ISPR Presence News

Monthly Archives: August 2017

Job: Tenure Track Assistant Professor in Game Studies at UC Riverside

Tenure Track Assistant Professor in Game Studies
In the Department of Media and Cultural Studies at the University of California, Riverside
Job #JPF00788
https://aprecruit.ucr.edu/apply/JPF00788

Open date: August 28, 2017
Initial review date: October 30, 2017

The Department of Media and Cultural Studies (MCS) at the University of California, Riverside (UCR) invites applications for a tenure-track Assistant Professor position in the area of Games Studies beginning July 1, 2018.

Description:

We seek candidates with research expertise in Game Studies. Possible areas of interest include: gender and sexuality, queer and feminist approaches, critical race studies of games, serious games, indie games, political economy of games/media archeology, haptics and interface, gamification, game culture and identity, virtual/digital epistemologies and ontologies, narratology, ludology and other approaches related to digital media and games. Experience creating/coding/designing games, or in creating game-related or -based art and performance is a preferred qualification.… read more. “Job: Tenure Track Assistant Professor in Game Studies at UC Riverside”

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Using VR and presence to counsel lottery winners on coping with windfall

[Here’s an interesting use of virtual reality and presence: To help new lottery winners practice responding to hints and requests from family, friends and co-workers for a share of the windfall. The effort may eventually benefit a broader segment of society too because the last two paragraphs in this story from CTV News note that the project is a precursor to using VR to combat bullying and workplace discrimination. For more information see the Canada NewsWire press release. –Matthew]

[Image: Lottery winner Gilles Leprohon celebrates after receiving his cheque, Thursday, January 12, 2017 in Montreal. Credit: The Canadian Press/Paul Chiasson)]

Loto-Quebec to use virtual reality to counsel winners on coping with windfall

Cassandra Szklarski, The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Lottery winners in Quebec are getting a new way to practice saying ‘No’ when asked for money.

Loto-Quebec began offering virtual reality technology Wednesday to winners who might have trouble knowing what to do or say when faced with exuberant family members excited by their windfall, siblings offering unsolicited investment tips, or friends hinting that they’d like to join them on a big trip.… read more. “Using VR and presence to counsel lottery winners on coping with windfall”

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Call: Eleventh International Conference on e-Learning & Innovative Pedagogies

Eleventh International Conference on e-Learning & Innovative Pedagogies
St John’s University, Manhattan Campus, New York, USA
2–3 March 2018
http://ubi-learn.com/NewYork2018

Proposal deadline: 2 December 2017

CALL FOR PAPERS

The Eleventh International Conference on e-Learning & Innovative Pedagogies will be held at St John’s University, Manhattan Campus, New York, USA , 2–3 March 2018. We invite proposals for paper presentations, workshops/interactive sessions, posters/exhibits, virtual lightning talks, virtual posters, or colloquia addressing one of the following themes:

Theme 1: Pedagogies
Theme 2: Institutions
Theme 3: Technologies
Theme 4: Social Transformations
2018 Special Focus: Digital Pedagogies for Social Justice

SCOPE & CONCERNS

First we called it ‘computers in education’. Then it was the World Wide Web. Then it was the reincarnation the Internet in the form Web 2.0 and social media. For a long time, we educators have lived with enthusiastic talk about the implications of technology in learning.… read more. “Call: Eleventh International Conference on e-Learning & Innovative Pedagogies”

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An excitement/nausea dial for virtual reality

[A method to adjust the potential for users experiencing nausea in a virtual environment discussed in this story from MIT Technology Review could be expanded to adjusting the intensity and other attributes or types of presence. For more details about the VRemedy Labs project, see a recent post in the company’s blog. –Matthew]

Now There’s a Nausea Dial for Virtual Reality

A startup is building a game that will let you adjust the excitement—and queasiness—of your VR experience.

by Rachel Metz
August 25, 2017

Some people have no problem flipping and flying in virtual reality; others find this kind of activity literally sickening.

The problem stems from a disconnect between your eyes and your inner ear: what you see doesn’t always match up to what you’re feeling when you wander around a virtual environment with a headset on. It doesn’t bother everyone, but it remains one of VR’s biggest challenges to becoming a mainstream technology.… read more. “An excitement/nausea dial for virtual reality”

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Call: Bringing Together Interactive Digital Storytelling with Tangible Interaction: Challenges and Opportunities (ICIDS 2017 Workshop)

Call for Workshop Participation

Bringing Together Interactive Digital Storytelling with Tangible Interaction: Challenges and Opportunities
To be held within the International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling (ICIDS 2017; http://icids2017.m-iti.org/)
14th November, Madeira, Portugal
https://www.utwente.nl/ewi/hmi/cobotnity/icids2017tangibleworkshop

Abstract submission deadline: September 20th

The workshop aims to explore challenges and potential opportunities in bringing interactive digital storytelling into the realm of tangible and embodied interaction. Experts from both fields are invited to present and discuss their ideas. Besides fostering discussion and potential collaborations, the goal is to come up with new and suitable computational storytelling models and define design guidelines/strategies. We are especially interested in exploring open questions, such as:

  • How can we bring digital interactive storytelling and storytelling with tangible objects together?
  • How can we effectively include autonomous and intelligent tangible characters (e.g. small robots or active tangibles) when designing storytelling settings?
  • How can we embed computational models (typically working in virtual environments) into tangible interfaces?
read more. “Call: Bringing Together Interactive Digital Storytelling with Tangible Interaction: Challenges and Opportunities (ICIDS 2017 Workshop)”
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Can virtual reality and presence help to beat back pain?

[Presence can provide vivid and impactful experiences that change people’s knowledge, attitudes and behavior but that power must be used responsibly, as highlighted in the second part of this story from the Daily Mail; for more information see a 1:53 minute video from Getty Images and a 2:26 minute video on YouTube. –Matthew]

[Image from Framework Creative: We created spine medical diagnostic tool for a chain of chiropractors, Back To Health, determined to be at the cutting edge of their industry. Based on a multi-player platform, the patient moves around the virtual representation of their spine in VR whilst the practitioner manipulates and highlights the vertebrae to discuss and better demonstrate each patient’s specific situation.]

Why wearing a virtual reality headset may help to beat back pain: Software can create 3D images to help patients understand their problems

By Rosie Taylor for The Daily Mail
Published: 28 August 2017 | Updated: 29 August 2017

Looking at the skeleton suspended in front of me, I was shocked to see how crooked it was.… read more. “Can virtual reality and presence help to beat back pain?”

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Call: “Personalized Delivery of Cultural Heritage Content” issue of UMUAI journal

Call for Papers:

Special Issue on “Personalized Delivery of Cultural Heritage Content”
User Modelling and User Adapted Interaction (UMUAI) journal

Abstract due: November 30th, 2017

Digital cultural heritage is now a mature field, in which information technologies are used in the service of preserving cultural heritage. The digital form of resources allows for the exploitation of advances in data analytics, semantics, information retrieval, user interaction, profiling and personalization in order to develop new, exciting and stimulating cultural heritage experiences in tourism and education.

This special issue of the User Modelling and User Adapted Interaction (UMUAI) journal aims to form a reference point for the field of personalized delivery of cultural heritage content. We invite works that present and/or review the current state of the art in theory and practice, as well as promising recent advances in the area of aligning the delivery process for cultural heritage content to the needs, goals, characteristics and preferences of individual users and groups of users.… read more. “Call: “Personalized Delivery of Cultural Heritage Content” issue of UMUAI journal”

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There’s now a virtual reality cocktail (and yes, you do get a real drink)

[Vogue’s story below is about the use of presence to enhance the experience of drinking fine liquor. Forbes has additional details and Paste’s coverage includes this: “Currently, Rare Journey is only available at Baptiste & Bottle; however, [national brand ambassador] Raies says similar experiences will likely appear elsewhere once it has been fine tuned. For those looking to create an approximation of the experience at home, Raies recommends The MacallanVR app, which features the Rare Journey VR video. All you need is the cardboard VR viewer for your phone, a bottle of Rare Cask, and the sherry. If you don’t want to download the app, you can still check out the video on YouTube.” For details on the One Aldwych hotel experience see coverage in Conde Nast Traveler. –Matthew]

There’s Now a Virtual Reality Cocktail (and Yes, You Do Get a Real Drink)

August 23, 2017
by Jenny Berg

Today’s cocktailer has seen (and sipped) it all, from drinks made of actual trash to cannabis infusions and libations chilled with striped ice cubes.… read more. “There’s now a virtual reality cocktail (and yes, you do get a real drink)”

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Job: Fully funded PhD studentship in experience design for sensory storytelling at UWE Bristol

Fully funded 3-year Collaborative PhD Studentship – Experience design for sensory storytelling
UWE Bristol’s Digital Cultures Research Centre

Deadline for applications: Friday September 1, 2017

Applications are open for a three-year full-time Doctoral studentship, fully funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), to undertake practice-led research into creative forms that engage the senses beyond the audio-visual.

Emerging digital creative technologies are enabling the development of immersive experiences and installations that engage with audiences through senses including touch, taste, smell, thermoception, proprioception. This studentship, based at UWE Bristol’s Digital Cultures Research Centre, offers a unique opportunity for a practice-based exploration of this emerging field, and for the development of a body of work that will be of significant interest among creative practitioners seeking to engage with these novel practices.

Working closely with innovators in the field and through self-directed practice, you will explore approaches to the design and production of these immersive experiences.… read more. “Job: Fully funded PhD studentship in experience design for sensory storytelling at UWE Bristol”

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Siri’s voice to be more human in iOS 11

[This short story from iLounge summarizes and links to a detailed post by Apple about how the company is improving the “naturalness, personality, and expressivity of Siri’s voice” for iOS 11; click through to the bottom of that post to listen to several audio clips of Siri in iOS 9, 10 and 11 to hear the impressive differences. For other recent presence-related Siri news, see “AI Programs Are Learning to Exclude Some African-American Voices“ from MIT Technology Review and “To Win The AI Assistant Wars, Apple Is Melding Siri With Its Other Services” from Fast Company. –Matthew]

Apple publishes details of deep learning improvements to Siri voice quality in iOS 11

By Jesse Hollington
August 24, 2017

Apple’s latest post on its fledgling Machine Learning Journal provides some interesting insights into how the company is using artificial intelligence technology to not only improve Siri’s speech recognition capabilities, but to make the personal assistant’s voice sound more natural, smother, and provide more personality.… read more. “Siri’s voice to be more human in iOS 11”

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