ISPR Presence News

Monthly Archives: January 2016

Naughty America VR pornography at CES: A first person report

[Though scholars too rarely study it, presence and sexuality is a fascinating topic – the story below is from Digital Trends, where it includes a 3:56 minute video. More reactions to the CES demonstration are detailed in coverage in PCWorld and Mashable (which features a 3:22 minute video); a thoughtful different analysis can be found in Slate. –Matthew]

Naughty America VR screenshot

[Image: Source: Slate]

I tried VR porn in a CES hotel suite, and I’ll never be the same

By Will Fulton — January 12, 2016

Porn has always been a trailblazer. Throughout the last few decades, the pornography industry has been an aggressive early adopter of emerging media technology, accelerating the general adoption of formats like VHS, DVD, and streaming video. Look back as far as ancient cave paintings and you can find sex; it’s one of the first things we do with any new medium. It should come as no surprise then that here at the dawn of feasible, widespread virtual reality, leading porn producer Naughty America is ready with VR porn for the masses. I tried virtual pornography last week in a hotel room cocktail party at CES. Read more on Naughty America VR pornography at CES: A first person report…

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Call: The Power of Presence – ISPR Preconference for ICA 2016 in Kyoto, Japan

[Please consider submitting an abstract, paper, poster or demo, and help us spread the word about this next ISPR event: ICA’s a great conference, Kyoto was just ranked the World’s Best City by Travel + Leisure magazine, and we have a very cool program planned. Join us in Japan this June! -Matthew]

ISPR 2016 graphic


The Power of Presence: Using Telepresence Theory, Research and Applications to Enhance Mediated Communication Experiences in the 21st Century

A preconference of the 2016 conference of the International Communication Association (ICA)
Co-sponsored by the International Society for Presence Research (ISPR)

June 8, 2016 (with optional demonstrations and guided sightseeing events June 7)

Submission of extended abstracts: February 8, 2016


Join us at Kyoto Research Park in Kyoto, Japan for an enlightening and enjoyable conference event two days before the 66th annual conference of the International Communication Association in Fukuoka, 9-13 June.

(Tele)presence is a state or perception in which we overlook or misconstrue the role of technology and feel present in the environments and/or connected to the people or things we experience via technology. It’s increasingly relevant to a wide range of media experiences and application areas. This preconference will introduce the centrality, pervasiveness, value, and power of presence phenomena, theory and research to scholars and practitioners within and beyond communication and deepen and update knowledge for those already familiar with presence.

The event will include a full day of invited and peer reviewed state-of-the-art presentations, and demonstrations; a keynote address from renowned Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro of Osaka University, creator of amazing humanoid robots and co-author of “Human-Robot Interaction in Social Robotics” (2012, CRC Press); and informal discussion, networking and fun. At the end of the day, all attendees are invited to a social dinner at an (affordable) nearby restaurant; we also hope you’ll join us for all or part of a day of demonstration visits and guided sightseeing on June 7 (the day before the event).

Keynote speaker Prof. Hiroshi Ishiguro with android version of himself

Registration is open to anyone and the costs (in addition to ICA fees) are modest: $50.00 USD for academics, $40.00 USD for students, and $90.00 USD for industry.

TOPIC AND OBJECTIVES Read more on Call: The Power of Presence – ISPR Preconference for ICA 2016 in Kyoto, Japan…

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Call: HRI 2016 workshop: 2nd Workshop on Evaluating Child Robot Interaction

Call for papers

HRI 2016 workshop: 2nd Workshop on Evaluating Child Robot Interaction
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand

Important Dates:
Position Papers submission deadline (extended): 1st February 2016
Notification of acceptance: 7th February 2016
Camera Ready: 15th   February 2016
Workshop Date: 7th March 2016 (Full-day workshop)


Submissions should be mailed to

Social Media:
Twitter hashtag: #evaluatingCRI
Facebook group:


Many researchers have started to explore natural interaction scenarios for children. No matter if these children are normally developing or have special needs, evaluating Child-Robot Interaction (CRI) is a challenge. To find methods that work well and provide reliable data is difficult, for example because commonly used methods such as questionnaires do not work well particularly with younger children. Previous research has shown that children need support in expressing how they feel about technology. Given this, researchers often choose time-consuming behavioral measures from observations to evaluate CRI. However, these are not necessarily comparable between studies and robots. This workshop aims to bring together researchers from different disciplines to share their experiences on these aspects. The main topics are methods to evaluate child-robot interaction design, methods to evaluate socially assistive child-robot interaction, and multi-modal evaluation of child-robot interaction. Connected questions that we would like to tackle are for example:

1) What are reliable metrics in CRI?

2) How can we overcome the pitfalls of survey methods in CRI?

3) How can we integrate qualitative approaches in CRI?

4) What are the best practices for in the wild studies with children?

Looking across disciplinary boundaries, we want to discuss advantages and short-comings of using different evaluation methods in order to compile guidelines for future CRI research. This workshop is the second in a series that started at the International Conference on Social Robotics in 2015 and will continue at the 11th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI 2016). Read more on Call: HRI 2016 workshop: 2nd Workshop on Evaluating Child Robot Interaction…

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Microsoft AR study projects life-size people into each others’ rooms

[This Microsoft project suggests the potential of AR to create social (tele)presence; the story is from MIT Technology Review; for a closely related 5:19 minute video, see coverage in Numrush. –Matthew]


Augmented Reality Study Projects Life-Sized People into Other Rooms

A Microsoft Research study uses augmented reality to project a life-size person into a room with you, perched in an empty seat.

By Rachel Metz on January 19, 2016

Nothing beats talking to another person face-to-face, but a group of researchers are considering whether a life-size projection of a person who appears to be sitting across from you in an actual chair might be a close second.

Room2Room, a project from Microsoft Research, does just this: it uses Kinect depth cameras and digital projectors to capture the image of a person in 3-D in one room and project a life-sized version of that person in real time onto a piece of furniture in another room, where someone else is actually hanging out, and vice versa. Each person can then see a digital image of the other with the correct perspective, look at the other person from different viewpoints, and interact accordingly, the researchers say.

A paper on the work will be presented at the Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing conference in San Francisco at the end of February. Read more on Microsoft AR study projects life-size people into each others’ rooms…

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Call: 9th International Conference on Game and Entertainment Technologies 2016

CALL FOR PAPERS – GET 2016 – Deadline for submissions: 8 February 2016

9th International Conference on Game and Entertainment Technologies 2016
Madeira, Portugal, 2 – 4 July 2016 (

Part of the Multi Conference on Computer Science and Information Systems (MCCSIS 2016)
Madeira, Portugal, 1 – 4 July 2016 (


The GET 2016 conference aims to bring together research and practice from creative, social and business practitioners and researchers in this challenging field. The focus of this conference is on design, development and evaluation of games, entertainment technologies and the nature of play. Topics for this conference include, but are not limited to:

  • Development methodologies
  • Design issues
  • Controversial issues – we welcome debate and dissension, for example; games as art, entertainment as purely for monetary returns etc
  • Special Effects
  • Animation
  • Mobile and ubiquitous games and entertainment
  • Serious Games – applications, critiques
  • Philosophical issues
  • Prototypes
  • Social and cultural uses of/for Play
  • Tools and technologies
  • Skills, strategy, rules and chance
  • Genre
  • Immersiveness and engagement
  • Research methodologies in creative practice
  • Usability and playability
  • User/player centered design
  • Psychological, social, and cultural differences in perception and participation
  • Communities, networks, social interaction and social capital
  • Cross-cultural and intercultural approaches
  • Assessment of exploratory learning approaches
  • Emerging practices

Read more on Call: 9th International Conference on Game and Entertainment Technologies 2016…

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The future of retail: Beyond stories told, to stories experienced

[Presence has a big role to play in the evolution of brick and mortar retail in the age of online shopping; this story is from Forbes, where it features more images. –Matthew]

Twas The Flight Before Christmas JC Penney VR

The Future Of Retail: Beyond Stories Told, To Stories Experienced

By Rachel Arthur
Jan 26, 2016

If you’d visited a mall housing a J.C. Penney store over the holidays, you may have been welcomed by a virtual reality experience that took shoppers on an immersive ride to the North Pole.

Created with marketing and technology agency Narrative, the “Twas The Flight Before Christmas” initiative was in place in four malls (one each in New York, Ohio, Arizona and Virginia), in a bid to grab consumer attention during the busiest shopping period of the year. It consisted of an Oculus Rift-based campaign where individual viewers could interact with reindeers and snowmen, as well as Santa himself, while a large screen was also set up for the rest of the audience drifting through the mall to enjoy.

VR is a hot topic in retail and fashion circles at present (not to mention gaming, entertainment et al), but this campaign wasn’t about using new technology, rather creating something that inspired and entertained consumers, and ultimately helped convert them into paying customers as well. Read more on The future of retail: Beyond stories told, to stories experienced…

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Call: ACM Symposium on Applied Perception – SAP 2016


ACM Symposium on Applied Perception – SAP 2016
July 22-23, 2016, Anaheim, USA

Paper submission deadline: March 25
Poster submission deadline: May 10

The ACM Symposium on Applied Perception (ACM SAP) aims to advance and promote research that crosses the boundaries between perception and disciplines such as graphics, visualization, computer vision, haptics and acoustics. These fields can benefit from the exchange of ideas. The scope of the conference includes applications and algorithms in any area of research that incorporates elements of perception and computer science.

Our thirteenth annual event provides an intimate, immersive forum for exchanging ideas about areas of overlapping interests. The ACM SAP 2016 conference will be held in Anaheim, California on July 22nd and 23rd, immediately prior to the 43rd International Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques (SIGGRAPH). We aim to further promote communication between the core perception and computer graphics communities.

We invite submissions of original work in all areas of applied perception. Relevant areas include:

  • Modeling, rendering, and animation
  • Visualization
  • Computational aesthetics
  • Haptic rendering, haptic input and perception
  • Computer vision
  • Color vision and color appearance modeling
  • Perception of high dynamic range scenes and images
  • Interaction techniques and interfaces
  • Augmented reality
  • Virtual worlds
  • Display technologies
  • Auditory display and interfaces
  • Perceptual auditory coding
  • Spatialized sound
  • Speech synthesis and recognition
  • Sensory integration
  • Multimodal rendering
  • Spatial and temporal vision
  • Empirical perception research
  • Attention and eye movements
  • Statistical learning and perception of natural scenes
  • Perception of shapes, surfaces, and materials

Read more on Call: ACM Symposium on Applied Perception – SAP 2016…

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‘Perspective; Chapter 2: The Misdemeanor’ lets users experience police brutality from both sides

[To me this illustrates the true promise of effective presence illusions; the story is from MTV and features two more images; more information on the VR project is available on the Specular Theory website. –Matthew]

Perspective; Ch. 2: The Misdemeanor - police confrontation

This Virtual Reality Experience Shows Police Brutality From Both Sides

“Perspective; Chapter 2: The Misdemeanor” is a harrowing VR project that lets you experience police brutality first hand.

by Crystal Bell
January 26, 2016

Most people think of video games when they think of virtual reality, but a burgeoning group of innovative filmmakers are producing narrative VR experiences with the unprecedented ability to affect us emotionally. This is why virtual reality is often referred to as an “empathy machine.”

This year, the Sundance Film Festival welcomed more than 30 VR experiences to its New Frontier program for emerging storytelling platforms. In 2015, there were only nine. VR’s tremendous growth is a testament to its impact. The ability to immerse someone into another person’s point of view isn’t just innovative, it’s a powerful tool to help enact real change. Take, for example, the gripping “Perspective; Chapter 2: The Misdemeanor.”

Created by filmmaker Rose Troche and virtual reality pioneer Morris May, this harrowing VR experience puts viewers in the shoes of two young, black men being apprehended by police, as well as the two white officers themselves. The entire experience consists of four five-minute videos that can be watched in any order. Each video not only represents a different point of view, but it also builds on the narrative, as new information is revealed, like whether the boy in question actually carried out the petty theft he’s accused of.

Unlike the tragic videos we see emerge online of police brutality, which have become all too common these days, “Perspective 2″ is meant to start a dialogue. Read more on ‘Perspective; Chapter 2: The Misdemeanor’ lets users experience police brutality from both sides…

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Call: Robophilosophy 2016


Robophilosophy 2016 / TRANSOR 2016
October 17-21, 2016
Aarhus University, Denmark


The “robotic moment” (Turkle 2011) is no longer on the horizon—we are living it now. Given the rapid development in social robotics, we are now at that potential turning point in human cultural history during which we need to react to concrete visions, by the robotics research industry, of placing artificial ‘social’ agents ubiquitously into the public and private spaces of human social interactions. How shall we respond? And who is to respond? If we are changing the ‘human condition’ at its foundations, can humanity rise to the occasion?

This conference is motivated by the premise that the challenge of social robotics can only be met by a joint research effort across disciplines–empirical and normative research must go hand in hand, from the very beginning of design.

The aim of this conference is thus to highlight and advance a growing realization in the HRI community that the issues of social robotics require that we address factual and normative questions at the same time.


The conference will feature about 100 talks in plenaries, special workshops, and parallel sessions of reviewed research papers. Read more on Call: Robophilosophy 2016…

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Go inside a Salvador Dali painting at new museum exhibition

[The application of virtual reality and presence to the work of surrealist Salvador Dali (and presence experience creator Walt Disney) seems particularly appropriate; this story is from the AP via Business Insider; a 1:16 minute promotional video, a 5:09 minute 360 degree navigable version of the experience, and more information, are available from The Dali Museum. –Matthew]

Dali VR exhibition graphic

Virtual reality experience highlight of new Dali Museum show

Beth J. Harpaz, Associated Press
Jan. 22, 2016

Visitors to a new exhibition at The Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida, won’t just be looking at art. Thanks to virtual reality, they’ll be exploring a Dali painting in a dreamy, three-dimensional world that turns art appreciation into an unforgettable, immersive experience.

The new exhibition, “Disney and Dali: Architects of the Imagination,” tells the story of the relationship between Salvador Dali, the surrealist artist, and Walt Disney, the great American animator and theme-park pioneer.

But the museum exhibition’s highlight comes after visitors have seen the Disney-Dali show’s paintings, story sketches, correspondence, photos and other artifacts. As visitors leave the exhibition area, they’ll be invited to don a headset to try the virtual reality experience.

Called “Dreams of Dali,” the VR experience takes viewers inside Dali’s 1935 painting “Archeological Reminiscence of Millet’s ‘Angelus.’” The painting depicts two towering stone figures along with tiny human figures in a bare landscape with a moody sky. Users can move around inside the painting, using Oculus Rift headsets to navigate a trippy three-dimensional environment that includes motifs from other Dali works like elephants, birds, ants and his “Lobster Telephone” sculpture. Read more on Go inside a Salvador Dali painting at new museum exhibition…

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