ISPR Presence News

Monthly Archives: May 2016

Job: Researcher in HCI and Virtual Worlds at City University London

6 month Research Post
Centre for HCI Design, City University London
Salary: £35,609
Closing Date: 3rd June 2016

The Centre for Human-Computer Interaction Design at City University London is seeking to appoint a researcher with strong skills in building content for virtual worlds and accessibility.

This is an exciting opportunity for a highly-motivated individual to join a team working on technology for people who have had a stroke. The successful candidate will work on a project developing a virtual world, funded by the Tavistock Trust for Aphasia. The project is a collaboration between the Centre for HCI Design (HCID) and the Division of Language and Communication Science (LCS) at City University London.

EVA Park is a prototype multi-user virtual world where people who have had a stroke can practise their speech. It was developed by an earlier research project at City with funding from the Stroke Association and won the People’s Award in the Tech4Good Awards 2015. This project will deliver a new version of EVA Park that can be made more widely available to people who have had a stroke and to speech and language therapists. The successful candidate will develop new content for EVA Park, investigate the accessibility of input devices and package the software for deployment. The post holder will work closely with a speech and language therapy researcher working on a parallel project based in LCS.

The ideal candidate will possess: Read more on Job: Researcher in HCI and Virtual Worlds at City University London…

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Presence tech to let us record and re-experience precious moments and people

[This story from SFGate describes what may become one of the most valued applications of presence technology, the recording of precious experiences and people; it also highlights the way applications are often discovered inadvertently. –Matthew]

Ashley Scott and daughter Reese

[Image: Ashley Scott and daughter Reese at the 8i studio.]

Virtual reality archives memories

By Benny Evangelista
Friday, May 27, 2016

Virtual reality could become the archive of personal memories.

From a new mom tearfully re-experiencing her infant daughter six months later, to Paul McCartney remembering what led him to write a hit song, virtual reality startups have uncovered how the new technology can store human experiences like no other medium before.

“Imagine meeting your grandparents as young adults or as kids,” said Linc Gasking, CEO of virtual reality startup 8i. “Wouldn’t it be cool to have some of these recorded over the course of someone’s life? It’s going to be mind-blowing in the future.” Read more on Presence tech to let us record and re-experience precious moments and people…

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Call: Philosophy of Computer Games Conference 2016

Call for Papers

Philosophy of Computer Games Conference 2016
Malta, November 1 – 4, 2016

Submission deadline: June 10, 2016

We invite scholars in any field of studies who take a professional interest in the relation between philosophy and computer games to submit papers to the 10th International Conference on the Philosophy of Computer Games, to be held in Malta, November 1 – 4, 2016.

This year’s edition focuses on the theme of Knowledge. Games inspire curiosity – as we explore and experiment with a game, our engagement is to a great degree shaped by epistemic processes of inquiry and discovery. What knowledge is learned through playing a game? What does it mean to know a game? We invite papers tackling questions related to epistemology, knowing how versus knowing that, embodied knowledge, normative knowledge of rules, ecological knowledge and affordances, cybernetics, systems theory and knowledge.

We look forward in particular to receiving contributions that address the following areas of inquiry, though we are also open to contributions that identify different angles from which to engage with the topic of knowledge of games:

  1. INQUIRY, DISCOVERY, EXPLORATION AND EXPERIMENTATION. Is an attitude of curiosity intrinsic to play? Do epistemic processes of inquiry and discovery shape play? How do exploration and experimentation in games reflect, or depart from, the empirical processes by which we gain experience of the world?
  2. THE EPISTEMOLOGY OF PLAY. What do we know when we ‘know’ how to play a game? What modes of knowledge pertain to games? What rational concepts shape our experience of a game? Is the unknown, or the unknowable, a factor in games?
  3. KNOWLEDGE THROUGH GAMES. Can games and game design grant us extrinsic knowledge, and add to what we know about the world – as simulations, or as ontological, phenomenological or epistemological thought experiments?
  4. (PHILOSOPHICAL) KNOWLEDGE OF GAMES. As this conference series reaches its milestone tenth edition, it is time to take a self-reflexive look at its motivations and accomplishments. What knowledge do we seek to gain by thinking about (and with) games from a philosophical perspective? What epistemic methodologies can we employ to do so?

In addition to this central theme, the conference also features an open category, for which we invite welcome contributions that do not fit this year’s theme, but that nonetheless offer a valuable contribution to the philosophy of computer games. Read more on Call: Philosophy of Computer Games Conference 2016…

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New hybrid system gives telepresence robot arms human-like grace and precision

[This new telepresence robot – even though it’s just a torso and arms – is capable of impressively natural human movement and suggests another step toward rich social presence, including medium-as-social-actor presence. The video and images included with this story from Gizmag remind me of the interactions in the 2015 film Chappie, but of course those were created with special effects (see coverage in /Film). –Matthew]

Disney's hybrid telepresence robot plyaing patty cake

[Image: The hybrid robot playing patty cake (Credit: Disney Research)]

New hybrid system gives robot arms human-like grace and precision

David Szondy
May 13, 2016

Disney Research has come up with a glockenspiel-playing robot that can indulge in balloon toss … when it isn’t safely picking up fresh eggs. The telepresence robot uses a new type of hydrostatic transmission that combines hydraulic and air lines to provide more degrees of freedom as well as greater precision and delicacy of touch in a lighter, simpler design. Read more on New hybrid system gives telepresence robot arms human-like grace and precision…

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Call: UbiComp 2016 Workshop: Designing, Developing, and Evaluating the Internet of Personal Health

Workshop Call for Participation

“Designing, Developing, and Evaluating the Internet of Personal Health”
At the 2016 ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing (UbiComp 2016)
Heidelberg, Germany, September 12-16,

DEADLINE: June 7, 2016

We are seeing the growth of wearable systems supporting people with the management of chronic health conditions. With the merger of mobile health, internet of things (IoT) technologies, and patient centric design, we are seeing the development of a new area we are calling the Internet of personal health (IoPH). These wearable networks of connected devices have the potential to offer contextually aware personal support, interactions, and advice.

The goal of this one-day event is to bring together those interested in developing these systems to:

  • Provide a platform for designing autonomy into these systems.
  • Establishing a forum for discussion of technologies, techniques and measures of effectiveness.
  • Building and extending the IoPH community.

We invite contributions of research on UX, interface design, user needs, methods, algorithms, and hardware/software for IoPH systems. Participants are welcomed from a range of disciplines including but not limited to: personal informatics, computing, HCI, medicine, engineering, interface design, cognitive sciences, interaction and experience design.

Potential Topics for this workshop:

  • User studies of current digital technology adoption and engagement for chronic conditions.
  • Methods of prototyping, evaluating, assessing wearability and usability of IoPH systems.
  • Interface design for IoPH systems.
  • Data structures and methods for integrating and analyzing diverse personal data.
  • The role of behavior change models in IoPH design.
  • Embedding autonomy, personalization and customization into IoPH systems.
  • The benefits and limitations of AI, analytics and machine learning in health management.
  • Novel methods of capturing user data.
  • Privacy and Security for personal health data.
  • Mapping and exploring the ecosystems of user/devices interactions.

Authors are asked to submit a 4-page position paper in the SiGCHI extended abstracts format and supporting materials. Read more on Call: UbiComp 2016 Workshop: Designing, Developing, and Evaluating the Internet of Personal Health…

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Transporting jurors to crime scenes via VR

[The legal justice system is another application area for presence; this story is from BBC News, where it features more images and a video. For more information see the Digital Forensic Archaeology Project page and coverage in The Wall Street Journal. –Matthew]

Dr. Caroline Sturdy Colls

[Image: Dr Caroline Sturdy Colls said jurors would be transported into a “virtual world”]

Juries ‘could enter virtual crime scenes’ following research

Virtual reality technology used in the gaming industry could be adapted to recreate crime scenes for juries, researchers have claimed.

24 May 2016

A Staffordshire University project has experimented with technology and techniques to “transport” jurors to virtual crime scenes.

Associate Prof of Forensics, Dr Caroline Sturdy Colls, said it was the first project of its kind in Europe.

Staffordshire Police said it was “a concept” that could become significant.

The project, which received a European Commission research grant of about £140,000, uses green screens, the latest virtual reality headsets and technology from gaming, engineering and computing.

Dr Sturdy Colls said: “What we want to do is to come up with the best solution that helps the criminal justice system – help the police in their detection and recording of crime and then to help jurors in court to understand those crimes better that they ever did before.” Read more on Transporting jurors to crime scenes via VR…

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Call: Academic Mindtrek Conference 2016

Call for Papers, Posters, Demonstrations and Workshops

Academic Mindtrek Conference
17th to 19th October 2016
Tampere, Finland

In cooperation with ACM, ACM SIGMM, and ACM SIGCHI.
Contributions will be published in the ACM digital library.

DEADLINE: 27th June, 2016

We are pleased to invite you to the Academic Mindtrek conference, 17th to 19th October 2016. Academic Mindtrek is a meeting place where researchers, experts and thinkers present results from their latest work regarding the development of novel technology, media and digital culture for the society of tomorrow.

Academic Mindtrek is part of the renowned Mindtrek business conference. Mindtrek brings together people not only from various fields and domains but also from different sectors such as companies, academia and various other institutions. This is the perfect opportunity for pushing research results in the practice and industry, as well as getting out-the-box research ideas based on the interaction with industry and practitioners. Mindtrek events are accessible for the Academic Mindtrek attendees, and vice versa.

The academic conference features the following major themes:

  • Human-Computer Interaction (HCI)
  • Interaction design and user experience
  • Games and gamification
  • Virtual, augmented and mixed reality
  • Media education
  • Collaboration and multimedia technologies in education
  • Crowdsourcing and citizen participation
  • Open data and data science
  • New forms of journalism and media
  • Theatre, performance and media
  • Enhancing work in socio-technological environments

We are especially enthusiastic about applied research and papers related to practical work. Read more on Call: Academic Mindtrek Conference 2016…

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Microsoft patents ‘telepresence experience’

[Microsoft is working on a new ‘telepresence experience’ technology (will the use of the term ‘experience’ help clarify that presence is a property of the perceiver?). This story is from InAVate; the patent is available from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. –Matthew]

Microsoft telepresence experience patent

Microsoft patents ‘telepresence experience’

Charlotte Ashley
May 11, 2016

Microsoft continues to work on creating virtual environments that facilitate face-to-face communication with those who can’t make it to a meeting or gathering with it’s recently patented ‘telepresence experience.’

The patent details a system which appears to create the effect of talking through a glass to the other participant in video communications. Read more on Microsoft patents ‘telepresence experience’…

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Call: 2016 ACM SIGGRAPH Conference on Motion in Games (MIG)


The 2016 ACM SIGGRAPH Conference on Motion in Games (MIG)
Oct. 10-12, 2016, San Francisco, USA

Paper submission: July 7th 2016

The 9th ACM International Conference on Motion in Games will take place in San Francisco on October 10-12th, 2016 and will be co-located with the AIIDE conference (

Conference mission: Games have become a very important medium for education, therapy and entertainment. Motion plays a crucial role in computer games. Characters move around, objects are manipulated or move due to physical constraints, entities are animated, and the camera moves through the scene. Even the motion of the player is used as input to games. Motion is currently studied in many different areas of research, including graphics and animation, game technology, robotics, simulation, computer vision, and also physics, psychology, and urban studies. Cross-fertilization between these communities can considerably advance the state-of- the-art in the area. The goal of the Motion in Games conference is to bring together researchers from this variety of fields to present their most recent results, to initiate collaborations, and to contribute to the establishment of the research area. The conference will consist of regular paper sessions, poster presentations, as well as presentations by a selection of established researchers in areas related to games and simulation. The conference program will also include social events that foster casual and friendly interactions among the participants and an opportunity to interact with participants of AIIDE. MIG provides an intimate forum for researchers and practitioners to present their research results, inspire new ideas, and promote cross-disciplinary collaborations.

NEW this year! We are excited to have MiG and AIIDE co-located. We will have some exciting shared speakers between the two conferences. There will also be opportunities for participants to interact to help build important linkages between these two communities.

Please stay tuned for more information and refer to for regular updates! Read more on Call: 2016 ACM SIGGRAPH Conference on Motion in Games (MIG)…

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Live 4k, 360, VR and full-body avatars create presence at the French Open 2016

[This story from SVG Europe describes the many technologies being utilized to evoke presence for remote and in-person audience members for this year’s French Open tennis tournament; for more information about the Virtual Reality and the on-site RG Lab, see pages on the website. –Matthew]

RG Lab at French Open (from

Virtual Reality at the heart of France Télévisions Roland-Garros 2016 set up

By Catherine Wright
Friday, May 20, 2016

As Roland-Garros organisers prepare for the French tennis tournament beginning May 21, France Télévisions is again showcasing the group’s latest technology developments at the RG Lab, under the supervision of its Head of Innovations Bernard Fontaine. This year, the focus is on virtual reality and 360° production. For a start, all the matches taking place on the main Philippe Chatrier court, the Suzanne Lenglen court and the number 1 court are being broadcast live in 4K and in 360°. France Télévisions chose to highlight the technology of a number of French technology start-ups — notably VideoStitch — by using the company’s recently launched Orah 4i camera for the first time, backed-up by Intel’s Quick Sync encoding.

All 360° live operations are stored on cloud technology from another French start-up FireKast. The same company also developed a RG360° virtual reality app, which is freely available on iOS, Android or Samsung Gear VR. The app enables viewers to watch the matches of the courts mentioned above in 4K and in a full 360° environment, either live or in replay and to therefore totally immerse themselves in the tennis games.

In the RG-Lab, two other start-ups are demonstrating their know-how in the area of 360° production, Push Pull TV with a 36O° experience on Android TV and Arkamys, with its 360° immersive sound technology.

The replays of the 360° matches also feature on YouTube’s Live 360 player, on the francetvsport channel, as well as on Francetvsport’s Facebook site, as well as on the Roland-Garros Facebook site.

Avatar technology for the fans

But the broadcasting group is going a step further by enabling tennis fans to create their own Avatar. Roland-Garros visitors who wish to do so can step into a 3D scanning booth which will reproduce their entire body and create their own digital clone, which will then be able to play tennis in a totally virtual manner. The technology is developed by French-based Silkke, with the support of Nantes Métropole. Read more on Live 4k, 360, VR and full-body avatars create presence at the French Open 2016…

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