ISPR Presence News

Monthly Archives: February 2017

Call: Embodied cognition symposium at Penn State March 22

[From Penn State News]

Arts and Design Research Incubator to host embodied cognition symposium March 22

Stephanie Swindle
February 20, 2017

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Arts and Design Research Incubator (ADRI) will host a symposium titled “Embodied Cognition and Communities of Practice” from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 22, in the ADRI, located in 16 Borland Building.

Embodied cognition is an interdisciplinary research program exploring the ways brains, bodies and environment interact to shape thinking and doing. The ADRI has gathered a panel of practitioners from different areas for a robust conversation, to be led by noted neuroscientist Michael Anderson, about how embodied cognition can transform fundamental thinking and practices in different disciplines. A better understanding of the relationship between the brain, body and environment proves essential for enhancing learning, studio practice, healing and social discourse. The symposium will also address questions about the relationship between embodied cognition and technology (including iPhones, digital medical records, tele-presence, virtual reality, and the rapidly changing ways individuals interface with the world and one another).… read more. “Call: Embodied cognition symposium at Penn State March 22”

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Google’s VR filmmaker on the future of the medium

[Jessica Billhart has some very interesting insights on VR and presence; this interview with her is from MIT Technology Review, where it includes several more images. –Matthew]

Imagining the Future of VR at Google

The search giant’s filmmaker on what the new medium does that film cannot.

by Jason Pontin
February 14, 2017

Jessica Brillhart is the principal filmmaker for virtual reality at Google, where she enjoys one of the most creative jobs in Silicon Valley. She makes VR experiences (including World Tour, the first film made with Google’s Jump system, a circular 16-camera rig designed to capture VR films) and conventional movies (or “flatties,” as she calls them), and she evaluates new VR technologies, such as Google’s own Cardboard, a cheap headset that works with smartphones. She spoke to MIT Technology Review’s editor in chief, Jason Pontin.… read more. “Google’s VR filmmaker on the future of the medium”

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Job: Research Associate position in Multisensory Interaction and Education at Bristol University

Research Associate/Senior Research Associate position in Multisensory Interaction and Education at Bristol University

Applications are invited for a three-year Research Associate/Senior Research Associate position in the Bristol Interaction Group (BIG Lab) within the Department of Computer Science at the University of Bristol.

The role is part of the EPSRC project “Crossmodal Interactive Tools for Inclusive Learning“, which aims at investigating novel multisensory learning and teaching technologies that supports inclusive interaction between visually-impaired and sighted children in mainstream schools.

We are using an iterative user-centred approach combining participatory design activities with empirical research into multimodal and crossmodal interaction to find out how different senses can be effectively integrated with visual capabilities to support group work. We are engaged with local schools to design and research multisensory tools for teaching and learning purposes, focusing on accommodating curriculum requirements and social processes surrounding collaborative learning.… read more. “Job: Research Associate position in Multisensory Interaction and Education at Bristol University”

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Virtual reality weather add-ons let you feel the sun and wind

[Here’s a short story about a new effort to add senses to presence experiences; it’s from New Scientist, where it includes a 0:41 second video; another video (“[CHI 2017] Ambiotherm: Enhancing Presence in VR by Simulating Real-World Environmental Conditions”) is available on YouTube. –Matthew]

Virtual reality weather add-ons let you feel the sun and wind

13 February 2017
By Timothy Revell

Virtual reality devices can already fool your eyes and ears. Soon your other senses will be fooled too, with the creation of a device that can bring the weather in your virtual world to life.

Nimesha Ranasinghe at the National University of Singapore is working towards the ultimate VR experience. Last year, his team showed how electrodes can be used to add sweet tastes into virtual reality. His new accessory, called Ambiotherm, adds atmosphere into the mix as well.… read more. “Virtual reality weather add-ons let you feel the sun and wind”

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Call: 17th International Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents (IVA 2017)

Call for Papers

17th International Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents (IVA 2017)
August 27-30
Stockholm, Sweden
http://iva2017.org

IMPORTANT DATES

Paper, Poster and Demo Submissions:

Submissions Deadline: 14 April 2017
Author Notification: 5 June 2017
Camera Ready Version: 10 July 2017

CONFERENCE

IVAs are interactive digital characters that exhibit human-like qualities and can communicate with humans and each other using natural human modalities like facial expressions, speech and gesture. They are capable of real-time perception, cognition, emotion and action that allow them to participate in dynamic social environments.

The International Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents (IVA) is an interdisciplinary annual conference and the main leading scientific forum for presenting research on modeling, developing and evaluating intelligent virtual agents (IVAs) with a focus on communicative abilities and social behavior.

SPECIAL TOPIC

IVA 2017’s special topic is ‘Situated Intelligent Agents’, that is, agents that have awareness of and/or make use of their environment (physical or virtual).… read more. “Call: 17th International Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents (IVA 2017)”

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IMAX opens first VR Experience Center to ‘jump start’ consumer VR

[IMAX has begun to implement its plans to speed the mainstreaming of VR; the two articles below detail the company’s plans and report on the new IMAX VR Experience Center in Los Angeles. –Matthew]

[From the Los Angeles Times]

[Image: A guest plays a virtual reality game based on Lionsgate’s “John Wick” at the Imax VR Experience Centre in Los Angeles (Imax Corp.)]

Virtual reality industry ‘in need of a jump-start,’ Imax CEO says at new VR center

Ryan Faughnder
February 15, 2017

Richard Gelfond, chief executive of big-screen company Imax Corp., unveiled his new virtual reality center Tuesday with a bullish plan to turn the nascent VR industry into a mainstream art form just like movies and video games.

It won’t be easy. The VR business, Gelfond said, remains stuck in its early stages for now and badly needs a “jump-start.”

Though Hollywood and Silicon Valley have been touting virtual reality as the next big thing for several years, there are huge hurdles to its adoption in the entertainment industry.… read more. “IMAX opens first VR Experience Center to ‘jump start’ consumer VR”

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Call: Robot Appearance and Behavior Design Online Survey

Call For Participants – Robot Appearance and Behavior Design Online Survey

In the future, service robots will become more and more common in our daily lives and will interact directly with humans. They must create a comfortable experience for their users and gain their acceptance. To this end, we are studying the design of robot appearance and behavior. In this survey, we invite you to watch short video clips of robots and answer some questions.

Study Essentials:

Carried out by the Vienna University of Technology (Austria) and the University of Geneva (Switzerland)
20 min(s) to complete
Prize draw, three € 50 Amazon gift cards
Online Questionnaire
No specific requirements

To find out more or to take part in this study visit:
https://www.callforparticipants.com/study/HMPN8/robot-appearance-and-behavior-design

Thank you for your time!

Best regards,

Christiana Tsiourti

Ph.D Student, M.Sc.
Institute of Service Science
University of Geneva, Switzerland… read more. “Call: Robot Appearance and Behavior Design Online Survey”

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Telepresence robots for chronically ill school children: Benefits and barriers

[The use of telepresence robots in businesses may have the potential to affect more people, but nobody is likely to benefit from their use more than the group discussed in this story from The Conversation (where it includes another image and a 9:35 minute video). The last two sections are particularly interesting and important – we need to help change the policies and perceptions that prevent school districts from more widely adapting telepresence robots, and as scholars provide objective evaluations of their impacts. –Matthew]

[Image: Too sick to attend school in person, but perfectly able to participate with a robot’s help. AP Photo/David Duprey]

How robots could help chronically ill kids attend school

February 15, 2017
Veronica Newhart, Ph.D. Candidate in Education, University of California, Irvine
Mark Warschauer, Professor of Education and Informatics, University of California, Irvine

Over the past century, American schools have integrated an ever-more-diverse group of students.… read more. “Telepresence robots for chronically ill school children: Benefits and barriers”

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Call: 3rd International Workshop on Virtual Social Interaction (VSI 2017)

Call for Submissions and Participation:

3rd Int. Workshop on Virtual Social Interaction (VSI 2017)
Date: July 6-7, 2017, CITEC, University of Bielefeld, Germany
Website:  https://sites.google.com/view/vsi2017/home

Submission deadline: April 20, 2017

Social interaction is at the core of being human, but the scientific study of social interaction is challenging. We have only a limited understanding of the behavioral patterns and the brain and cognitive mechanisms which allow interactions. New technologies like Virtual Reality, motion tracking, virtual humans and 3D avatars, can help us probe and measure human social behaviour without sacrificing the validity of the interaction. The data we gain allows us to develop and test new theories and models of the neurocognitive mechanisms underlying human sociality.

This interdisciplinary workshop will highlight new methods and new theories in the domain of social interaction, with a focus on the potential of VR and AI technology, and work towards a scientific understanding of how people interact.… read more. “Call: 3rd International Workshop on Virtual Social Interaction (VSI 2017)”

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How to get married in virtual reality

[As this story from Ozy notes, weddings in virtual reality aren’t new but they’re getting easier and more affordable; for more information, including a 0:51 minute video of Martin and Elisa using their robot avatars and exploring wedding settings in VR, see coverage in Wales Online. –Matthew]

[Image: Source: Wales Online]

How to Get Married In Virtual Reality

By Leslie Nguyen-Okwu
February 14, 2017

Martin Shervington and his fiancée, Elisa Evans, are one of those couples that make you want to gag. The kind that finish each other’s sentences, that secrete adorable when they hold hands, that decide between a beachside or a cliff-top setting for their gorgeous wedding in May. And as Shervington and Evans recite their perfect marriage vows, whether by a pebbled shore or atop a grassy bluff, their pink and blue avatars probably will gaze lovingly at each other with oversized robot eyes.… read more. “How to get married in virtual reality”

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