ISPR Presence News

Monthly Archives: June 2020

Call: Beyond Zoom: XR For Teaching and Research in the COVID-19 Era

Call for Lightning Talks for Virtual Conference

Beyond Zoom: XR For Teaching and Research in the COVID-19 Era

Conference Date: August 7, 2020

Submission Deadline: July 10, 2020

Information: http://dartgo.org/covid-xr-conf
Submit Proposals at https://forms.gle/yzHWHgNjPSgVLb5X8
Register to Attend at http://dartgo.org/covid-xr-conf-reg
Send Questions to covid.xr.conf@gmail.com

Recent large-scale engagement with remote learning has brought to the fore the challenges of teaching and learning in an online environment. While technologies like videoconferencing and learning management systems have drawn a great deal of critical review and pedagogical development, we can also apply the lessons of higher education’s sudden foray into mass remote teaching to other types of tools. In particular, XR-a catch-all term including augmented and virtual reality, as well as related technologies for spatial and pervasive computing-holds both great potential and challenges for educational use under pandemic conditions.

This virtual conference will explore areas where XR can mitigate the challenges of engaging with students remotely as well as investigate new opportunities to apply XR technologies across remote, face-to-face, or hybrid environments.… read more. “Call: Beyond Zoom: XR For Teaching and Research in the COVID-19 Era”

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Amazon’s ‘Distance Assistant’ uses AI and AR to provide real-time social distancing feedback

[Artificial intelligence and augmented reality could provide a valuable way to perceive, and maintain, social distancing. The Amazon blog post below describes the company’s new “Distance Assistant” technology and includes a 32 second demonstration video. If AR-capable glasses were common, this technology could provide a first person view that evokes greater presence and would be even more useful. Coverage in TechCrunch makes a similar point:

“It’s not exactly immediate feedback that technology might be able to provide with, say, a haptic wearable. Instead, it’s designed to serve as a visual reminder for workers to keep their circles green by maintaining the appropriate social distancing. There’s probably a privacy trade-off either way — be it a wearable or camera tracking.”

And along the same lines, a Reuters story adds this detail about the company’s efforts: “Amazon is also testing a wearable device that lights up and makes an audio alert when workers are too close to each other, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters.”

VentureBeat covers the increased scrutiny Amazon is facing in its response to the pandemic and links to a story (with video) about a similar AI/AR technology:

“A growing number of companies claim to offer solutions to discourage workers from congregating or coming into close contact with each other, but most of these are commercial.… read more. “Amazon’s ‘Distance Assistant’ uses AI and AR to provide real-time social distancing feedback”

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Call: Co-Designing Personas for User Experience and Engagement in Automation – NordiCHI 2020 workshop

CALL FOR PAPERS AND PARTICIPATION

NordiCHI 2020 Workshop – Co-Designing Personas for User Experience and Engagement in Automation
Workshop date: October 26, 2020
Location: Talinn, Estonia (or possibly virtual)
https://iti.larsys.pt/co-designing_personas_for_user_experience_and_engagement_in_automation/

Deadline for submissions: September 1, 2020

NOTE: In the context of COVID-19, we can say the workshop WILL happen in whichever format is possible at the time of the conference. See the Workshop website and NordiCHI 2020 website for updates.

Grounded on principles of co-designing and user experience engagement in design, this one-day workshop will offer an interdisciplinary forum for researchers and practitioners aiming to actively engage in co-design of personas to explore the interplay of autonomous technologies with user experience and engagement.

Interaction designers, educators, policymakers, system, and automation designer or other related stakeholders are encouraged to participate and present their interest by submitting a position statement confirming background, research interest and future scenario of automation, highlighting opportunities and/or issues for UX and engagement in one domain, e.g.… read more. “Call: Co-Designing Personas for User Experience and Engagement in Automation – NordiCHI 2020 workshop”

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“Feel the Conversation” phones turn speech into physical sensations

[Ideal for a world in various stages of lockdown during a pandemic, the design project called “Feel the Conversation” features telephones that translate speech into simple haptic signals that create social presence. This story is from dezeen, where it includes five different pictures and a 0:14 minute video. For more information, pictures and a 0:44 minute video, see Xian-Zhi Zhang’s website. –Matthew]

[Image: Source: Xian-Zhi Zhang’s website]

RCA students design licking phones that turn speech into physical sensations

Natashah Hitti
27 May 2020

Royal College of Art students Sandeep Hoonjan and Xianzhi Zhang have designed a pair of devices that allow people to physically experience conversations while apart during the coronavirus lockdown.

The project, called Feel the Conversation, comprises two handheld machines that connect to a phone and translate the user’s speech into a series of simple haptic patterns based on their intonation and volume.… read more. ““Feel the Conversation” phones turn speech into physical sensations”

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Call: HUMAN’20 – 3rd Workshop on Human Factors in Hypertext

CALL FOR PAPERS

HUMAN’20 – 3rd Workshop on Human Factors in Hypertext
Official workshop of the ACM Hypertext Conference ’20
Sponsored by ACM SIGWEB
December 4, 2020
Online

Workshop website: https://human.iisys.de/human20
HUMAN on Twitter: @HUMAN_HT
Twitter hashtag:  #HUMAN20

Submission deadline:  September 27, 2020

NOTE: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the fact that HT’20 is held virtually, the HUMAN’20 workshop will take place online later in 2020. This will make it easier for participants to follow both events HT’20 and HUMAN’20. As a service to the research community, we make the participation in the HUMAN’20 workshop free to anyone. For further information see the workshop website and follow us on Twitter.

INTRODUCTION

HUMAN’20 is the third workshop of a series for the ACM Hypertext conferences. It is sponsored by SIGWEB and affiliated with the 31st ACM Conference on Hypertext and Social Media.… read more. “Call: HUMAN’20 – 3rd Workshop on Human Factors in Hypertext”

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Meet TELEBOT, the terrifying telepresence robot

[This very short post from the Arduino blog, and the 4:20 minute video titled “We Built a Telepresence Robot (To Survive the Quarantine)” in the original version (and on YouTube), demonstrate how even basic DIY technology can be used to evoke presence. For more details see the project’s Hackaday page. –Matthew]

Meet TELEBOT, the terrifying telepresence robot

June 1, 2020
Arduino Team

The Internet has been perhaps more important than ever to keep us connected these days. Available technology, however, apparently wasn’t good enough for brothers Hunter and Josh Irving, who built their own telepresence robot using parts on-hand during their own two-person hackathon.

The robot they came up with, dubbed TELEBOT, features a partially 3D-printed face along with a set of chattering teeth and eyes recycled from an antique doll. An Arduino Uno is used to take audio signals from remote “guests” via a standard 3.5mm cable, simulating their facial expressions with servos that drive TELEBOT’s mouth and LED-lit eyes.… read more. “Meet TELEBOT, the terrifying telepresence robot”

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Call: “Ludonarratives: Narrative complexity in video games” for journal L’Atalante

CALL FOR PAPERS:

Ludonarratives: Narrative complexity in video games
L’ATALANTE 31 (issue to be published January 2021)
http://revistaatalante.com/index.php?journal=atalante&page=announcement&op=view&%20path%5B0%5D=68

Acceptance of proposals for the Notebook section: from July 1st 2020 to September 1st 2020

In recent years, narratives in video games have grown increasingly complex, evolving from serving merely as a context designed to present the rules and mechanics of the game towards the development of much deeper and more complicated structures, plots and characters, and the exploration of new thematic perspectives. Narrative complexity is already a central part of the gaming experience in games like Telling Lies (Sam Barlow, 2019), Life is Strange (Dontnod Entertainment, 2015), What Remains of Edith Finch (Giant Sparrow, 2017), and VR experiences like The Invisible Hours (Tequila Works, 2017). Having moved past the debate between narratology and ludology (Frasca, 2003; Aarseth, 2019), there is a consensus among researchers that video games should be analysed as cultural artefacts that can harbour a complex narrative development as part of their design.… read more. “Call: “Ludonarratives: Narrative complexity in video games” for journal L’Atalante”

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Jean-Michel Jarre to host innovative live VR concert on VRrOOM June 21

[Musician Jean-Michel Jarre will host an innovative concert in virtual reality on Sunday June 21, 2020, as described in this press release from VRrOOm (where it includes two more pictures). Coverage from AFP via Yahoo! News add this:

Jarre said the concert will be one step beyond the lockdown concert performed by the US rapper Travis Scott inside the shooter game Fortnite in April, which was watched by more than 12 million players. “Everything will be done live,” Jarre told AFP, whereas with “Fortnite it was pre-recorded in a universe that already existed. Here it will be total immersion in a space that we will be creating live, like in ‘The Matrix’,” he said, referring to the cult 1999 sci-fi film.

For more details from a participant see The Ghost Howls blog.

–Matthew]

Jean-Michel Jarre, VRrOOm Team For A Live VR Gig

June 18, 2020

Live from his studio, French musician Jean-Michel Jarre, via his Avatar, will perform live in a virtual stage and universe specially designed and produced by VRrOOm, simultaneously broadcast and accessible to everyone online via PC in video game mode, tablets, and smartphones in 2D mode, or in total immersion using any tethered VR headset.… read more. “Jean-Michel Jarre to host innovative live VR concert on VRrOOM June 21”

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Call: “After Covid-19: Crises, Ethics, and Socio-Technical Change” special issue

Call for Papers

Special Issue of IEEE Transactions on Technology and Society:
After Covid-19: Crises, Ethics, and Socio-Technical Change

Confirmed Guest Editors:

Rafael A. Calvo, Dyson School of Design Engineering, Imperial College London
Sebastian Deterding, Digital Creativity Labs, University of York
Catherine Flick, Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility, De Montfort University
Christoph Luetge, Institute for Ethics in AI, Technical University of Munich (TUM)
Alison Powell, Department of Media and Communications, London School of Economics and Political Science
Jack Stilgoe, Department of Science and Technology Studies, University College London
Karina Vold, Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology, University of Toronto & University of Cambridge

Submissions close: 1 March 2021

DESCRIPTION

As the COVID-19 pandemic shows, crises can catalyse socio-technical changes at a speed and scale otherwise thought impossible. Crises expose the fragility and resilience of our sociotechnical systems – from healthcare to financial markets, internet connectivity, and local communities.… read more. “Call: “After Covid-19: Crises, Ethics, and Socio-Technical Change” special issue”

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VR makes exercise more enjoyable and less tiring, study finds

[A new study comparing exercise combined with music, virtual reality, both, and neither, and measuring a variety of effects, provides more evidence for the benefits of presence. This story is from Forbes, where the original includes a second image; follow the link to the study for more details. –Matthew]

[Image: Credit: Photo by Amy E. Price/FilmMagic]

Virtual Reality Makes Exercise More Enjoyable And Less Tiring, Study Finds

Simon Chandler, Contributor
June 16, 2020

Virtual reality makes exercise more enjoyable and less difficult, according to a new study published in the British Journal of Health Psychology.

Authored by researchers from Brunel University London and the universities of Exeter and Gloucestershire, the “Ready Exerciser One” study put 24 volunteers on VR-enabled exercise bikes. Rather than staring at the wall, these volunteers experienced themselves cycling through the French countryside, thanks to the VR headsets provided by Massachusetts-based developer VirZOOM.… read more. “VR makes exercise more enjoyable and less tiring, study finds”

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