ISPR Presence News

Monthly Archives: November 2017

Call: Assessing the Effectiveness of Virtual Technologies in Foreign and Second Language Instruction (book chapters)

Call for Chapters: Assessing the Effectiveness of Virtual Technologies in Foreign and Second Language Instruction

Editor
Mariusz Kruk (University of Zielona Góra, Poland)

https://www.igi-global.com/publish/call-for-papers/call-details/3054

Proposals Submission Deadline: January 30, 2018
Full Chapters Due: April 30, 2018
Submission Date: August 30, 2018

INTRODUCTION

Over the last few years there has been a quite specific interest in using virtual technologies in education, including foreign/second language education. This is because virtual technologies, such as virtual worlds, are particularly relevant to language teaching/learning in view of the fact that, among other things, they present language learners with situations similar to these found in the real world; they can lower the affective filter by engaging students in situations where their fears are bypassed; they offer opportunities to communicate in a target language by means of text/voice about their features, problem solving, language, etc. Thus, language learners can develop metacognitive and metalinguistic skills and they can practice the language by interacting with virtual users or objects, a very important issue for language learners who have no or little contact with native or target language speakers.… read more. “Call: Assessing the Effectiveness of Virtual Technologies in Foreign and Second Language Instruction (book chapters)”

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Inspired, magical, connected: How virtual reality can make you well

[In this story from The Conversation, Denise Quesnel, a doctoral student at Simon Fraser University, describes her experiences conducting research on the potential of VR (and presence) to promote positive experiences; she captures the sense of enthusiasm I’ve felt since grad school for advancing our understanding and use of presence to improve people’s lives. The original story includes more images and a 1:24 minute video. –Matthew]

[Image: Individuals wearing virtual reality headsets often look isolated. But research shows they can experience profound emotions such as awe, which enhance their feelings of social connection and wellbeing. (Credit: Shutterstock)]

Inspired, magical, connected: How virtual reality can make you well

Denise Quesnel, PhD student in iSpace Lab, Simon Fraser University
November 28, 2017

“Everyone needs to experience this. Especially if they are going through a rough spot.”

The study participant removed her headset.… read more. “Inspired, magical, connected: How virtual reality can make you well”

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Call: The Mutual Shaping of Human-Robot Interaction – International Journal of Social Robotics issue

Call for Papers

International Journal of Social Robotics
Special Issue: The Mutual Shaping of Human-Robot Interaction
Submission deadline: January 31, 2018

TOPIC OVERVIEW

The field of robotics has rapidly advanced over the last decades and has shown great promises in different fields. Robots were introduced in industry decades ago, and nowadays, robotic systems support humans as assistants, team-mates, caretakers, and companions, in diverse contexts such as education, health and eldercare, the home, retail, and in search and rescue. Discussions of the emotional, psychological, ethical, and societal consequences of these developments have emerged alongside technical advances.

Studies in human-robot interaction have shown that, when robots enter different contexts of our everyday lives, they influence and change those contexts beyond their intended use purpose alone. Social scientists have referred to this process as “mutual shaping” of technology and society. Mutual shaping implies that technological and societal developments do not proceed in parallel, or in a linear progression from technological development to societal application, but rather that technology and society continuously influence and (re)shape each other.… read more. “Call: The Mutual Shaping of Human-Robot Interaction – International Journal of Social Robotics issue”

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In the midst of a coming elder care shortage, the case for robot caregivers

[The prospect of robots being used to care for elderly patients suggests many benefits but also raises a variety of concerns including of course those of the people who would receive the care. This story from Slate’s Better Life Lab blog provides a review; see the Pew Research Center study, and a related story in VC Daily, for more information. –Matthew]

[Image: Photo illustration by Lisa Larson-Walker.]

In the Midst of a Coming Elder Care Shortage, the Case for Robot Caregivers

By Amanda Lenhart
November 11, 2017

An elderly woman nestles a white, fluffy baby seal in her arms. She murmurs happily to it, petting it and delighting as it responds to her touch and voice. This baby seal is a robot, a cuddly bot named PARO. And research suggests PARO has therapeutic value, calming and engaging agitated and anxious patients with memory loss.… read more. “In the midst of a coming elder care shortage, the case for robot caregivers”

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Call: Post-cinema – VR and AR: A Postcinematic Modernity II

Call for Papers

Post-cinema – VR and AR: a Postcinematic Modernity II
Film Forum – XVI Magis International Film Studies Spring School
Gorizia, Università degli studi di Udine-Italy
March 3rd-7th 2018

Deadline for 1-page proposals: November 30th, 2017

Address questions and proposals to: (goriziafilmforum /at/ gmail.com)

Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR), as well as establishing new identities and expanding the perceptions of existing users and the technologies they use, also represent two cardinal points in the (re)definition of participative and political practices in current media landscape. In this sense the Postcinema section would like to explore the “community/knowledge/power” relationship and the “community/history/truth” relationship in the production and diffusion of certain “media products”, in particular the VR and AR ones. The 2018 Post Cinema section of the Magis Spring School takes into considerations proposals in the following fields:

  • Literacy and socio-economic accessibility linked to VR and AR in the new media (eg, the difficult access to the interfaces of VR gaming or the rapport with the casual gaming)
  • The creation of social communities linked to the collective use of products specially created for their use through VR and AR devices.
read more. “Call: Post-cinema – VR and AR: A Postcinematic Modernity II”
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VR and presence give student-teachers a taste of the classroom

[This story from EdTech: Focus on K-12 reports on the use of VR and presence at SUNY Buffalo to train teachers for the classroom; coverage from UBNow includes more information and a 2:10 minute video and more details from a presentation by Richard Lamb and his colleagues are available from SlideShare. Presence is being used elsewhere too: A story in University Business highlights the use of TeachLive at the University of Wyoming and Penn State University’s First Class. –Matthew]

VR Gives Student-Teachers a Taste of the Classroom

A University at Buffalo virtual reality training program lets educators deepen their pre-service experiences.

By Wendy McMahon
November 13, 2017

One of the most common complaints from pre-service teachers is that they haven’t spent enough time in the classroom. For researchers at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York, virtual reality is the solution to this familiar problem.… read more. “VR and presence give student-teachers a taste of the classroom”

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Jobs: Fully funded PhD studentships at Centre for Intelligent Games and Game Intelligence (IGGI)

EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Intelligent Games and Game Intelligence (IGGI)

12 fully-funded PhD studentships to start September 2018
Covers fees at Home/EU rate and a stipend for four years
http://iggi.org.uk/apply

Application deadline: 31st January 2018

IGGI is an exciting opportunity for you to undertake a four-year PhD in Intelligent Games and Game Intelligence, working with top games companies and world-leading academics in games research. We currently have 46 students conducting interdisciplinary research in areas such as:

  • AI (Artificial Intelligence) to create interesting, fun, believable game agents,
  • AI-assisted game design and testing,
  • procedural content generation,
  • emotion and immersion in games,
  • interaction design for games,
  • Machine Learning (ML) to understand player psychology,
  • using games for learning and wellbeing,
  • game audio, graphics and animation,
  • game design, citizen science and gamification.

IGGI is a collaboration between the University of York, the University of London (Goldsmiths and Queen Mary) and the University of Essex.… read more. “Jobs: Fully funded PhD studentships at Centre for Intelligent Games and Game Intelligence (IGGI)”

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Outrespectre simulates out-of-body experience at death to ease fear, start conversation

[Presence has long been used to ease our longing for those who have died (see Lombard and Selverian, 2008); the project described in this first-person report from The Next Web uses it to ease our anxieties about what will happen when we die, and to prompt a discussion about what we should do for people at the end of life. The use of a tapping hammer to simulate the user’s heartbeat mentioned here has now been refined and added to the experience, as reported in new coverage from De Zeen. Both stories include many images and the De Zeen story includes a 1:51 minute video. –Matthew]

How an out-of-body VR experience changed my views on dying

By Camille Charluet
September 22, 2017

Does the thought of dying absolutely terrify you?

If so, you might suffer from a condition known as ‘Existential Death Anxiety’, a disorder Dutch experimental designer, Frank Kolkman wants to treat with Outrespectre – a proposed medical device supposedly capable of simulating out-of-body experiences.… read more. “Outrespectre simulates out-of-body experience at death to ease fear, start conversation”

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Call: What’s Next? The Future of Digital Entertainment – Communication Research Reports special issue

Call for Papers

What’s Next? The Future of Digital Entertainment
A Special Issue of Communication Research Reports
https://docs.google.com/document/d/12xLQnZftTONP7oE6OktwZHulBN0caFNN_OjLUynDjPQ/mobilebasic

Guest Editors:
Allison Eden (Michigan State University)
Sun Joo (Grace) Ahn (University of Georgia)

Editor-in-Chief
Nicholas D. Bowman (West Virginia University)

Priority submission deadline: January 15, 2018

In the past years, with the advent of technology such as streaming media services, combined with market penetration of smartphones, tablets, and highly interactive platforms, such as immersive virtual environments (popularly known as “virtual reality”) and augmented reality, there has been a dramatic uptick in the number of hours per day we spend with digital media. A good portion of this time is solely devoted to entertainment, or as Zillmann and Bryant put it, “any activity to delight and, to a smaller degree, enlighten through the exhibition of the fortunes or misfortunes of others, but also through the display of special skills by the other and/or self” (1994, p.… read more. “Call: What’s Next? The Future of Digital Entertainment – Communication Research Reports special issue”

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Study shows potential of presence to influence eating experiences

[As noted at the end of this press release from VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, the finding that presence-evoking technologies can modify our evaluations of foods just as our non-mediated eating environment can, raises potentially important prospects for the promotion of healthy (and unhealthy) foods. See the original for more photos and a video. –Matthew]

[Image: Source: VTT]

VTT: Virtual and augmented reality technologies influence consumers’ eating experiences

November 22, 2017

Could health-promoting foods be made more appealing by using digital tools to enhance consumers’ eating experiences? VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has used Virtual Reality (VR) to amplify such experiences. VR immersion had significant effects on brain signals and consumers’ evaluations of the pleasantness of their eating situation and emotional responses.… read more. “Study shows potential of presence to influence eating experiences”

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