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Monthly Archives: October 2014

Call: Representation and Reality: Humans, Animals and Machines (UNLOG 2015 Workshop)

Representation and Reality: Humans, Animals and Machines

Workshop at UNILOG 2015, 5th World Congress and School of Universal Logic, Istanbul Turkey, June 20-30, 2015


Our workshop could be considered as the continuation of a part of the symposium “Computing Nature” organized by Gordana Dodig–Crnkovic and Raffaela Giovagnoli in the AISB/IACAP World Congress 2012 and “Representation of Reality: Humans, Animals and Machines” in the AISB50 Convention at Goldsmith 2014. We would like to offer a further occasion to discuss the problem of “representation” in humans, other animals and machines. It is closely related to the question what capacities can be plausibly computed and what are the most promising approaches that try to solve the problem.


We aim to discuss the following interesting topics related to the problem of representation:

(1) The point of view of connectionism and dynamical systems (Scheutz, Clark, Juarrero, Kaneko and Tsuda, O’Brien, Horgan, Trenholme) namely the different proposals about the possibility to rule out representation.

(2) A plausible strategy to analyze the problem of representation from a philosophical perspective implies the comparison between human and machine capacities and skills. Searle presented an interesting theory of representation based on the mind’s capacities to represent objects and to the linguistic capacities to extend the representation to social entities. For machine representation current results in AI and cognitive robotics are of interest.

(3) Evolutionary aspects of the development of increasingly complex capacities in (embodied, embedded) living organisms to process information in the interaction with the environment and as a consequence develop new morphological structures – morphogenesis, meta-morphogenesis. Read more on Call: Representation and Reality: Humans, Animals and Machines (UNLOG 2015 Workshop)…

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Presence Picture #9: A giant crawls out from the ground in Budapest

Budapest outdoor sculpture

Happy Halloween! This “monstrous and very unique sculpture” appeared in Budapest’s Széchenyi Square earlier this month. The polystyrene outdoor art work is titled “Feltépve” (“Ripped up”) and is by “polihysteric art designer” Ervin Loránth Hervé. It was created in affiliation with Art Market Budapest.

Read more on Presence Picture #9: A giant crawls out from the ground in Budapest…

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Call: WorldCIST’15 – World Conference on Information Systems and Technologies

WorldCIST’15 – 3rd World Conference on Information Systems and Technologies

Ponta Delgada, Azores*, Portugal
1 – 3 April 2015

* Azores is ranked as the second most beautiful archipelago in the world by National Geographic.


The WorldCIST’15 – 3rd World Conference on Information Systems and Technologies, to be held at Ponta Delgada, São Miguel, Azores, Portugal, 1 – 3 April 2015, is a global forum for researchers and practitioners to present and discuss the most recent innovations, trends, results, experiences and concerns in the several perspectives of Information Systems and Technologies.

Azores is ranked as the second most beautiful archipelago in the world by National Geographic. Consisting of nine distinct islands, each of them special, is in fact a place in the world to be visited.

We are pleased to invite you to submit your papers to WorldCISTI’15. All submissions will be reviewed on the basis of relevance, originality, importance and clarity.


Submitted papers should be related with one or more of the main themes proposed for the Conference:

A) Information and Knowledge Management (IKM);
B) Organizational Models and Information Systems (OMIS);
C) Intelligent and Decision Support Systems (IDSS);
D) Big Data Analytics and Applications (BDAA);
E) Software Systems, Architectures, Applications and Tools (SSAAT);
F) Multimedia Systems and Applications (MSA);
G) Computer Networks, Mobility and Pervasive Systems (CNMPS);
H) Human-Computer Interaction (HCI);
I) Health Informatics (HIS);
J) Information Technologies in Education (ITE).
K) Information Technologies in Radiocommunications (ITR) Read more on Call: WorldCIST’15 – World Conference on Information Systems and Technologies…

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OSHbot the robot is Lowe’s newest sales associate

[From Advertising Age, where the story includes a 2:30 minute video]

Woman interacting with OSHbot, Lowe's robot

Meet Lowe’s Newest Sales Associate — OSHbot, the Robot

Retailer’s Innovation Lab Seeks Answers to Shopper Problems

By Ashley Rodriguez. Published on October 28, 2014

Lowe’s is set to unleash a retail-ready, multilingual robot. The project is designed to help shoppers navigate stores quickly and easily.

“People want to come in and find exactly where they want to go,” said Kyle Nel, executive director of Lowe’s Innovation Labs. “And they want to have a conversation instead of trying to find a map.”

Customers can talk to the robot, OSHbot, like they to would speak to a typical sales associate, and it recognizes and responds in multiple languages. It’s equipped with a screen that shoppers move through “Minority Report-style” — it recognizes hand gestures made in front of the screen and can be used as a typical touch screen as well. OSHbot is also mobile and will roll up to customers to greet and escort them through the aisles.

Outfitted with a 3D scanner, OSHbot can help shoppers locate items, even if they don’t know what they’re called. For example, customers can scan a screw or nail brought from home, and OSHbot will search its database to locate it in the store or online.

The robots were born out of the Lowe’s Innovation Lab, an experimental department that works with science-fiction writers and startups to solve consumer problems with technology. Read more on OSHbot the robot is Lowe’s newest sales associate…

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Call: Conference on Virtual Worlds and Games for Serious Applications: VS-Games 2015

The Seventh International Conference on Virtual Worlds and Games for Serious Applications: VS-Games 2015 will be held in Skövde, Sweden between September 16th and 18th.

VS-Games 2015 aims to meet the challenges of the cross-disciplinary community that work around non-leisure applications of games and game technologies by bringing the community together to share knowledge and experiences. In 2015 we will also aim to bridge the gap between so called serious games and entertainment games. The reason we chose to do this in Skövde in 2015 is the strong interest of University of Skövde and Sweden Game Arena in both areas and we sincerely believe that we can learn from each other.

The conference will explore games and virtual worlds in relation to:

  • Applications (e.g. case studies, exemplars, practice examples) illustrating the practical usefulness and impact of serious games and virtual worlds
  • Applications of entertainment games technologies and solutions in non-leisure contexts
  • Methodologies, theories and frameworks (e.g. participatory design methods, mixed methodologies for data collection and analysis, cross-disciplinary methods)
  • Evaluation approaches and studies

Full call for papers and other information available from:

Read more on Call: Conference on Virtual Worlds and Games for Serious Applications: VS-Games 2015…

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Immersive tech and the future of porn

[From The Daily Beast]

Women wearing Oculus Rift

[Image: Elena Scotti/The Daily Beast]

‘Real’ Sex

Welcome to Oculus XXX: In-Your-Face 3D is the Future of Porn

Aurora Snow10.18.14

In 2015, experts claim that consumers will be able to use Oculus Rift’s virtual reality technology to have simulated sex.

The future of porn will be a lot more personal.

In the last few years, a new generation of consumer-friendly virtual reality (VR) tech has emerged, bringing childhood fantasies and science fiction to life, and offering experiences so incredible that users have reported confusion and disappointment upon returning to the real world. A recent Alien video game demo proved so realistic and frightening that it even led some to question whether or not it could induce heart attacks. It didn’t take long for the geek powers that be to figure out that this new tech would be revolutionary… for porn. Soon, consumers will no longer just be viewers but active participants—if they so desire. Read more on Immersive tech and the future of porn…

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Call: Pervasive Health 2015

Pervasive Health 2015
9th International Conference on Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare
Thursday 21st – Saturday 23rd May 2015, Istanbul, Turkey

Proceedings will be published by both IEEE and ACM

Submission Deadlines:
19th December 2014 (Full Papers, Short Papers, Workshop Proposals)
20th March 2015 (Posters, Demos, Medical Perspectives)
13th March 2015 (Doctoral Colloquium)

Organising Committee:
General Chairs –
Bert Arnrich, Bogazici University Istanbul, Turkey
Cem Ersoy, Bogazici University Istanbul, Turkey

TPC Chairs –
Anind Dey, Carnegie Mellon University, USA
Nadia Berthouze, UCL, UK
Kai Kunze, Osaka Prefecture University, Japan


Pervasive Health Conference is a premier international forum with specific focus on technologies and human factors related to the use of ubiquitous computing in healthcare and for wellbeing. The overall goal of the Pervasive Health Conference is to take a multidisciplinary approach to Pervasive Healthcare Technology research and development. The Pervasive Healthcare Community is addressing a broad scope of research topics and concerns: – identify and understand problems from a technological, social, medical, and legal as well as financial perspective (with a particular emphasis on understanding and supporting patients’ and practitioners’ needs); – design, implementation, and evaluation of supporting hardware and software infrastructures, algorithms, services and applications; and – organizational strategies that facilitate integration of Pervasive Healthcare Technology into the healthcare enterprise.

Traditional healthcare environments are extremely complex and challenging to manage, as they are required to cope with an assortment of patient conditions under various circumstances with a number of resource constraints. Pervasive healthcare technologies seek to respond to a variety of these pressures by successfully integrating them within existing healthcare environments. Technologies, standards and procedures on their own provide little and or no meaningful service. It is essential that pervasive healthcare environments, through a combined approach of data collection, data correlation and data presentation, assist healthcare professionals in delivering high levels of patient care, and empower individuals and their families for self-care and health management.

The Pervasive Healthcare Conference aims to gather technology experts, practitioners, industry and international authorities contributing towards the assessment, development and deployment of pervasive medical based technologies, standards and procedures.

Authors will be invited to submit their camera-ready papers in ACM format, to be published in ACM Digital Library and IEEE Xplore Digital Library. The acceptance rate was around 30% for Pervasive Health 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014. Selected papers may be invited for publication in a special issue of the journal Methods of Information in Medicine. We welcome contributions from the following fields:

  • Sensing/Actuating Technologies and Pervasive Computing
  • Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health Professions
  • Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW)
  • Hardware and Software Infrastructures

Read more on Call: Pervasive Health 2015…

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First feature-length VR film is just in time for Halloween

[From Gizmodo UK, where the story includes a 2:26 minute video]

Banshee Chapter banner graphic

The First Feature-Length Oculus Rift Film is Perfect Poop-Your-Pants Halloween Viewing

By Gerald Lynch on 27 Oct 2014

The focus with Oculus Rift may currently be on virtual reality gaming but, as we learnt at last week’s Interstellar VR experience, there’s room for the headset in Hollywood too. Now Oculus Rift has its first ever feature-length movie, The Banshee Chapter, a horror movie just in time for an immersive Halloween scare.

A modernised Lovecraftian tale, The Banshee Chapter (produced by Star Trek‘s Zachary Quinto) was first given a standard video-on-demand release back in 2013. Now its makers have teamed up with virtual-reality experts Jamwix to give the film a VR overhaul, retroactively adding headset support that “creates the sensation you’re inside the movie itself,” according to engineer Bill Booth. Read more on First feature-length VR film is just in time for Halloween…

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Call: “Costumes and Wearables as Game Controllers” at TEI 2015

Call For Participants

“Costumes and Wearables as Game Controllers” at TEI 2015

The “Costumes and Wearables as Game Controllers” studio aims to explore how researchers within the game design, and tangible and embodied interaction community can expand the expressive possibilities inherent in wearables and embodied interfaces by applying inspiration from costuming and fashion design to digital game interfaces. This will be a hands-on studio where participants will be provided the basic tools needed to convert any article of clothing into a prototype wearable game controller.

Participants Sought

We invite you to join us at TEI 2015 ( to prototype playful costume-based and wearable game controllers. No prior knowledge of wearable technology or game design is required. Space is limited, so preference will be given to participants who register for TEI before the early-bird deadline.

  • WHERE: Stanford University, Room TBA
  • WHEN: January 15th, 9:am – 5:30pm
  • APPLICATION DEADLINE: November 17, 2014 (Monday), midnight PST. Please submit your interest in the workshop by this date; see details below.
  • NOTIFICATION DEADLINE: November 21, 2014 (Friday). Accepted participants will be notified on this date. This is 2 weeks prior to the early-bird registration deadline for TEI.

Read more on Call: “Costumes and Wearables as Game Controllers” at TEI 2015…

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Podrift: Is podcasting ripe for virtual reality?

[From BBC News, where the story includes more pictures and a 1:09 minute video of the Podrift being set up and tested; for more information see the Podrift web site]

Podrift - An interview at sunset

Podrift: Is podcasting ripe for virtual reality?

By Dougal Shaw Technology reporter
20 October 2014

The key to podcasting’s success is, arguably, its simplicity. A new technology called Podrift wants to revolutionise the genre by giving it the virtual reality treatment – but is it just a gimmick?

Imagine if instead of just listening to the Ricky Gervais Show podcast, you could step into a virtual 3D world created by the hit show’s hosts?

You could walk around that world while listening to the musings of Stephen Merchant and Karl Pilkington.

You could crouch next to Gervais as he quizzed Pilkington. Stare up his nostrils. Sit on his lap.

Well that’s the kind of experience that Podrift wants to offer – using avatars, virtual reality headsets, and depth-sensing cameras.

The name Podrift is an amalgamation of Podcast and virtual reality system Oculus Rift.

Oculus was recently bought by Facebook and has also collaborated with Samsung, allowing its Galaxy Note 4 smartphone to become part of a virtual reality headset.

The team behind Podrift believes it has created a new kind of medium that combines the intimacy of the podcast, with the immersive qualities of virtual reality, and that it has the potential to become a popular, new form of entertainment. Read more on Podrift: Is podcasting ripe for virtual reality?…

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