ISPR Presence News

Monthly Archives: January 2016

Call: iThrive Empathy Games Competition (part of Games4Health Challenge)

iThrive and the University of Utah Announce Empathy Games Competition

Initiative fosters development of digital games to promote empathy in adolescents

Contact: Heidi McDonald
iThrive Initiative
Heidi.McDonald@centerstone.org

Nashville, TN, 1/12/2016 – The University of Utah’s third annual Games4Health Challenge officially kicked off on January 11, 2016. With a total of $60,000 in prizes, the Games4Health Challenge invites gaming and health teams from across the globe to address real-world challenges facing well-being, home health and clinical needs via game design. The iThrive Empathy Challenge is one of five sponsored challenges, and will provide US$8,000 in prizes for the development of concepts for digital games that seek to promote empathy in adolescents.

The contest is open to developers worldwide, with no entry fee. Each team must contain at least one student; games must be digital and available to play on the web, and in English.… read more. “Call: iThrive Empathy Games Competition (part of Games4Health Challenge)”

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Long-term presence: This guy just spent 48 hours in virtual reality

[We usually study individual, brief presence experiences, but the ‘performance’ in this story looks ahead to when VR and presence is a way of life. It’s from The Creators Project, where you’ll find four more images and two videos. –Matthew]

Thorston Wiedemann in Disconnected

This Guy Just Spent 48 Hours in Virtual Reality

By DJ Pangburn — Jan 14 2016

After decades of broken dreams, virtual reality appears to be fulfilling its promise. It’s not just that the hardware and software are finally arriving with Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear headsets (motion sickness not excluded); it’s that artists, game designers, filmmakers, and other creatives are finally building substantial worlds for it. Along with this, certain individuals like Mark Farid want to see how long a human can live in virtual reality—as much for a feat of endurance as a performative act.

Predictably, given Farid’s ambition, he still hasn’t lived 24 hours a day for 28 days inside virtual reality.… read more. “Long-term presence: This guy just spent 48 hours in virtual reality”

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Call: VERSIONS 2016 – The Creative Landscape of Virtual Reality

Call for Participation

VERSIONS 2016 – The Creative Landscape of Virtual Reality

WHERE: The New Museum, Manhattan, NYC

WHEN: Saturday, March 5th, 2016

WEBSITE: https://versions2016.squarespace.com/

Versions aims to foster an interdisciplinary conversation about the creative landscape of virtual reality. We’re assembling a curated, intimate group of 200 artists, filmmakers, scientists, game developers, journalists, creative directors, technologists, advertising creatives, media execs, visual effects specialists and more.

Though virtual reality has existed in some form since the 1960s, and in the realm of science fiction for much longer, 2016 promises to be a breakthrough year for the technology with high profile product launches and major releases in games and film on the horizon.

Versions aims to shift the conversation around VR from one focused on tools and gadgets to a dynamic interdisciplinary discussion that will examine how this technology is being shaped and defined by artists, scientists, filmmakers, the gaming industry and more.… read more. “Call: VERSIONS 2016 – The Creative Landscape of Virtual Reality”

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Game creators put actors in VR for more natural motion capture

[No need to imagine what the game player will see – these clever people “injected an actor into a scene using VR” and then captured their performance; the story is from Ars Technica, where it includes the 3:50 minute explanatory video. See the studio’s blog for more information and images. –Matthew]

Teleprompter in VR during motion capture for The Gallery

Is this the world’s first full virtual-reality motion/voice capture session?

Actors combine mo-cap suit, HTC Vive to become characters, see virtual teleprompters.

by Sam Machkovech – Jan 13, 2016

Forget latex suits and white ping-pong balls. Motion-capture sessions for video games and films have only gotten more intense over the years, thanks to advances like improved, LED-loaded motion-capture outfits and the ability to see robust TV-screen renders of an actor’s performance as soon as a take is complete.

Of course, not every studio has a Peter Jackson-caliber budget for motion capture facilities, but the small development team behind upcoming VR game The Gallery: Call of the Starseed found an affordable path to capturing a human actor’s performance—and then remembered they already had one cutting-edge gadget handy: the dev kit for the upcoming HTC Vive virtual reality system.… read more. “Game creators put actors in VR for more natural motion capture”

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Call: Eurohaptics 2016

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to announce the second call for papers for Eurohaptics 2016. The conference will run from 4-7 July and will be hosted in London at Imperial College.

Technical papers can now be submitted to the Springer OCS system either via https://ocs.springer.com/ocs/home/EUROHAPTICS2016 or using the ‘submissions’ tab of www.eurohaptics2016.org.

Workshop proposals should be submitted via email (m.diluca@bham.ac.uk).

Deadline for technical papers and workshop proposals is the 1st February 2016

The conference seeks to cover all aspects of haptics, including

  • Perception and psychophysics in real and simulated environments,
  • Engineering and computing to provide effective haptic interactions,
  • Neuroscience
  • Creative haptics in design and the arts
  • Medical and surgical simulation,
  • Skills training,
  • Haptics in computer games
  • Human-machine interactions,
  • Rehabilitation,
  • Collaborative human-robot systems including rehabilitation robotics,
  • Haptic communication
read more. “Call: Eurohaptics 2016”
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Experience the Puppy Bowl in virtual reality

[Research question: Are puppies cuter when you experience them in VR? This story from Popular Mechanics (where it features a different image) mentions a few interesting possible sporting event applications of VR as the technology evolves. For information on the different ways to see the Puppy Bowl players in VR see the Discovery website and for full details on the event, see the press release. –Matthew]

Puppy Bowl in VR press materials

[Image: Source: PCProactive]

The Most Exciting (Dog-Related) Sporting Event Will Show Practices in VR

Why would you watch the Super Bowl when you can strap on some Goggles and go hog wild at the Puppy Bowl?

By John Wenz
Jan 11, 2016

Yeah, yeah, the Super Bowl is coming up and 114 million people are going to watch it even though the Jacksonville Jaguars aren’t playing. But the real beginning-of-the-year sporting event, outside of the Winter Classic, is the Puppy Bowl.… read more. “Experience the Puppy Bowl in virtual reality”

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Call: Image Temporality: The Relation of Time, Space and Reception of Visual Media (Yearbook of Moving Image Studies)

Call for Abstracts/Articles

Yearbook of Moving Image Studies
Image Temporality: The Relation of Time, Space and Reception of Visual Media

Deadline for Abstracts: August 1, 2016
Deadline for Articles: January 9, 2017

The double-blind peer-reviewed Yearbook of Moving Image Studies (YoMIS) is now accepting abstracts from scientists, scholars, artists and film makers for the third issue entitled »Image Temporality: The Relation of Time, Space and Reception of Visual Media«. YoMIS will be enriched by disciplines like media and film studies, image science, (film) philosophy, art history, game studies and other research areas related to the moving image in general.… read more. “Call: Image Temporality: The Relation of Time, Space and Reception of Visual Media (Yearbook of Moving Image Studies)”

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Nadine and EDGAR: NTU scientists unveil social and telepresence robots

[This news release from Nanyang Technological University highlights developments in robotics and artificial intelligence that help independently acting social robots and user-inhabited telepresence robots evoke presence. Pretty amazing, and progress is sure to continue… –Matthew]

NTU social and telepresence robots Nadine and EDGAR

[Image: Prof Nadia Thalmann (left) posing beside Nadine. NTU-built EDGAR telepresence robot (right).]

NTU scientists unveil social and telepresence robots

Published on: 29-Dec-2015

Say hello to Nadine, a “receptionist” at Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore). She is friendly, and will greet you back. Next time you meet her, she will remember your name and your previous conversation with her.

She looks almost like a human being, with soft skin and flowing brunette hair. She smiles when greeting you, looks at you in the eye when talking, and can also shake hands with you. And she is a humanoid.

Unlike conventional robots, Nadine has her own personality, mood and emotions.… read more. “Nadine and EDGAR: NTU scientists unveil social and telepresence robots”

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Jobs: PhD studentships in IGGI (Intelligent Games, Game Intelligence) at Goldsmiths, Essex and York

PhD Studentships at IGGI (Intelligent Games, Game Intelligence) at Goldsmiths, Essex and York

Full details: http://www.iggi.org.uk/apply/

The network (which includes Goldsmiths, Essex and York and is supported by UK’s EPSRC) focuses on R&D linking computer games with A.I.

At Goldsmiths, Presence research that relates to games includes:

  • movement computing (in relation to gestures, dance, sports, robotics, creative activities (art, music))
  • machine and deep learning: e.g. for the management and design of graphical assets
  • procedural genesis (e.g. of cities, characters, behaviours)
  • scientific visualisation, gamification and crowd sourcing.

Deadline to apply (up to 4 positions available at Goldsmiths, and similarly at York, Essex):
end of January.

Scholarships support fees and living wage for UK citizens and residents.
Other EU and abroad candidates may receive a fee waiver.

PhD program includes a pair of internships in industry (games or AI related).

List of supervisors (and their favoured research topics):
http://www.iggi.org.uk/supervisors/

Applicants will need to upload a good CV, a research proposal, references and other details.… read more. “Jobs: PhD studentships in IGGI (Intelligent Games, Game Intelligence) at Goldsmiths, Essex and York”

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Presence Picture #12: ‘Virtual Bowie Coupe’ on train to exhibit in Grongen, Netherlands

Virtual Bowie Coupe

“Train passengers take a virtual reality journey through the life of the British pop star David Bowie, which is exhibited in a ‘Virtual Bowie Coupe’ in the train from Zwolle to Groningen/Netherlands/.” The Getty Image is from The Telegraph on this sad day, 9 January 2016. After the virtual journey in the train compartment, the passengers can visit a new exhibition about David Bowie in the Groninger Museum, curated by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London; details from the museum are here.

RTV Oost [translated via Google] has more details, three other images, and a 1:32 minute video and 4:15 radio report (in Dutch).

The image below and a 1:53 minute video with excerpts of the virtual reality content can be found on the deStentor website.

Virtual Bowie Coupe

If you have information or comments about this or future Presence Pictures, please share them with our community by using the appropriate ‘comments’ link (note: WordPress spam filters are said to be overly aggressive, so if you don’t receive confirmation of receipt after you post, please notify us at ispr@ispr.info).… read more. “Presence Picture #12: ‘Virtual Bowie Coupe’ on train to exhibit in Grongen, Netherlands”

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