ISPR Presence News

Monthly Archives: November 2015

Call: Fourth International Conference on Human-Agent Interaction (HAI 2016)

Call for Papers

The Fourth International Conference on Human-Agent Interaction (HAI 2016)
Singapore, 4 -7 October 2016

Submission Deadline: 30 April 2016

The Fourth International Conference on Human-Agent Interaction (HAI 2016) aims to be the premier interdisciplinary venue for discussing and disseminating state-of-the-art research and results that have implications across conventional interaction boundaries including robots, software agents and digitally-mediated human-human communication. The theme for HAI 2016 is “Machine learning methods and multimodal interfaces to achieve social intelligence in robots, avatars, and virtual characters”. The conference seeks contributions from a broad range of fields spanning engineering, computer science, psychology and sociology, and will cover diverse topics, including: human-robot interaction, affective computing, computer-supported collaborative work, gaming and serious games, artificial intelligence, and more.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to,

  • designs and studies of Human-Agent Interaction, including quantitative and qualitative results
  • theoretical models of Human-Agent Interaction
  • technological advances in Human-Agent Interaction
  • impacts of embodiment (e.g., physical vs digital, human vs animal-like)
  • experimental methods for Human-Agent Interaction
  • character and avatar design in video games
  • agents in social network

This includes more targeted results that have implications to the broader human-agent interaction community:

  • human-robot interaction
  • human-virtual agent interaction
  • interaction with smart homes and smart cars
  • distributed groupware where people have remote embodiments and representations
  • and more!

Full papers, posters, late-breaking results, tutorial/workshop papers will be archived in the ACM Digital Library. Full details of the call for the submission types can be found at Read more on Call: Fourth International Conference on Human-Agent Interaction (HAI 2016)…

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Ford’s Drugged Driving Suit simulates driving under influence of Illegal drugs

[Evoking presence, in this case for an important educational simulation, doesn’t require highly sophisticated technology. Most of the media coverage of this draws on the Ford press release below; there’s also a 2:13 minute video on YouTube and International Business Times has a first person report and a 3:12 minute video. –Matthew]

Ford Drugged Driving Suit infographic

Unique Ford Suit Helps Teach Young People the Dangerous Effects of Driving Under the Influence of Illegal Drugs

DEARBORN, Mich., Nov. 20, 2015 – Ford Motor Company has created a unique suit to dramatically teach young people about the dangers of driving under the influence of illegal drugs.

Ford developed the suit together with scientists from the respected Meyer-Hentschel Institute in Germany to simulate some of the effects of drugs such as cannabis, cocaine, heroin, and MDMA (commonly known as Ecstasy); including slower reaction time, distorted vision, hand tremors and poor coordination. Read more on Ford’s Drugged Driving Suit simulates driving under influence of Illegal drugs…

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Call: The Third International Conference on Live Interfaces (ICLI) 2016

The Third International Conference on Live Interfaces (ICLI) 2016

Call for Proposals

The conference website:

The third International Conference on Live Interfaces will be held on June 29th – July 3rd 2016 at the University of Sussex in Brighton, UK. The conference will bring together people working with live interfaces in the performing arts, including music, the visual arts, dance, puppetry, robotics or games.

The conference scope is highly interdisciplinary but with a focus on expressive interface technologies for performance. Topics of liveness, immediacy, presence (and tele-presence), mediation, collaboration and timing or flow are engaged with and questioned in order to gain a deeper understanding of the role that contemporary media technologies play in human expression.

We wish to host work that will create a space of multiplicity, in order to investigate how disciplinary concerns inform different but overlapping approaches to interface design. The conference consists of paper presentations, performances, interactive installations, poster demonstrations, a doctoral colloquium and workshops. Works engaging with the principles and assumptions governing interaction design, including perspectives from art, philosophy, product design, and engineering are especially welcome.

We invite submissions that address critical and reflective approaches to key themes in the design and use of live interfaces. A wide range of approaches are encouraged by people from all possible backgrounds. The submission categories are the following: Read more on Call: The Third International Conference on Live Interfaces (ICLI) 2016…

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Impacto translates a virtual punch into a real impact

[Impacto isn’t just about boxing – it’s “a prototype for future gaming or telepresence interfaces “; the story from MIT Technology Review includes a different picture and a 0:30 minute video. If nothing else, read the succinct summary in the last sentence below. –Matthew]

Impacto VR

[Image: eTeknix]

Get a Virtual-Reality Punch, Feel Real Impact

Researchers in Germany have developed technology for an armband that lets you feel impact from virtual interactions.

By John Pavlus on November 11, 2015

Imagine playing a virtual-reality boxing game, complete with a menacing opponent aiming a haymaker at your head. You get your gloves up in time to block the punch, but you feel no impact when it hits, breaking the otherwise immersive experience.

Impacto, a prototype developed by researchers in the Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) lab at the Hasso Plattner Institute in Germany, sidesteps this deficit in mainstream VR experiences. The technology consists of an armband that combines basic haptic feedback (a tap or vibration on the skin) with electrical muscle stimulation to push or pull the user’s limb in a way that convincingly simulates a physical impact.

“It’s kind of an illusion,” says Patrick Baudisch, who leads the HCI lab. “We want the user wearing a VR headset to believe that he was really hit by something.” Read more on Impacto translates a virtual punch into a real impact…

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Call: Pervasive Health 2016


Call for Papers:
The 10th EAI International Conference on Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare
May 16-19, 2016. Cancun, Mexico

Keynote speakers:
Prof. Tanzeem Choudhury, Cornell University, USA
Prof. Alex Mihailidis, University of Toronto, Canada

Submission deadlines:
Abstracts of Full and Short Papers: January 11th, 2016
Full and Short Papers: January 17th, 2016

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.

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 2016…

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Take a mind-bending plane ride that never leaves the ground

[This looks like a very immersive, presence-evoking installation; the post from The Creators Project blog includes a larger gif, many more images, and the video. –Matthew]

Porta Estel-lar plane - inside view

[Image: GIF via, images courtesy the artist]

Take a Mind-Bending Plane Ride That Never Leaves the Ground

By Beckett Mufson — Nov 5 2015

File into the airplane. Find your seat. Buckle up. Instead of engines revving and cabin pressure falling, an array of LEDs sets the metal tube ablaze with light. Welcome to PlayMid’s (Playmodes + MID) new installation, Porta Estel·lar: the only destination is the psychedelic corners of your mind.

“Through the creation of visual and sound sequences that suggest the idea of interstellar travel, we make the audience fly to outer space in an intense six-minute trip, from departure and takeoff to the sighting of comets, planets, galaxies, crossing nebulae and visiting alien worlds, until finally returning safe to earth,” reads the project’s description. Essentially it’s an immersive experience on par with the boat scene from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, the black hole sequence in Interstellar, and 2001: A Space Odyssey‘s Star Gate, except you get to experience it in real life. Read more on Take a mind-bending plane ride that never leaves the ground…

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Call: 25th IEEE International Symposium on Human and Robot Interactive Communication (RO-MAN 2016)

IEEE RO-MAN 2016 Call For Papers, Workshops, and Tutorials
25th IEEE International Symposium on Human and Robot Interactive Communication (RO-MAN 2016)

Conference Date & Place: August 26-31, 2016, Columbia University, New York City, USA

Submission Deadlines:
Proposals for Special Sessions: January 15, 2016
Workshops & Tutorials: January 15, 2016
Full Papers: February 12, 2016
Interactive Session (Extended Abstracts): May 22, 2016
Demonstration Session: May 22, 2016
Video Session: May 22, 2016

This year, the IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (RO-MAN) for 2016 will be held from August 26 – 31, 2016 at Columbia University, Teachers College in New York City! The conference will highlight productive working partnerships between humans and robots by convening the theme of Human-Robot Collaboration that includes robotic use in research and design, and the development of robots that interact collaboratively with humans, and support human-human collaboration.

This coming year is the 25th anniversary of RO-MAN, and the organizing committee would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the progress that has been made in the robots/robotics field, as well as examine how the area of robotics is evolving in the areas of robot designs; interfaces and interaction modalities; robot autonomy and teleoperation; robot expressiveness; interaction kinesics; social/emotional learning and skill acquisition by robots; and design of best practices when optimizing for human-robot interaction.

In addition, the conference will explore new, broader definitions of robots/robotics, such as, robotic devices that augment human performance (both physically and mentally), architecture/platforms for operating robots, robots in space, ubiquitous robots, crowdsourcing human-robot interaction based on interaction style, virtual robot apps and virtual humans for future robot applications in education, robots in healthcare services, exoskeleton bionic devices, role of data analytics and robots, and implementing sophisticated cognitive mental models in robots.

Full details of the conference and submission types are provided on Read more on Call: 25th IEEE International Symposium on Human and Robot Interactive Communication (RO-MAN 2016)…

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HaptoClone could let you touch the person you’re Skyping with

[An early step toward the Holodeck? This is from Gizmodo, where you’ll find more pictures and a 3:45 minute video. See the HaptoClone website for more detailed information. –Matthew]

A hand reaches into HaptoClone

The Haptic Tech That Could Let You Touch The Person You’re Skyping With

Alissa Walker

I was skeptical. Two cubes sat side-by-side, looking like stripped-down 3D printers. I sat in front of one as instructed, and reached my hand inside, toward a floating disembodied finger. Just at the moment I knew I’d stab through the illusion, I had the ultimate “E.T. phone home” moment—I swear I could feel the other finger pressing on mine.

This was the magic and wonderment of HaptoClone, the creation of Shinoda Lab at the University of Tokyo. I tried it out at SIGGRAPH this week and even after donning dozens of VR goggles and gawking at hundreds of CGI renderings, this simple haptic device was the most interesting thing I experienced. Read more on HaptoClone could let you touch the person you’re Skyping with…

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Call: xCoAx 2016: 4th International Conference on Computation, Communication, Aesthetics and X

Call for X
xCoAx 2016: 4th International Conference on Computation, Communication, Aesthetics and X
Dates: 7-8 July 2016
Location: Bergamo, Italy
Deadline for submissions: 31 January 2016

xCoAx is an exploration of the intersection where computational tools and media meet art and culture, in the form of a multi-disciplinary enquiry on aesthetics, computation, communication and the elusive x factor that connects them all.

Since 2013, xCoAx has been an occasion for international audiences to meet and exchange ideas, in search for interdisciplinary synergies among computer scientists, artists, media practitioners and theoreticians at the frontiers of digital arts and culture.

The focus is on the unpredictable overlaps between the chaos and freedom of creativity and the rules and determinism of algorithms, between human nature and machine technology, with the aim to evolve towards new directions in aesthetics.

In 2016 xCoAx will go back to where it started: the S.Agostino campus of the University of Bergamo, a familiar place made fresh by exquisitely renovated premises where we look forward to hosting you and your work.

The xCoAx Organising Committee is very proud to announce that the keynote speaker will be Computer Art pioneer Frieder Nake, with a talk titled “The Disappearing Masterpiece”.


You are invited to submit theoretical, practical or experimental research work that includes but is not limited to the following topics:

  • Computation
  • Communication
  • Aesthetics
  • X
  • Algorithms / Systems / Models
  • Artificial Aesthetics
  • Audiovisuals / Multimodality
  • Creativity
  • Design
  • Interaction
  • Games
  • Generative Art / Design
  • History
  • Mechatronics / Physical Computing
  • Music / Sound Art
  • Performance
  • Philosophy of Art / of Computation
  • Technology / Ethics / Epistemology

Read more on Call: xCoAx 2016: 4th International Conference on Computation, Communication, Aesthetics and X…

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Can VR revolutionize live theater? Broadway’s ‘Lion King’ experiment

[This story from the Los Angeles Times is an interesting consideration of the possibilities for VR and presence in live theater. The original story includes the 5:02 “Circle of Life” in 360° video. –Matthew]

Lion King

[Image: Jelany Remy as Simba in the Broadway musical “The Lion King.” (Joan Marcus / Associated Press)]

Can virtual reality revolutionize live theater? Broadway’s ‘Lion King’ experiment

Steven Zeitchik
November 18, 2015

Since the dawning of the new age of virtual reality all the way back in, you know, 2014, the form has been beset by a major question: Can it revolutionize live theater?

After all, VR, with its real-time urgency and lack of traditional editing, is in many ways more suited to the stage than it is to film or television.

On Wednesday Disney’s live-theater division took a small but notable step in addressing that question. The unit, Disney Theatrical Productions, announced that it had commissioned and would be releasing a VR short of “Circle of Life,” the sensory-laden opening number from its long-running Broadway hit “The Lion King.”

The move marks the first known VR film for a major Broadway production and signals that a reluctance among the industry’s producers to experiment with virtual reality may slowly be softening. Read more on Can VR revolutionize live theater? Broadway’s ‘Lion King’ experiment…

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