ISPR Presence News

Monthly Archives: August 2016

Job: Senior Lecturer in Culture, Aesthetics and Media specialising in Interactive Media at University of Gothenburg

Senior Lecturer in Culture, Aesthetics and Media specialising in Interactive Media
Department of Cultural Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
Type of employment: Permanent post
First day of employment: By agreement
Reference number: PER 2016/265

Closing date for the application: 2016-09-15

At the Department of Cultural Sciences we offer courses and pursue research in Art History and Visual Culture, Children and Youth Culture, Cultural Studies, Ethnology, Film Studies, Gender Studies, Musicology and Scandinavian Studies. Whether the studies concern different kinds of specific cultural expressions or wider cultural perspectives, our shared aim is to explore a multitude of aesthetical, historical, communicative and meaning-making aspects of human interaction in contemporary society.


Culture, Aesthetics and Media specialising in Interactive Media


In an era of converging and participatory modes of production and consumption of media and arts, we need new combinations of research on ‘culture’, ‘aesthetics’ and ‘media’. We have therefore created the transdisciplinary subject area of Culture, Aesthetics and Media – a field of applied humanistic arts and media research that unites mediated aesthetic expressions and aesthetic dimensions of media technologies with questions about how media and art are produced, communicated and used. In order to improve research on production strategies, innovative processes, new audience behaviour as well as the art and media objects themselves, Culture, Aesthetics and Media requires a combination of specialists and generalists within humanistic arts and media research.

The Department of Cultural Sciences aims at developing its collaboration with research in Digital Humanities and Game Studies at the University. We are now seeking a researcher and teacher with interactive media expertise in one or more of the following areas: art history/visual studies, film studies, game studies, media studies and musicology. Read more on Job: Senior Lecturer in Culture, Aesthetics and Media specialising in Interactive Media at University of Gothenburg…

Posted in Jobs | Leave a comment

What it’s like to experience a virtual reality orgy

[The film Viens! is “an experiment meant to transform and ‘test the boundaries of intimacy, presence and empathy’”; this story from Broadly raises several interesting questions about the future of VR and presence experiences (the original story features more images and related links). –Matthew]

A kiss from VR orgy film (screenshot)

What It’s Like to Experience a Virtual Reality Orgy

If you thought real orgies weren’t nerve-racking enough, try sitting through a tantric sex film shot in 360 degree virtual reality.

by Katherine Templar Lewis
Aug 30 2016

“Put your feet on the ground. Don’t hold the headset. And breathe.” The experience will only last 12 minutes, I’m told. But 12 minutes is a very long time in the middle of a virtual reality orgy.

Where do I look? Every time I move my head, playful, naked writhing bodies loom out of a white billowing cloud of abstract space. They are looking right at me; they are all f*cking. My swivel chair swings me round and round, and inside my headset the world itself slowly turns upside down. There are bodies now above and below me. All smiling straight at me. I keep my hands still. I try to breathe. I try to set my face in a look of neutral artistic appreciation in case anyone is watching me. Twelve minutes is a long time…

This is my first sexual experience in VR: a real orgy filmed in 360 degrees, played around me in a virtual world, and I’m right in the middle. I’m arguably being very selfish, as I’m the only one here receiving and not giving. I can look, but I can’t touch anybody except myself—I’m guessing a warehouse in South Tottenham, London, surrounded by strangers on a Tuesday afternoon, is neither the time nor place. Am I a voyeur? Am I empowered? What the hell are the rules?

“Don’t be a dick and don’t be a pussy. It’s that simple,” smiles Carl Guyenette, the man leading me down this sexual rabbit hole. Guyenette’s orange dreadlocks tumble across his smiling face, which features multiple piercings. He is also the cofounder and creative technologist at SpheresVR and the creative behind the VR film Viens! (French for “Come!”), which I am currently experiencing. Read more on What it’s like to experience a virtual reality orgy…

Posted in Presence in the News | Leave a comment

Call: 2nd IEEE International Conference on Internet-of-Things Design and Implementation (IoTDI 2017)

Call for Papers

The 2nd IEEE International Conference on Internet-of-Things Design and Implementation (IoTDI 2017)
Held in conjunction with CPSWeek 2017 (
April 18-21
Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Full paper submission deadline: October 13th


A confluence of technological advances marks the advent of a new era. World data volume is growing at an unprecedented pace, much of it from embedded devices. Smart cities are expected to grow, fed by millions of data points from multitudes of human and physical sources. Cyber-attacks grow more nefarious, bringing down physical systems. Social networks are becoming ubiquitous, offering information on physical things. The separation between cyber, physical, and social systems is blurring. Collectively, these developments lead to the emergence of a new field, where the networking and physical realms meet. It is the field of the Internet of Things (IoT). This conference is an interdisciplinary forum to discuss challenges, technologies, and emerging directions in system design and implementation that pertain to this Internet of Things. This conference invites researchers and practitioners from academia, industry and government, and accepts original, previously unpublished work on a range of topics related to the Internet of Things.


Topics of interest include but are not limited to

  • Analytic foundations and theory of the Internet of Things
  • Reliability, security, timeliness, and robustness in IoT systems
  • Novel protocols and network abstractions
  • Data streaming architectures
  • IoT-motivated cyber-physical and Industrial-Internet Systems
  • Novel quality requirements and their enforcement mechanisms
  • Cloud back-ends and resource management for IoT applications
  • Personal, wearable, and other embedded networked front-ends
  • Social computing and human-in-the-loop issues
  • IoT-based adaptive and self-* systems
  • Applications and drivers for the Internet of Things
  • Industrial deployment experiences, case studies, and lessons learned
  • Evaluation and testbeds

Read more on Call: 2nd IEEE International Conference on Internet-of-Things Design and Implementation (IoTDI 2017)…

Posted in Calls | Leave a comment

A Dutch artist takes augmented reality into the clouds

[The installation described in this story from The Creators Project should evoke a welcome sense of spatial presence among travelers. The original includes different images and a 1:08 minute video, and for more photos and information see the project’s page on the Studio Roosegaarde website. –Matthew]

Woman walking by Beyond at Schiphol Airport

A Dutch Artist Takes Augmented Reality into the Clouds

DJ Pangburn — Aug 28 2016

If travelers happen to visit Departure Hall 3 of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, they may notice an immersive installation of clouds. Titled Beyond, Dutch artist Daan Roosegaard’s latest work is a “cloud wall” that creates the impression of a 3D cloud-laden sky vanishing into a great aerial distance. A beautiful feat of optical illusion, it is 100 meters long and 10 centimeters thick, and comprised of 160 billion pixels. Read more on A Dutch artist takes augmented reality into the clouds…

Posted in Presence in the News | Leave a comment

Call: The Synthetic Method in Social Robotics (SMSR 2016) at ICSR 2016

Call for Abstracts (1000 words)

Workshop on
The Synthetic Method in Social Robotics (SMSR 2016)
@ The Eight International Conference on Social Robotics (ICSR 2016)
Kansas City, USA
November, 1-3, 2016

Important Dates:
Abstract Due – September 25, 2016
Notification of Acceptance – October 05, 2016

We are interested in submissions of original HRI and Social Robotics research, or research from related fields relevant to the topic of “Artificial Sociality”. The submissions, in the form of an abstract (min 800, max 1000 words), should be related to the investigation of one or more specific aspects of the application of the Synthetic Method in Social Robotics and HRI (e.g. theoretical, epistemological, applicative, socio-cultural, ethical aspects). In particular, we are interested in abstracts presenting original research works related with, but not limited to, the following questions:

  • Is it possible to identify a set of human and/or animal social competences that can be considered as an essential condition of “social presence” and/or “social competence” in robotic agents? How can they be implemented in robotic agents?
  • Should “Artificial sociality” be rooted in human and/or animal sociality? Or should it be ideated and developed as a new form of sociality? What could be the origins and grounds of a specifically robotic sociality?
  • Is it advantageous to implement human and/or animal sociality in robots? To what extent? Are there situations in which the reference to human and/or animal sociality results disadvantageous? What are these situations? How can we avoid them?
  • Are there scientific (experimental) explorations that allow us to investigate the differences between robotic “social presence” and “social competences” grounded in human and /or animal sociality, and robotic “social presence” and “social competences” based on other grounds?
  • What are the models of the social mind that are currently embodied in functioning social robots? What can be / are their impacts on human social ecologies in which these robots are currently operative?
  • Are there scientific (experimental) explorations based on the Synthetic Method that can contribute to a better scientific understanding of human and/or animal sociality?
  • Which is the relevant unit of inquiry for the synthetic modeling of human and/or animal sociality – individuals, dyads or groups? Are there scientific (experimental) explorations that can support definite answers?
  • What are social competences that today are successfully embodied in functioning social robots? What can be / are their impacts on human social ecologies in which these robots are currently operative?

The main topics of interests are, among others:

  • Synthetic Method (Synthetic Methodology, Constructive Approach)
  • Theories of (artificial) sociality
  • Mixed Human-Robot Social Ecologies
  • Robot as test-beds for theories of sociality, 
emotions, empathy
  • Artificial Sociality, Artificial Empathy
  • Artificial Social Presence
  • Artificial Personality
  • Artificial Biographical Memory

Read more on Call: The Synthetic Method in Social Robotics (SMSR 2016) at ICSR 2016…

Posted in Calls | Leave a comment

No Man’s Sky is an existential crisis simulator disguised as a space exploration game

[As this story from Vox explains, the new game No Man’s Sky not only adds evidence to the debate about the possibility that our entire world is a convincing simulation, it raises deep questions about the nature and purpose of our lives. Here’s a quote from the second-to-last paragraph: “[B]y refusing to provide you with a purpose, it forces you to reconcile with the essential emptiness of its universe, with the pointlessness of a game whose only reward is the opportunity to continue playing the game. It is cold and lonely and empty and unsatisfying — and that may be the point. It is an existential crisis simulator, an infinite, interactive reflection on mortal ennui.” –Matthew]

No Man's-Sky screenshot

No Man’s Sky is an existential crisis simulator disguised as a space exploration game

It’s cold and lonely and empty and unsatisfying. It’s also worth your time.

Updated by Peter Suderman on August 27, 2016

At Recode’s annual Code Conference in June, venture capitalist Elon Musk made the provocative argument that reality is not reality at all, but a massive simulation built on top of some other reality.

“There’s a billion-to-one chance we’re living in base reality,” he said.

Musk’s idea isn’t a new one: Philosophers and science fiction authors have been toying with versions of it for years. But part of what made Musk’s notion interesting was that it rested entirely on a simple extrapolation from the trajectory of the video game industry.

“Forty years ago we had Pong,” he said. “Like, two rectangles and a dot. That was what games were. Now, 40 years later, we have photorealistic 3D simulations with millions of people playing simultaneously, and it’s getting better every year.”

Musk also cited advancements in virtual reality, noting that with any rate of improvement, games and reality will eventually be indistinguishable. It could take 10,000 years, he cautioned, but that’s “nothing on the evolutionary scale.”

Thanks to No Man’s Sky, a new video game from the indie studio Hello Games, you don’t have to wait 10,000 years. The game sets players loose in a massive artificial universe, with 18 quintillion — yes, that’s an 18 with 18 zeros after it — fully explorable planets, each the (virtual) size of a planet in our reality. The universe is procedurally generated, meaning that its planets and creatures are “built” on the fly, as you discover them, by an all-controlling algorithm, as opposed to being custom-made by a human designer.

Unlike most games, which program individual objects to behave as desired, there’s a consistent internal physics controlling everything in the game, from the flora and fauna to the rotation of the planets. The universe in No Man’s Sky is so big that no one, including its designers, will ever see all or even most of it. Exploring every planet would take billions of years.

Think of it as a very early stage proof of concept of Musk’s idea: a vast simulated reality built on top of our own. It’s a unique and fascinating experience that questions the nature of games, and perhaps even of reality itself. Read more on No Man’s Sky is an existential crisis simulator disguised as a space exploration game…

Posted in Presence in the News | Leave a comment

Call: IEEE Virtual Reality 2017

Call for Papers

IEEE Virtual Reality 2017: The 24th IEEE Virtual Reality Conference
March 18-22, 2017, Los Angeles, California

Paper abstracts due: September 12, 2016

IEEE VR 2017 seeks original, high-quality papers in all areas related to virtual reality (VR), including augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR), and 3D user interfaces.

Each paper should be classifiable as mainly covering research, applications, or systems, using the following guidelines for each:

  • RESEARCH PAPERS should describe results that contribute to advances in state-of-the-art software, hardware, algorithms, interaction, or human factors.
  • APPLICATION PAPERS should explain how the authors built upon existing ideas and applied them to solve an interesting problem in a novel way. Each paper should include an evaluation of the success of the use of VR/AR/MR in the given application domain.
  • SYSTEM PAPERS should indicate how the implementers integrated known techniques and technologies to produce an effective system, along with any lessons learned in the process.

Each paper should include an evaluation of its contributions, including benchmarking that was performed (e.g., latency or frame-rate). Read more on Call: IEEE Virtual Reality 2017…

Posted in Calls | Leave a comment

Google patents video conferencing drones

[There are certainly lots of challenges, but this new patent from Google is an interesting approach to creating effective and useful telepresence experiences. The story is from TechRepublic, where it includes different images; the patent is available from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. –Matthew]

A drone hovers at a booth during CES 2016

[Image: Source: Quartz; credit: AP Photo/John Locher]

Google may soon take conference calls to the sky with video conferencing drones

On Tuesday, Google was awarded a patent for a quadcopter with cameras and screens. But could it replace traditional video conference calls?

By Alison DeNisco
August 10, 2016

Conference calls may soon take flight, literally: On Tuesday, Google was awarded a patent for a video conferencing drone, complete with cameras, microphones, and projection screens.

While current video conferencing solutions allow multiple users to interface electronically with both audio and video, each user typically has to be sitting in a conference room or in front of their laptop. With Google’s video conference drone system, users could have more flexibility, and be able to move around different locations while on a conference call. Read more on Google patents video conferencing drones…

Posted in Presence in the News | Leave a comment

Call: 2nd International Workshop on Advancements in Social Signal Processing for Multimodal Interaction (ASSP4MI at ICMI2016)

Call for Papers:
The 2nd International Workshop on Advancements in Social Signal Processing for Multimodal Interaction (ASSP4MI@ICMI2016)
16 Nov 2016, Tokyo, Japan

held in conjunction with the 18th ACM International Conference on Multimodal Interaction (ICMI 2016)

Extended Deadline: 2 September 2016


In the last decade, an increasing need for affective and socially intelligent technology has been seen, partly caused by upcoming interactive technology that is enhancing our daily lives in our homes and at work. This has led to a significant increase of research in Social Signal Processing (SSP) in which the aims are to model, analyse, and synthesize social signals (including affective signals) and to develop socially intelligent machines. This body of work is inherently multimodal (e.g., eye gaze, touch, vocal, and facial expressions) and multidisciplinary (e.g., psychology, linguistics, computer science). Major research foci include the automatic understanding and generation of emotional and social behavior in specific situations. Applications are plentiful: the development of social robots, intelligent virtual agents, and smart environments are some of the application areas that will benefit from SSP research.

SSP research involves studying human-human interactions, as well as human-machine interactions. Large corpora consisting of spontaneous human-human interactions offer SSP researchers the opportunity to analyse and understand multimodal human behaviors, and to develop detectors and data mining algorithms. Mining large amounts of human-human interaction data can unravel relations between modalities that were initially hidden from the naked eye. Human-machine interactions on the other hand can be studied in order to understand how the socially intelligent technology developed affects how humans interact with machines.

Although many SSP-related applications already exist, the puzzle is far from solved. Major challenges include robustness of the applications and algorithms, the role of situational and user context in SSP, data collection and annotation, and unknown relations among multiple modalities. SSP is a continuously developing and lively multidisciplinary research domain, bringing along new challenges, methods, application areas and emerging fields of research.


We invite contributions, both research and position papers, addressing recent developments, challenges, and research results in SSP. Papers may relate to the following topics (please note that the list of topics is not exhaustive):

  • Data and annotation in SSP: novel corpora and annotation schemes, elicitation and data collection techniques, annotation issues, ethical issues in data collection
  • Methodology for SSP: improvements in recognition techniques, features, generation methods, evaluation methods, standardization
  • Modalities in SSP: how to fuse information from multiple behavior sources, how are they related to each other, novel modalities? Examples of information sources: eye gaze, voice, face, tactile information, physiological measures, accelerometer data
  • Multidisciplinarity in SSP: approaching SSP-related tasks from other disciplines such as psychology, linguistics, computer science etc. by using methods such as conversational analysis, phonetic analysis and others.
  • Application areas (including ‘special’ target user groups) in SSP and designing for SSP: social robots, intelligent virtual agents, smart environments, wearable technology, mobile phones, healthcare, physical and mental wellbeing, assistive technology, multimedia retrieval, designing for children and elderly, what is the killer application?

Read more on Call: 2nd International Workshop on Advancements in Social Signal Processing for Multimodal Interaction (ASSP4MI at ICMI2016)…

Posted in Calls | Leave a comment

Photographer June Korea explores living with a sex doll

[This fascinating interview with photographer June Korea explores the current and possible future roles of life-sized dolls and the medium-as-social-actor presence responses they evoke. The original story in Highsnobiety includes many images. –Matthew]

Eva: Still Lives by June Korea - Eva reclining on bed by window

Meet the New York-Based Artist Living With a Sex Doll

By Maddie Holden
July 27, 2016

We get a lot of strange emails here at Highsnobiety: newly formed brands and aspiring artists often reach out in the hopes of being featured, and plenty of these emails are attention-grabbing and unusual. However, South Korean-born and NYC-based artist June Korea stood out more than most.

His new work, Still Lives: Eva, is a staged documentary of a man’s life living with a sex doll and the images are certainly eye-catching. We wanted to dig deeper about what motivates an artist to explore this kind of subject matter, and, of course, we had the same question most people have: “Is this guy for real?”

We spoke with Korea about what motivated this project, what he thinks about sex dolls and his relationship with his own doll, Eva. Read more on Photographer June Korea explores living with a sex doll…

Posted in Presence in the News | Leave a comment
  • Find Researchers

    Use the links below to find researchers listed alphabetically by the first letter of their last name.

    A | B | C | D | E | F| G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z