ISPR Presence News

Monthly Archives: November 2015

Call: “Designing Moral Technologies – Theoretical, Practical and Ethical Issues” (conference)


Designing Moral Technologies – Theoretical, Practical and Ethical Issues
July 10-15, 2016

LOCATION: Centro Stefano Franscini (
on the Monte Verità near Ascona, Switzerland

Submission deadline: January 31, 2016

SCOPE: Many empirical disciplines, such as sociology, psychology, neuroscience and anthropology, contribute to a growing knowledge of the foundations, mechanisms, and conditions of human moral behavior in various social contexts. This knowledge provides a basis for moral technologies – interventions intended to improve moral decision-making that do not target deliberation itself, but underlying neurological or psychological processes, as well as technological mediators of human social interaction. Such technologies include pharmacological interventions (“moral enhancement”), social technologies for “nudging” people, and persuasive information technologies. This development raises important questions, such as: Are context-sensitive moral technologies possible? To what extent is it morally justifiable to bypass deliberation in pursuit of improved moral decision-making? Do moral technologies endanger ethical pluralism?

The conference will discuss theoretical, practical and ethical issues related to moral technologies. The conference will take place at the Centro Stefano Franscini ( on the Monte Verità in the southern part of Switzerland (near Ascona). Invited speakers include: David Abrams (University of Pennsylvania), Willem-Paul Brinkman (Technical University Delft), Rosaria Conte (Institute for Cognitive Science and Technology Rome), Molly Crockett (University of Oxford), Paul Slovic (University of Oregon), John Sullins (Sonoma State University), Ann Tenbrunsel (University of Notre Dame), Nicole Vincent (Georgia State University) and others.

CALL FOR ABSTRACTS: We welcome proposals for both papers and posters from all disciplines dealing with moral technologies (empirical disciplines, engineering, social sciences, and humanities). Possible topics include theoretical, conceptual, scientific, technological, ethical, and political issues and problems related to moral technologies. For example, proposals may present research on new types or the effectiveness of moral technologies, as well as assessments of the legitimacy of such interventions in concrete social contexts such as parenting, prisons, and companies. Read more on Call: “Designing Moral Technologies – Theoretical, Practical and Ethical Issues” (conference)…

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New Dispelix transparent display seamlessly integrates with eyewear

[This could be a huge step forward in augmented reality. The story is from E&T and for more information see the Dispelix website. –Matthew]

Man holding transparaent display

New display seamlessly integrates with smartglasses

11 November 2015
By Jack Loughran

A transparent display that can be integrated into an eyeglass lense has been developed by Finnish researchers.

The display allows for smartphone technology to be incorporated into eyewear in a more seamless fashion than devices such as Google Glass.

Unlike Google Glass, which projects an image onto an external prism to display information to users, the new technology is integrated directly into the lense itself to produce an effect that is similar to viewing a 60 inch television from a distance of three metres.

The researchers, from company Dispelix Oy, which is a spin-off from the Technical Research Centre of Finland, said the displays should be integrable with current smartglasses and will be made available to consumers within a year. Read more on New Dispelix transparent display seamlessly integrates with eyewear…

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Call: SimHealth 2016

SimHealth 2016
26-29 September 2016
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre Victoria, Australia

Call for Abstracts

The SimHealth Organising Committee is pleased to announce the Call for Abstracts for the 12th Annual SimHealth Conference, held under the auspices of Simulation Australasia’s Health Specialist Community, the Australian Society for Simulation in Healthcare (ASSH).

Simulation Australasia, the national body for those working in simulation in Australasia, will once again bring together the SimHealth and SimTecT conferences under the name of the Australasian Simulation Congress (ASC) with opportunities for a number of joint sessions of mutual interest. In 2016, the International Simulation and Gaming Association (ISAGA) conference will be incorporated into the ASC.

Click here to DOWNLOAD the SimHealth 2016 Call for Abstracts Brochure.

The SimHealth 2016 stream within the Australasian Simulation Congress will explore the theme LEADING FOR THE FUTURE. Read more on Call: SimHealth 2016…

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Slow TV: Take a 5-hour “Railroad Alaska: Real Time Train Ride” on Thanksgiving

[This example of “Slow TV” has particular appeal to me as a railroad enthusiast, though I think the commercial breaks will likely break viewers’ sense of presence. Three stories on the topic are below, the first from the Las Vegas Review Journal. –Matthew]

Bergen to Oslo NRK screenshot

Want to watch a 5-hour train ride? Because you can with slow TV

By Christopher Lawrence
Las Vegas Review-Journal
November 10, 2015

Much like prime-time game shows and singing contests, U.S. television is copying yet another curious European phenomenon: slow TV.

Spurred by the success that Norwegian public broadcasting has had airing everything from 12 hours of nonstop knitting to a 60-hour marathon of choirs performing the entirety of the Church of Norway’s national hymnal, Destination America is celebrating Thanksgiving with “Railroad Alaska: Real Time Train Ride” (9 a.m. Nov. 26).

The five-hour special will cover the journey across Alaska’s 500-mile-long railroad. No actors. No reality stars. Just whatever the cameras attached to the train happen to capture. For five hours. Read more on Slow TV: Take a 5-hour “Railroad Alaska: Real Time Train Ride” on Thanksgiving…

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Call: Collaborative Appropriation: How Couples, Teams, Groups and Communities Adapt and Adopt Technologies (CSCW 2016 Workshop)

Collaborative Appropriation: How Couples, Teams, Groups and Communities Adapt and Adopt Technologies

in conjunction with CSCW 2016

February 27th, 2016
San Francisco, CA, USA

Workshop Website:

Important dates:

  • 16th December 2015: Submission of Position Papers
  • 18th January 2016: Notification of acceptance
  • 25th January 2016: Camera-ready version
  • 27th February 2016: Workshop at CSCW 2016


Previous workshops and papers have examined how individual users adopt and adapt technologies to meet their own local needs, “completing design through use.” However, there has been little systematic study of how groups of people engage collaboratively in these activities. This workshop opens a discussion for these under-studied forms of collaborative appropriation, using a broad range of perspectives including field studies, design explorations, theoretical accounts, and critical reflections.


We invite scholars and practitioners with a variety of backgrounds, who share an interest in understanding collaborative appropriation and would like to reflect upon their experiences in this context, to submit a position paper on one or more of the following topics (or related to them):

  • Practical experiences in design for collaborative appropriation;
  • Flexible, open design and tailorability as support for collaborative appropriation;
  • Design goals, guidelines, and principles for collaborative appropriation;
  • Major drivers to design for collaborative appropriation;
  • Emergent roles (actors) in collaborative appropriation practices;
  • Characterization and differentiation of collaborative appropriation between couples, teams, groups, and communities;
  • Theories and methods for studying collaborative appropriation;
  • Lessons learned from other design movements and research domains to inform the design for collaborative appropriation.

Read more on Call: Collaborative Appropriation: How Couples, Teams, Groups and Communities Adapt and Adopt Technologies (CSCW 2016 Workshop)…

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A dazzling virtual reality rollout from New York Times

[This seems like an important step in VR’s history; the story is from The Boston Globe, and a related take on the New York Times’ rollout is available from Fortune. For more details and instructions see the Times. –Matthew]

NYT VR_ "The Displaced" - "they drop food"

[Image: Forbes]

A dazzling virtual reality rollout from New York Times

By Amanda Katz Globe Staff
November 10, 2015

On Saturday morning I did something unusual for someone who subscribes to The New York Times online: I texted a couple of print subscribers and begged them to check the bag on their doorstep.

I was looking for a print-subscriber freebie, a kind of inside-out media Cracker Jack prize where the prize was the box itself. To accompany a cover story in the Sunday magazine, the Times had shipped out more than a million units of Google Cardboard — a little two-lens, corrugated cardboard apparatus that, with a smartphone Velcroed inside it, allowed viewers to watch the first major virtual reality journalism story from the Times.

With this 11-minute documentary, “The Displaced,” which tells the story of three children of war from Ukraine, South Sudan, and Syria, the Times has made a bold entry into this nascent news medium. While ABC and Vice have released virtual reality stories this year, and the Associated Press and others have pieces in production, this was the first to become a genuine media event. Hundreds of people tweeted praise and photos of family members gazing into their Cardboards: “Mind blown,” one wrote. “The future of news,” said another. “Walked into a wall viewing the @nytimes #NYTVR stories. It may kill me one day, but I love it!” one man added.

Jake Silverstein, the editor in chief of the New York Times Magazine, said in an interview that the launch had exceeded his expectations. “You always worry with a new technology that you’re introducing to people that there will be some headaches with learning how to use it,” he said. But the reaction, Silverstein said, “was almost overwhelmingly positive.” More Cardboards will be coming, he added, with 300,000 digital subscribers receiving a code they can redeem for the device. Read more on A dazzling virtual reality rollout from New York Times…

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Call: European Conference on Cognitive Ergonomics (ECCE 2016)

CALL FOR PAPERS: European Conference on Cognitive Ergonomics (ECCE 2016)
6th – 8th September 2016, Nottingham, UK

ECCE 2016 is the 34th annual conference of the European Association of Cognitive Ergonomics. This leading conference in cognitive ergonomics, human technology interaction and cognitive engineering provides the opportunity for both researchers and practitioners to exchange new ideas and practical experiences from a variety of domains.

The main theme of ECCE 2016 is simulation, visualisation and digital technologies. We invite long and short papers, demo and poster submissions, and doctoral consortium applications. We also welcome proposals for panel sessions.


February 15, 2016, 5pm (CET): Due date for all submissions
May 2, 2016: Notification of acceptance
June 15, 2016, 5pm (CET): Camera-ready version of accepted contributions
July 16, 2016, 5pm (CET): Early registration deadline
September 5, 2016: ECCE 2016 Doctoral Consortium
September 6-8, 2016: ECCE 2016 Conference


We invite papers from researchers and practitioners which address the broad spectrum of ergonomics challenges and opportunities in the areas of simulation, visualisation and digital technologies. This includes, but is not limited to, the following topics:

  • Decision aiding, information presentation and visualization
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Cognitive process of design
  • Human Factors and simulation
  • Human decision making and problem solving
  • Design methods, tools, and methodologies for supporting cognitive tasks
  • Trust and control in complex systems
  • Cognitive task analysis and modelling
  • Motivation, engagement, goal sharing
  • Methods and tools for studying cognitive tasks
  • Situation awareness
  • Human learning behaviour
  • Human error and reliability
  • Resilience and diversity

Read more on Call: European Conference on Cognitive Ergonomics (ECCE 2016)…

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Lytro Immerge: Groundbreaking camera will let you move around in VR video

[This new camera and production system offers the promise of what Lytro calls “true live-action presence in VR” (in Mashable); the story below is from Wired, where it includes more images. A 3:43 minute video introducing Lytro’s Immerge is available on Vimeo; and see a story about Uncorporeal’s related technology in ISPR Presence News. –Matthew]

Lytro Immerge camera in woods

Lytro Immerge: Groundbreaking Camera Will Let You Move Around in VR Video

Tim Moynihan

Ever since Lytro burst onto the scene with its first light-field camera three years ago, it’s done things very differently. The company’s imaging technology has always been groundbreaking: They make still cameras that allow you to capture a shot, then decide where to focus and how to adjust the depth-of-field after the fact. All of a sudden, “fix it in post” applied to things that were never before possible in still photography—with a single camera, at least.

But Lytro’s first two cameras weren’t smash hits, for good reason. The company’s first consumer product, a little kaleidoscope-looking shooter with basic controls and a tiny viewfinder screen, was extremely limited for its $400-to-$500 price. Its second camera, the Lytro Illum, looked more like a DSLR and offered deeper controls. It also cost $1,600 and stumbled in key areas of usability. Neither camera could capture high-resolution images, and neither captured great image quality despite those innovative refocusing tricks.

They didn’t shoot video, either, but Lytro always teased that similar focus-after-the-shot features were possible with moving images, too—a Lytro camera that shot video was inevitable, really. Now it’s here, and it’s an entirely different beast than what most expected. Lytro has set its sights on capturing VR video, and the company is announcing a new end-to-end system that could radically change the possibilities for VR viewers and filmmakers alike. Read more on Lytro Immerge: Groundbreaking camera will let you move around in VR video…

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Call: Artificial Sexuality – 9th AISB Symposium on Computing and Philosophy

Call for Papers
The 9th AISB Symposium on Computing and Philosophy: Artificial Sexuality

AISB Convention, University of Sheffield, UK, from 4-6th April 2016

The Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and Simulation of Behaviour (AISB)

Symposium Website


Sexual activity is central to our very existence; it shapes how we think, how we act and how we live. It is deeply embedded in our society. With cognitive systems development being heavily influenced by human cognition, perception, and interaction, should sexual behaviour and sexuality be part of that influence? Previous research has examined what might happen to us if we form close relationships with machines and intelligent systems. We feel that this is only one aspect of what we term Artificial Sexuality, and suggest that there are multiple and equally important strands that have not yet been fully explored, including – but by no means limited to – modelling sex and cognition, embodiment, gender issues, reproduction, ethics, and law.

With cognitive computing trying to find a way for machines to learn and think, much of the research looks towards humans to understand our own cognitive processes. However, sexuality and sexual behaviour is largely ignored within the discipline despite its central role in human biological and social behaviour. Indeed the relation between sexuality, identity and intelligence is often presumed in evolutionary accounts of human development. Yet, given the hopes and aims of having a machine that is – for example – creative, could we also have a machine that could desire? And if so, what implications might lead from that in terms of sexuality, gender identity, and reproduction? For this symposium we will invite papers that engage with such topics, and seek to bring together a number of scholarly fields including computing, AI, philosophy, and psychology.


These include, but are not limited to: AI and sex/sexuality; gender and technology; robot companions; cognitive systems; human cognition, perception, interaction; machine relationships; modelling sex and cognition; embodiment; ethics; law; identity; machine reproduction. Read more on Call: Artificial Sexuality – 9th AISB Symposium on Computing and Philosophy…

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Study: What Americans really think about virtual reality

[The overall message from this new consumer study is that there’s great interest in trying and purchasing presence-evoking VR technology for a variety of activities (though apparently not communication/social VR); there are also some concerns (see the last paragraph). The story is from Fast Company, where it features more (full-size) infographics. –Matthew]

2015 Greenlight VR study infographic

What Americans Really Think About Virtual Reality

A new consumer study finds that minorities are more interested in VR, and Oculus is not No. 1.

By Daniel Terdiman
November 6, 2015

Minorities are more likely than whites to be passionate about virtual reality. And despite the attention paid to Facebook-owned Oculus in the media, Sony’s PlayStation VR is the most recognized brand.

These are some of the conclusions from a wide-ranging survey of consumer expectations and preferences about virtual reality that will be released Tuesday by Greenlight VR, a virtual reality analysis and research firm, and Touchstone Research, which conducts online market studies. Fast Company was given exclusive advance access to the data. Read more on Study: What Americans really think about virtual reality…

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