ISPR Presence News

Monthly Archives: January 2018

Job: Faculty position in Interaction Devices at University of Glasgow

Lecturer / Senior Lecturer / Reader in Interaction Devices
University of Glasgow – School of Computing Science
Job Ref: 019891

Closes: 28th February 2018

Salary will be on the University’s Research and Teaching Grade, level 7/8/9, £34,520 – £38,833 / £42,418 – £49,149 / £50,618 – £56,950 per annum.


To pursue a world-class research programme in Computing Science within the topics of the Glasgow Interactive Systems (GIST) Section; to teach related topics in Computing Science at all undergraduate and postgraduate levels; to carry out allocated administrative tasks.

The research topics covered by GIST include:

  • human-computer interaction;
  • social robotics;
  • visualisation;
  • ubiquitous computing.

The School seeks applications from outstanding candidates to develop and lead research of international standard in these or related topics.

Further information can be found at:

STANDARD TERMS & CONDITIONS Read more on Job: Faculty position in Interaction Devices at University of Glasgow…

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Physicists advance volumetric display tech to make Star Wars-style 3D projections a reality

[As this story from Futurism does, all or nearly all the press coverage of this technology advance with implications for presence begin by referring to science fiction portrayals (e.g., in Star Wars, Iron Man, and Avatar). The original Futurism story includes links to coverage in Nature News, the Nature article and the BYU press release as well as a 2:24 minute BYU video. –Matthew]

[Image: One of Smalley’s students, wearing a lab coat and posed like Princess Leia. Image Credit: Smalley et al., Nature]

Physicists Just Made Star Wars-Style 3D Projections a Reality

By Dom Galeon
January 26, 2018


Physicists from Brigham Young University may have just created the best technology for projecting 3D images, but they’re not calling these images a hologram. It’s still in its earliest stages, but once perfected, its applications could be varied.


For many sci-fi fans, a truly working hologram is Princess Leia asking Obi Wan Kenobi for help. While that’s clearly science fiction, a projected image that one can observe from all angles may have just become the only hope for authentic 3D projections.

This is the subject of a new study published in the journal Nature, detailing how a team of physicists led by Daniel Smalley from the Brigham Young University (BYU) in Provo, Utah, have managed to project moving 3D images viewable at any angle.

Smalley doesn’t call it a hologram, however. “This is doing something that a hologram can never do — giving you an all-round view, a Princess Leia-style display — because it’s not a hologram,” he told Nature News. An actual hologram, as it exists today, is an image projection coming from a source limited to a particular angle. It can’t be viewed perfectly from all sides.

What Smalley’s team developed is a technique they call volumetric display, where a single particle of a plant fiber called cellulose is trapped and heated evenly using forces from near-invisible laser beams. To illuminate the particle as it moves through space, pushed and pulled by the beams forces, a second set of lasers project visible light onto it.

As the name suggests, the projected image appears to have more volume to it, without the need for headgears or other such devices. “In simple terms, we’re using a laser beam to trap a particle, and then we can steer the laser beam around to move the particle and create the image,” undergrad coauthor Erich Nygaard explained in a BYU press release. Read more on Physicists advance volumetric display tech to make Star Wars-style 3D projections a reality…

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Call: MobileHCI 2018 – 20th International Conference on HCI with Mobile Devices and Services

Call for Papers for MobileHCI 2018 – “The next 20 years: beyond mobile”

The 20th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services
3th – 6th September, Barcelona, Spain

Important deadlines for the main paper track (due not later than 17:00 hrs PST on the dates indicated.):

  • Submissions: February 9th, 2018
  • Notification: April 25th, 2018
  • Camera-ready: May 29th, 2018
  • Early July 2018: Early registration ends

In 2018 we are celebrating the 20th anniversary of the conference. Mobile HCI seeks contributions in the form of innovations, insights, or analyses related to human computer interaction and experiences with mobility. The conference series has shaped research, development and practice in mobile devices and services for nearly two decades.

In this call for submissions we invite your contributions to the field and according to this year’s theme look beyond to the next twenty years of MobileHCI. MobileHCI 2018 welcomes contributions related to any aspect of HCI technology, experience, methodology, and theory. Our interpretation of mobility is inclusive and broadly construed. In later calls we will solicit proposals for workshops, demonstrations, tutorials, and industrial case study papers.

Suggested Topics:

MobileHCI seeks contributions in the form of innovations, insights, or analyses related to human experiences with mobility. Our interpretation of mobility is inclusive and broadly construed. Likewise, a contribution can encompass technology, experience, methodology, and theory-or any mix thereof, and beyond. This includes:

  • Systems and infrastructures. The design, architecture, deployment, and evaluation of systems and infrastructures that support development of or interaction with mobile devices and services.
  • Devices and techniques. The design, construction, usage, and evaluation of devices and techniques that create valuable new capabilities for mobile human-computer interaction.
  • Applications and experiences. Descriptions of the design, empirical study of interactive applications, or analysis of usage trends that leverage mobile devices and systems.
  • Methodologies and tools. New methods and tools designed for or applied to studying or building mobile user interfaces, applications, and mobile users.
  • Theories and models. Critical analysis or organizing theory with clearly motivated relevance to the design or study of mobile human-computer interaction; taxonomies of design or devices; well-supported essays on emerging trends and practice in mobile human-computer interaction.
  • Provocations and new perspectives. Well-argued and well-supported visions of the future of mobile computing; non-traditional topics that bear on mobility; underrepresented viewpoints and perspectives that convincingly bring something new to mobile research and practice.

Submissions: Read more on Call: MobileHCI 2018 – 20th International Conference on HCI with Mobile Devices and Services…

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Inside South Korea’s Space 360 spherical projection theater

[The new Space 360 spherical theater in Gwangju, South Korea (about 3 hours by train south of Seoul) is designed to evoke a strong sense of spatial presence. The original version of this story from urdesignmag includes 7 more images and a 3 minute video; more information is available from the Front Pictures blog, including this from the (admittedly biased) sponsor: “The feedback from the audience is great. They say that they have never experienced anything like this before. And they feel like they have travelled into another dimension!” –Matthew]

Inside South Korea’s First Spherical Projection Theater

The Gwangju National Science Museum has recently opened South Korea‘s first spherical projection theater Space 360.

January 10, 2018

In 2006, famous movie director Steven Spielberg outlined his idea on what movie theaters of the future could look like. “Some day in the not too distant future you’ll be able to go to a movie and the movie will be all around you. The movie will be over your head, it will be a 360 degrees around you, even be a little bit under you,” he said in an interview with Time magazine.

A decade later, his words are becoming reality as spherical immersive 360 theaters are starting to emerge around the world. One of them has been recently built in South Korea. Ukrainian creative studio Front Pictures was responsible for engineering and installing the projection system and software.

Space 360 – which is 12 meters in diameter – is located next to Lucerium National Science Museum in Gwangju. This spherical projection theater can be considered a true VR theater of the future. When visitors step inside, they find themselves on a transparent glass observation bridge, which crosses the sphere’s interior. A crisp 360 video projection around, above, and below the viewers fully immerses them as they stand and watch. They literally dive into a virtual world without having to use VR headsets. Read more on Inside South Korea’s Space 360 spherical projection theater…

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Call: Reconceiving Cognition conference


Antwerp, June 27-29

Deadline for abstracts: February 13, 2018

The cognitive sciences, including its neural branches, continue to flourish. But what exactly is cognition? Recent developments in Embodied, Embedded and Enactive approaches to cognition, or E-cognition, have drawn attention to the numerous ways in which embodied situated interaction might be more intimately related to cognition than previously acknowledged. E-cognition is often taken to raise concerns about the tenability of a conception of cognition according to which in-the-head representational and/or computational mechanisms breathe cognitive life into organismic activities that would otherwise be mere bodily motion. But do E-factors call for a replacement or merely a reform of standard conceptions of cognition?  And what exactly should be the new concept of cognition? Relatedly, the arrival of E-cognition leads to such questions as whether or not we need to reconsider the relation between cognition (including perception) and behavior, what explanations of cognition consist of, and what role the brain should play in such explanations.

Read more on Call: Reconceiving Cognition conference…

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AI writes music, fools listeners and raises questions

[This short piece from Open Culture is about how experts were fooled into thinking that music composed by artificial intelligence in the style of Bach was composed by Bach himself (i.e., they experienced presence, misperceiving the role of technology in the experience). The story references a more detailed article on the project from December 2016 and comes as “Hello World, the first album composed with AI,” is being released. For an interesting discussion of the implications of all of this, see a September 2017 article in Playboy titled “Will Artificial Intelligence Elevate Pop Music or Pervert It? (The Answer is Yes).” –Matthew]

Read more on AI writes music, fools listeners and raises questions…

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Call: ISMAR 2018 – 17th IEEE International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality


ISMAR 2018
17th IEEE International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality (ISMAR)
in Munich (Germany)
October 16-20, 2018

ISMAR 2018, the premier conference for Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR), will be held in Munich, Germany.

ISMAR is responding to the recent explosion of commercial and research activities related to AR and MR and Virtual Reality (VR) by continuing the expansion of its scope over the past several years. ISMAR 2018 will cover the full range of technologies encompassed by the MR continuum, from interfaces in the real world to fully immersive experiences. This range goes far beyond the traditional definition of AR, which focused on precise 3D tracking, visual display, and real-time performance.

We specifically invite contributions from areas such as Computer Graphics, Human-Computer Interaction, Psychology, Computer Vision, Optics, and in particular VR, and how these areas contribute to advancing AR / MR / VR technology.

Download the Call for paper in pdf:


  • Submission: 15 March 2018 (all deadlines: 23:59 AoE)
  • Final notification: 8 June 2018
  • Camera-ready version: 10 July 2018

SUBMISSION DETAILS Read more on Call: ISMAR 2018 – 17th IEEE International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality…

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Sex dolls, live models make ‘virtual intercourse’ feel real

[I often hesitate to post stories on this topic, despite its obvious relevance to presence, in part because of the juvenile and prurient tone of the press coverage, but this story from CNET that describes the latest fascinating but ethically murky step toward effective presence illusions in the context of sexuality stands out as responsible and thoughtful. See the original story for many more photos, a video and links to related information. –Matthew]

Sex dolls, live models make ‘virtual intercourse’ feel real

Camming site CamSoda calls itself a “virtual strip club.” Now new integrations with VR, connected toys and sex dolls will take users into the back rooms to “do it without doing it.”

By Ry Crist
January 25, 2018

Editors’ note: Some of the language and descriptions in this story are not suited for younger readers.

CamSoda is an adult-oriented live “camming” site dubbed “a virtual strip club with no cover” by its creators. At any time, visitors can log on and view the public live feed of the model of their choice, tipping her with the site’s digital currency if they enjoy the show. Should they want something more intimate, users can request a private, one-on-one show — the online equivalent of a back-room lap dance.

As of this week, those users have an even more intimate and interactive option.

The big idea might sound like something straight out of sci-fi, but here it is: Watch a private, one-on-one feed in virtual reality as you have sex with a “teledildonic” sex doll that transmits your tactile data to the model’s matching vibrator (and vice versa).

It’s virtual sex, and both parties will “feel” it.

Virtual, but real

This push for virtual sex is the result of a new partnership between CamSoda and Abyss Creations, maker of top-of-the-line sex dolls called RealDolls. CamSoda calls the integration “virtual intercourse with real people,” or VIRP (not to be confused with “vurp,” which Urban Dictionary defines as “a burp laced with a little vomit“).

Unfortunate acronym choices aside, the company describes “VIRPing” as a new kind of adult experience — the chance for its users to experience something akin to live sex with their favorite performers in real time. Even as tech steadily creeps into our sex lives, it’s an eyebrow-raising idea, and one that raises plenty of questions. Read more on Sex dolls, live models make ‘virtual intercourse’ feel real…

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Call: European Conference on Cognitive Ergonomics (ECCE 2018)

Call for papers

ECCE 2018 – European Conference on Cognitive Ergonomics
Theme: Modeling, simulation, and games
4-7 September 2018, Utrecht, The Netherlands


  • February 15, 2018, 5 pm (CET): Deadline submission long and short papers, including workshop proposals, doctoral consortium papers, posters and demonstrations.
  • May 2, 2018: Reviews of submissions are sent
  • June 15, 2018, 5 pm (CET): Camera-ready version of accepted contributions
  • July 16, 2018, 5 pm (CET): Early registration deadline
  • September 4, 2018: ECCE 2018 Doctoral Consortium and Workshops
  • September 5-7, 2018: ECCE 2018 Main conference


ECCE 2018 is the 30st annual conference of the European Association of Cognitive Ergonomics (EACE). This leading conference in human-media interaction and cognitive engineering provides an opportunity for both researchers and practitioners to exchange new ideas and practical experiences from a variety of domains. This year’s special theme is modeling, simulation, and games. Topics will include, but are not limited to, the following topics:

  • Motivational/emotional aspects of human interaction with IT artefacts
  • Design methods, tools, and methodologies for supporting cognitive tasks
  • Human-technology interaction in the Internet of Things era
  • Cognitive task analysis and modelling
  • Methods and tools for studying cognitive tasks
  • Development of usability evaluation methods
  • Decision aiding, information presentation and visualization
  • Human Factors and simulation
  • Usability and User Experience evaluation methods (e.g., in games)
  • Collaboration in end-users and design teams

We invite long (8 pages) and short (4 pages) papers, including demo and poster submissions, and doctoral consortium applications. We also welcome proposals for panel sessions and workshops. Read more on Call: European Conference on Cognitive Ergonomics (ECCE 2018)…

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Will virtual AI assistants create real relationship troubles?

[This column from Forbes suggests that as the technology of virtual assistants like Alexa and Siri evolves and they become more capable of evoking effective medium-as-social-actor presence, they’ll take on bigger roles in our lives and disrupt the mundane but important interactions of our human-human relationships (a prospect thoughtfully expanded on in the film Her). ––Matthew]

[Image: An Amazon Echo. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)]

Will Virtual AI Assistants Create Real Relationship Troubles?

Kalev Leetaru, Contributor – I write about the broad intersection of data and society.
January 9, 2018

As they say in relationship counseling, communication is everything in nurturing a successful happy marriage. Thus, it was with considerable fascination the other day that I listened as a colleague offhandedly mentioned that his spouse was “jealous” of his new Google Home, to which she promptly replied that it was true and that he now asked the home device all of the casual questions he used to ask her, from tomorrow’s weather to today’s headlines to what time the grocery store closed tonight. The casual back-and-forth banter that cements a long-term relationship was being replaced by an all-knowing AI assistant. What does this suggest about the future of AI in our homes? Read more on Will virtual AI assistants create real relationship troubles?…

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