problem. They wasted no time in applying the display to their existing system designs, even going so far as to develop their own Rift-equivalent HMD in the interim between ordering and receiving their dev kit.

For their version of a holodeck brought to life, they’ve coordinated a system with full body and prop motion tracking working in conjunction with the Rift, designed to deliver a range of experiences like virtual laser tag and haunted house tours, to name a few. Promisingly, there’s already a working scale model of their system, with a handful of concept demos that showcase its unique capabilities. GameSpot recently had the chance to take a crack at a trio of early VRcade demos, and despite their unfinished state, each provided an excellent case for the team’s proposed version of advanced virtual reality. Read more on VRcade sets its sights on the next leap in immersive gaming…

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Call: Workshop on Mediated Touch and Affect (MeTA) at ACII 2013

Workshop on Mediated Touch and Affect (MeTA)

Conference: The fifth biannual Humaine Association Conference on Affective Computing and Intelligent Interaction (ACII 2013).

2-5 September 2013, Geneva, Switzerland


DEADLINE: 24th of May


Our sense of touch allows us to feel shapes, textures and temperatures, and we use these sensations to haptically explore the world around us, and manipulate objects. However, touch can also be hedonically pleasant, such as the smooth feel of finely crafted piece of wooden furniture, or the subtleness of a silk dress. Moreover, touch is a central modality in human-to-human communication. Touch can communicate positive or negative emotions, or serve as an intensifier of emotional displays from other modalities. Recent advances in haptic technology have spurred the development of prototypes that aim to mediate touch. These prototypes make it possible to experience tactile sensations, or engage in social touch at a distance, adding a rich affective channel to interaction with digital systems, and remote communication.

The main aim of the workshop is to bring together researchers from diverse communities, such as affective computing, haptics, augmented reality, communication, design, psychology, human-robot interaction, and telepresence. The goal is to discuss the current state of, and the future directions for, research in aspects of the touch-technology-affect triangle (as it is exemplified in mediated social touch); to highlight good case studies; to reflect on the methodological issues; and to brainstorm about applications. We welcome papers that deal with touch, and haptic technologies in relation to affect. Read more on Call: Workshop on Mediated Touch and Affect (MeTA) at ACII 2013…

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Mind-controlled prostheses offer hope for disabled

[From The Washington Post, where the story includes a large photo gallery]

Walk Again Project

Mind-controlled prostheses offer hope for disabled

By Devin Powell, Published: May 6

The first kick of the 2014 FIFA World Cup may be delivered in Sao Paulo next June by a Brazilian who is paralyzed from the waist down. If all goes according to plan, the teenager will walk onto the field, cock back a foot and swing at the soccer ball, using a mechanical exoskeleton controlled by the teen’s brain.

Motorized metal braces tested on monkeys will support and bend the kicker’s legs. The braces will be stabilized by gyroscopes and powered by a battery carried by the kicker in a backpack. German-made sensors will relay a feeling of pressure when each foot touches the ground. And months of training on a virtual-reality simulator will have prepared the teenager — selected from a pool of 10 candidates — to do all this using a device that translates thoughts into actions.

“We want to galvanize people’s imaginations,” says Miguel Nicolelis, the Brazilian neuroscientist at Duke University who is leading the Walk Again Project’s efforts to create the robotic suit. “With enough political will and investment, we could make wheelchairs obsolete.”

Mind-controlled leg armor may sound more like the movie “Iron Man” than modern medicine. But after decades of testing on rats and monkeys, neuroprosthetics are finally beginning to show promise for people. Devices plugged directly into the brain seem capable of restoring some self-reliance to stroke victims, car crash survivors, injured soldiers and others hampered by incapacitated or missing limbs. Read more on Mind-controlled prostheses offer hope for disabled…

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