ISPR Presence News

Monthly Archives: September 2017

ISPR Presence News returns Thursday September 21

ISPR Presence News returns Thursday September 21

ISPR Presence News is taking a short break while I participate in IBC2017 in Amsterdam. Publication will resume on Thursday September 21. In the meantime, if you’re interested in more presence-related news and fun stuff, please join our open/public/free ISPR Presence Community Facebook group.

Read more on ISPR Presence News returns Thursday September 21…

Posted in ISPR News | Leave a comment

VR web browsing needs revolution more than evolution

[This story from Digital Trends is a realistic, and in the end hopeful, look at what it’ll take to turn browsing the web into a presence-evoking experience; the original version includes a second image and two videos. –Matthew]

VR Web Browsing Needs Revolution More Than Evolution

By Jon Martindale
September 9, 2017

Virtual reality has given us new ways to play games, and has the potential to bring us closer to loved ones around the world, but it’s yet nail down how to let us browse the internet properly. We’re still far from having a VR headset replace an entire desktop work machine, or be a better conduit to online video than your smartphone.

Books and movies from the early days of computing romanced us with the possibilities. Neuromancer, Johnny Mnemonic, and many of their techy-contemporaries imagined a future where the internet was something we moved through with physical motion and gestures. While some aspects of their predictions seem silly now, an argument could be made that they’re a better interpretation of what VR web browsing could be than the rehashed 2D internet we can view in VR today.

There are many companies looking to move us towards an overhauled VR internet future, but as it stands now, the experience is barebones and far from what it needs to be. As VR web browsing becomes more comfortable, it seems more apparent than ever that we need an entirely new way of accessing information online. Read more on VR web browsing needs revolution more than evolution…

Posted in Presence in the News | Leave a comment

Call: 11th Annual International Conference on Computer Games Multimedia and Allied Technologies (CGAT 2018)


11th Annual International Conference on Computer Games Multimedia and Allied Technologies (CGAT 2018)
11th – 12th June 2018, Singapore

Full Paper Submission Deadline: 8 January 2018


For the past 10 years, the annual CGAT conference has served as a platform  for researchers, scientists, IT developers and consultants to  share their research, practice, and educational initiatives on Cloud Computing, Virtualization, Web Technologies and Internet Applications,  Social Computing and Behavioral Modeling and Games and Mobile Communications with an international audience.

Visit the following link for the list of accepted papers which have been indexed by Scopus:

CGAT 2018 will focus on the following 6 streams:

  1. Cloud Computing and Virtualization – Discussions on the value of cloud computing, theoretical and historical analyses and comparisons of different cloud business models and applications. This will also include discussions about the incubation process of IT Virtualization, security and future trends.
  2. Web Technologies and Internet Applications – Discussions on the emerging and future trends on web technologies and internet applications. Education and training are also one of the key areas to be emphasized on this topic.
  3. Social Computing and Behavioural Modelling – Discussions on evolution and historical influences of social computing, applications and behavioural modelling and all its implications. Public may also present their opinions on trending topics and case studies.
  4. Mobile Communications, Networking and Applications – Discussions on soft components of mobile networking and applications together with its systems, networks, mobile computing and network security. Major innovations and future trends would be one of the most trending topics for this area in which all mobile users can easily relate to.
  5. Computer Games, Multimedia – A discussion not only about the components and designs (software and hardware) of computer games and multimedia but also on its’ social implications such as censorships and regulations, education, and training. This would also be a platform to gather future trends and visions on multimedia games, strategies and troubleshooting.
  6. Enterprise Resource Planning & Supply Chain Management – Discussions on ERP and Supply Chain Management performance, security, and maintenance. Topics would also include processes and implementations, tactics and strategies to adapt.


Prof. Edmond C. Prakash
Head of Creative Technologies
Westminster School of Media,
Arts and Design Faculty
Creative Technologies Department
University of Westminster, UK Read more on Call: 11th Annual International Conference on Computer Games Multimedia and Allied Technologies (CGAT 2018)…

Posted in Calls | Leave a comment

San Francisco State tests benefits of workouts in virtual reality games

[Quantifying the health benefits of different activities in virtual environments could be valuable in promoting presence; the original version of this story from the San Francisco Chronicle includes two more images. –Matthew]

[Image: Aaron Stanton exercises using a virtual reality headset at San Francisco State University on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017. Photo: James Tensuan, Special to the Chronicle.]

S.F. State tests benefits of workouts in virtual reality games

By Nanette Asimov
September 5, 2017

You enter the boxing ring and face your opponent. He glares at you, his bulging pecs glistening under the arena lights. Pow! You nail him with a right hook to the jaw. He cross punches. You duck. You jab. He reels.

Sweat drips down your face. Your heart races as the crowd roars — only there is no crowd, and you’ve never actually left home or suffered a blow. You’re standing in your living room, maybe your garage, playing a virtual-reality video game.

And getting a great workout.

How great? That’s the question motivating researchers in San Francisco State University’s kinesiology lab who have paired up with a virtual reality entrepreneur to measure — for the first time — the aerobic benefits of specific games more often associated with the slothful obsessions of youth. Read more on San Francisco State tests benefits of workouts in virtual reality games…

Posted in Presence in the News | Leave a comment

Call: International Workshop on Human-Engaged Computing

Call for Participation and Call for Posters

International Workshop on Human-Engaged Computing
Kochi University of Technology, Japan
November 10th, 2017

Poster submission deadline: September 30, 2017
Early registration deadline: October 10, 2017

The Center for Human-Engaged Computing (CHEC) has organized an international workshop on Human-Engaged Computing (HEC). The worship will be held at Kochi University of Technology in Japan on November 10th, 2017.

The aim of this workshop is to rethink the relationship between humans and computers with particular attention being paid to our future as human beings. Seven distinguished speakers from around the world and from several domains will give their different views on HEC and related topics. Consistent with HEC’s holistic approach, our speakers represent not only Human-Computer Interaction but also the humanities, engineering design, computer sciences and cognitive science.

INVITED SPEAKERS [see for abstracts]

Jeffrey Bardzell
Indiana University
After Design Thinking

Ann Light
University of Sussex
Framing Wonder: Digital Ways of Being at a Time of Rapid Change

Torkil Clemmensen
Copenhagen Business School
Theorizing about a Sociotechnical Approach to Human-Engaged Computing

Alan Borning
University of Washington
Applying value sensitive design to rethinking the relationship between humans and computers

Huatong Sun
UW Tacoma
Upholding global cultural diversity with a practice-oriented critical design approach

Effie Law
University of Leicester
Does gamification (dis)engage humans in technology-enhanced learning activities?

Antti Oulasvirta
Aalto University
Ability-based optimization

CALL FOR POSTERS Read more on Call: International Workshop on Human-Engaged Computing…

Posted in Calls | Leave a comment

Virtual reality startup uses the psychology of gaming to do battle with cancer

[Another effort to use VR and presence to ease medical treatment; this story is from Forbes, where it includes a different image. –Matthew]

Virtual Reality Startup Uses The Psychology of Gaming To Do Battle With Cancer

Moira Vetter, Contributor
September 9, 2017

Virtual reality innovations are often believed to be speculative technologies that haven’t yet found practical applications. People think of gamers and hobbyists wearing a headset or goggles and peering into a synthetic reality.

But virtual reality isn’t so virtual anymore. One startup, OnComfort, has fixed its sights on one of the most daunting foes there is to fight—cancer.

Using virtual reality to win the battle with cancer

OnComfort founder Diane Jooris, had practical experience in mind/body therapies, including hypnosis, to alleviate the challenges of fighting cancer while at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Surrounded by academics and innovators, Jooris worked to uncover new approaches to deal with the pain, and mental and physical stress, of cancer treatment.

The company currently has five virtual reality-based applications in trials to improve care and treatment efficacy for cancer patients. They include:

  • Aqua – an immersive experience that reduces pain and anxiety by inducing relaxation in an undersea environment
  • AMO – an experience that uses clinical hypnosis techniques to ease pain and anxiety while a patient undergoes a short invasive procedure
  • KIMO – for use in pediatrics, KIMO distracts and empowers patients by enabling them to fight cancer cells in a virtual reality setting before and during chemotherapy
  • Spacio – also for pediatrics, it induces relaxation before having an MRI or radiotherapy, by making the patient accustomed to the sounds, noises, and confinement associated with treatment
  • Stella – this application uses immersion to distract pediatric patients during short anxiety-triggering procedures such as an IV start, a port flush or a blood draw.

Jooris gives an example of the real-world environment where OnComfort exists. A parent of a child undergoing pediatric cancer care gets to the hospital with everyone freaking out. The nurses are frenzied, mothers are in a high state of stress, and children are crying. By using Stella, the patient is taken out of the chaos, able to play a game where they navigate through a blood vessel and shoot at cancer cells instead of watching in horror as their IV is put in. Read more on Virtual reality startup uses the psychology of gaming to do battle with cancer…

Posted in Presence in the News | 1 Comment

Call: Budapest Workshop on Philosophy of Technology 2017

Call for Abstracts

Budapest Workshop on Philosophy of Technology 2017
Theme of the Workshop:
Epistemology, Ontology and the Philosophy of Technology
Dates: 1-2 December 2017
Venue: 1132 Budapest, Victor Hugo 18-22, Room 5002.

Submission deadline: 2 October 2017

The first Budapest Workshop on the Philosophy of Technology will seek to explore epistemology and ontology in the Philosophy of Technology. Abstracts are welcome in the following areas:

  • Tacit knowledge and engineering
  • Ontology of technological artefacts
  • Ontological status of artificial agents
  • Knowing artefacts
  • Virtuality – new realities created by technology
  • Engineering epistemology

… and in any other related topics.

The expected length of the abstract is about one page. The language of the workshop is English.

Deadline for abstract submission: 2 October 2017. 23:59 UTC.

Notification of acceptance/rejection: 18 October 2017. 23:59 UTC.

The workshop is free of any charges.

Enquiries and submissions should be sent to:


A peer-reviewed proceedings volume will be compiled from the topics presented at the Workshop. The deadline for submission will be after the workshop so that feedback can be incorporated into the paper.

All presenters are encouraged to submit a full paper, but it is not mandatory. If the presenter does not submit a full paper, only the abstract will be published in the proceedings. Read more on Call: Budapest Workshop on Philosophy of Technology 2017…

Posted in Calls | Leave a comment

Virtual reality can make a remote crisis real – and spur effective responses

[Especially in light of recent and current natural disasters, this is an encouraging story from the University of Virginia; for more information on the How to change the world engineering podcast competition and to listen to Bethany Gordon’s 7:31 minute winning entry see coverage from the Royal Academy of Engineering. –Matthew]

[Image: UVA graduate engineering student Bethany Gordon’s idea to apply virtual reality technology to crisis situations recently won an international podcast contest. (Photo by Dan Addison, University Communications)]

Virtual Reality Can Make a Remote Crisis Real – And Spur Effective Responses

September 07, 2017

In Gyumri, Armenia, about 4,000 survivors of a 1988 earthquake that destroyed their city are still living in uninsulated shipping containers. Their improvised shelters are susceptible to flooding when it rains and, because of the moisture, infested with mold.

Engineers a half a world away can help solve these problems through virtual reality, according to Bethany Gordon, a first-year Ph.D. student in civil engineering at the University of Virginia.

“Virtual reality can give you an understanding of someone else’s world in minutes,” Gordon said in a podcast that won an international competition this summer. “It’s not a perfect understanding, and maybe you are not aware of all the cultural nuances, but … you can make that connection in five minutes by sitting on your couch and looking through a $10 virtual reality viewer.”

Gordon, of Richmond, entered the contest – sponsored by the Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy at the University College London – while attending the Global Grand Challenges Summit in Washington, D.C. in July. The summit was organized by the Royal Academy of Engineering and its American and Chinese counterparts, and drew hundreds of science and engineering professionals and students from across the three hosting countries.

Addressing the contest’s theme, “How Engineers Can Change the World,” Gordon offered the idea that engineers can use virtual reality to explore problems in remote areas without having to travel there.

In her podcast, Gordon also cited the work of Pablo Suarez, associate director of research and innovation at the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre in the Netherlands. Suarez, who teaches at the University of Lugano, University College London and Boston University, sees the potential of virtual reality in increasing awareness of projected threats against people in the future. Read more on Virtual reality can make a remote crisis real – and spur effective responses…

Posted in Presence in the News | Leave a comment

Call: Technology, Mind & Society – APA Conference

Call for Papers, Symposia and Posters

Technology, Mind & Society
April 5-7, 2018
Washington, DC

Sponsored by The American Psychological Association
In Cooperation with The Association for Computing Machinery, Special Interest Group for Computer-Human Interaction, and The Association For The Advancement Of Artificial Intelligence

Submission deadline: October 20, 2017

The American Psychological Association will hold an interdisciplinary conference on Technology, Mind, and Society in Washington, D.C., on April 5-7, 2018. Scientists, practitioners, policymakers, and students from around the world are invited to participate in the event.

The conference will provide a venue for reporting and assessing current efforts to understand and shape the interactions of human beings and technology, for identifying priorities for future work, and for promoting exchange and collaboration among participants. The conference will feature four keynote speakers: Cynthia Breazeal (MIT), Justine Cassell (Carnegie Mellon), Eric Horvitz (Microsoft Research), and Sandy Pentland (MIT).

APA invites you and your colleagues and students to submit papers, symposia, and posters for this conference, which will be organized around the following broad themes:

  • Basic research: How humans understand and use technology, impacts of technology on human experience and behavior, human-technology interactions as mutually adaptive systems, role of technology in advancing other areas of scientific research, and related topics.
  • Foundations of technology design: Development of technologies informed by psychological, behavioral, and social science research.
  • Applications: Development, use, and impact of specific technologies in domains such as aging, education, mental and physical health, recreation, and the workplace.
  • Broader implications: Ethical and policy questions concerning the opportunities and challenges arising from human-technology interactions.

Read more on Call: Technology, Mind & Society – APA Conference…

Posted in Calls | Leave a comment

Philosophers’ insights about meaning and power of virtual reality

[This story from Slate’s Future Tense series provides a useful perspective on alternate meanings of the term virtual and their implications for how we perceive and realize the potential of VR and presence. –Matthew]

[Image: Perhaps to speak of virtual reality is to anticipate the disappearance of the world we know. Photo illustration by Natalie Matthews-Ramo. Photos by Thinkstock.]

Our Virtual Future

What philosophers say about the inevitability of VR.

By Jacob Brogan
September 1, 2017

A few months ago, I pulled on an Oculus Rift headset for the first time and stepped into a virtual reality meeting room. I was there to tape an early screen test for Conundrums, Slate’s new virtual reality talk show. My role was simple: I had been told that I was going to play the part of a famous comedic actor and that I just had to answer questions about his favorite sports teams. Though I am rarely funny and know almost nothing about sports, I was game to pretend. What else is virtual reality for?

Alone in the space, I started fiddling with the tools. Before long, I had figured out how to change the appearance of my environment. Soon my original surroundings vanished, replaced by a photographic 360-degree panorama of a gorgeous plain. I was somewhere far in the north. In the sky above me, the aurora borealis rippled like a living crown. When a colleague appeared a little later, he was transfixed. “This will end civilization,” he said. “No one is ever going to leave home again.”

I suspect he was being hyperbolic, but there was something earnest in his awe. He would hardly have been the first to detect a sinister edge to the appeal of virtual reality. In her book Magic and Loss, Virginia Heffernan writes, “Sometimes when I listened to developers talk about their eagerness to ‘immerse’ audiences in multisensory experiences, I thought I detected a less savory desire to imprison them in programming, to leave them with no sensory exit.” Read more on Philosophers’ insights about meaning and power of virtual reality…

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