ISPR Presence News

Monthly Archives: July 2020

Job: Associate Director, Center for Immersive Experiences at Penn State University

Call for Applications:

Associate Director, Center for Immersive Experiences
Pennsylvania State University
University Park Campus
https://psu.wd1.myworkdayjobs.com/en-US/PSU_Academic/job/University-Park-Campus/Associate-Director–Center-for-Immersive-Experiences_REQ_0000004529-1

Review of applications will be begin September 1, 2020

JOB DESCRIPTION AND POSITION REQUIREMENTS:

Penn State’s Center for Immersive Experiences (CIE; immersive.psu.edu) is seeking to fill the position of associate director. CIE is a Penn State signature initiative with university-wide participation of 12 colleges and research units and is an affiliated center of the Institute for Computational and Data Science (ICDS).

The Associate Director will be appointed as an Assistant/Associate Research Professor based upon experience and is expected to have their faculty home in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications. They will work directly with the Center Director and coordinate research activities of vibrant, multidisciplinary teams funded or facilitated by CIE. CIE is committed to a range of topics that see transformative changes due to the paradigm-shifting nature of immersive technologies.… read more. “Job: Associate Director, Center for Immersive Experiences at Penn State University”

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Adding virtual baseball (and other) audience members during a pandemic

[Social distancing requirements are leading producers of sports coverage – and many others – to get creative in simulating missing audience members. This story from Variety describes how Major League Baseball is addressing the issue with digital fans (see the original version for a 19 second video). SB Nation’s coverage (“The uncanny valley is full of Fox Sports’ virtual baseball fans”) characterizes it this way:

“In order to make the return of baseball feel more ‘alive’ on TV, Fox is adding full stadiums of virtual baseball fans that cheer and boo along with the action. It’s a means to make everything feel more normal, even during the wholly surreal pandemic era. Fox are by no means the first organization to try this, Cardboard cutouts have been used in Korea since baseball resumed, one soccer team used sex dolls and got fined for it.… read more. “Adding virtual baseball (and other) audience members during a pandemic”

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Call: Society for Philosophy and Technology (SPT) 2021 Conference

Call for Papers

SPT 2021: Technological Imaginaries
The Society for Philosophy and Technology
June 28-30
Université Catholique de Lille
Université de Technologie de Compiègne
https://lillethics.com/spt-2021/

Submission deadline: December 1, 2020

THEME: Technological Imaginaries

Technologies are always more than the sum of their mechanical parts. Indeed, technologies are entangled in symbolic forms of a social and cultural nature. Technologies also contribute to the construction of new worldviews and new forms of life. Technological imaginaries are far more than phantasies detached from technological innovation. They are at the heart of innovation itself, of the invention as well as of the implementation and use of technology in our societies.

Technological imaginaries are embodied in the technologies themselves, as well as in norms and social and cultural practices. Technological imaginaries are often crystallized in scientific and non-scientific texts, documents, sounds, and images. They are always distributed on an axis that goes from ideology to utopia.… read more. “Call: Society for Philosophy and Technology (SPT) 2021 Conference”

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Thermal camera bracelet reads your wrist to track your fingers

[New Atlas reports on an innovative wearable design with several presence applications; the original story includes a 3:18 minute video (also available via YouTube) and more information is also available from Cornell University. The new paper includes this:

“Another interest[ing] application of FingerTrak in the future is to replace the glove or controller in [a] Virtual Reality setting, to free the hands in VR interaction. Moreover, FingerTrak can be used to control a robotic hand remotely and thus provide a novel means of human robot interaction where precise human hand manipulation is needed.” (p. 71:21)

–Matthew]

[Image: A digital model overlaid on a real hand, showing just how well the FingerTrak system can predict the positions of a wearer’s fingers. At the bottom right, a robot hand copies the wearer. Credit: Cheng Zhang]

Thermal camera bracelet reads your wrist to track your fingers

By Michael Irving
July 22, 2020

Capturing the complexities of the human hand is a difficult task – just ask any artist or animator.… read more. “Thermal camera bracelet reads your wrist to track your fingers”

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Call: ICMI 2020 (Virtual) Workshop on Social Affective Multimodal Interaction for Health (SAMIH)

Call for Papers

(Virtual) Workshop on Social Affective Multimodal Interaction for Health (SAMIH)
To be held in conjunction with the 22nd ACM International Conference on Multimodal Interaction
29 October 2020
ICMI 2020: http://icmi.acm.org/2020/index.php?id=home
Workshop: https://sites.google.com/view/wsamih/home

Workshop papers or abstract due: 23 August, 2020

Organizers:
Hiroki Tanaka (Nara Institute of Science and Technology, Japan)
Satoshi Nakamura (Nara Institute of Science and Technology, Japan)
Jean-Claude Martin (CNRS-LIMSI, France)
Catherine Pelachaud (CNRS-ISIR, Sorbonne University, France)

Social Skill Training is often used in the multimodal Interaction research community as an umbrella term for systems that aim at training social skills: managing appropriately verbal and nonverbal behaviors when interacting with one or more persons, in relation with various communicative functions such as turn taking and emotions.

People with social affective deficits have difficulties controlling their own social behavior and also suffer from interpreting others’ social behavior.… read more. “Call: ICMI 2020 (Virtual) Workshop on Social Affective Multimodal Interaction for Health (SAMIH)”

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Inverse presence: Discovery reveals 2020 is a Holodeck program

[If you’re in the ISPR Presence Community Facebook group you saw this clever example of inverse presence a few days ago (along with several others lately); the story about it below is from Daily Star Trek News. CNET’s coverage adds this detail:

“A close-up of the fan-made holodeck interface screen says, ‘Early C21 Outdoor, Los Angeles City Park, Survival Mode, VELDT, Variation 7.’ According to [designer Arthur] Chadwick, VELDT is a nod to the short story called The Veldt by science fiction author and famous Los Angeles resident Ray Bradbury.”

Both stories include tweeted reactions and several more are in a story at commicbook.com. I find it interesting that some of the reactions, and the tone of the CNET story, express disappointment that 2020 isn’t a holodeck program – while it definitely has seemed dystopian, the revelation that we are living in a simulation would raise new, potentially more disturbing concerns (!).… read more. “Inverse presence: Discovery reveals 2020 is a Holodeck program”

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Call: Views regarding ethical issues of conversational agents for France’s National Digital Ethics Steering Committee

[Note: Follow the links below for the questionnaire, which includes detailed information on this topic. –ML]

Call for Participation

[Views regarding] The ethical issues of conversational agents
National Digital Ethics Steering Committee (CNPEN)
https://www.ccne-ethique.fr/en/actualites/cnpen-ethical-issues-conversational-agents

Submission deadline: 30 September 2020

The National Pilot Committee for Digital Ethics (CNPEN) was established in December 2019 at the request of the [French] Prime Minister. Composed of 27 members, this committee brings together digital specialists, philosophers, doctors, lawyers and members of civil society. One of the three referrals submitted by the Prime Minister to the CNPEN concerns the ethical issues of conversational agents, commonly known as chatbots, who communicate with the human user by voice or in writing. This work of the CNPEN is an extension of the work initiated by CERNA, the Allistene Alliance’s Commission on Research Ethics in Digital Science and Technology.

This call aims to allow stakeholders and the public to express their views on the ethical issues related to chatbots.… read more. “Call: Views regarding ethical issues of conversational agents for France’s National Digital Ethics Steering Committee”

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Eight360 Nova: A crazy, untethered, fully rollable VR motion platform

[This New Atlas story about Eight360’s impressive virtual reality platform includes lots of references to compelling presence experiences (without using the term); see the original version for more pictures and the video mentioned at the end, and see the company’s website for more coverage and videos. –Matthew]

Eight360 Nova: A crazy, untethered, fully rollable VR motion platform

By Loz Blain
April 23, 2020

By far the most extreme gaming and simulation platform we’ve seen, the Nova places you in a fully untethered ball that’s free to spin in any direction, creating all sorts of wild gravity effects for total immersion in a range of different vehicle types.

It’s the work of New Zealand startup Eight360, which has risen from true garage status to produce what Founder/CEO Terry Miller calls, “the crazy spinning ball of death.” Terry spoke to us from a birthing center in Wellington just one day after the birth of his first child.… read more. “Eight360 Nova: A crazy, untethered, fully rollable VR motion platform”

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Job: Associate Professor specialized in HCI and Mixed Reality at IMT Atlantique Brest

JOB ADVERTISEMENT

IMT ATLANTIQUE
is recruiting an Associate Professor in Computer Science, specialized in HCI and Mixed Reality
Brest campus
France
https://www.imt-atlantique.fr/en/school/job-offers/recruitment-campaign

Deadline for applications: September 20th, 2020
Start date: December 2020

Keywords: Human-Computer Interaction, 3D User Interaction, Mixed Reality (Virtual Reality and/or Augmented Reality), Immersive 3D Visualization (Immersive Analytics)

Administrative status: Associate/Assistant Professor, civil servant of the French Ministry of Economy and Industry

PRESENTATION OF THE SCHOOL:

IMT Atlantique, internationally recognized for the quality of its research, is a leading general engineering school under the aegis of the Ministry of Industry and Digital Technology, ranked in the 3 main international rankings (THE, SHANGAI, QS).

Situated on 3 campuses, Brest, Nantes and Rennes, IMT Atlantique aims to combine digital technology and energy to transform society and industry through training, research and innovation. It aims to be the leading French higher education and research institution in this field on an international scale.… read more. “Job: Associate Professor specialized in HCI and Mixed Reality at IMT Atlantique Brest”

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Let It Out: Record your scream for broadcast into the empty Icelandic countryside

[A clever campaign to promote travel to Iceland lets people release their pandemic-related (or other) stress by having their recorded screams broadcast into the empty and beautiful Icelandic countryside, creating presence as transportation until they can “come let it out for real.” This story from CBS News includes a 1:01 video (also available via YouTube) and a 6:54 minute news report about adapting to isolation. –Matthew]

Iceland is broadcasting the world’s screams to relieve coronavirus stress

By Sophie Lewis
July 16, 2020

People around the world are finding different ways to relieve stress during the coronavirus pandemic. Some have tried running, gardening, doing puzzles, cooking — but what about screaming?

Promote Iceland, which encourages tourism to the country, is encouraging people to scream to relieve pent up frustration. And even if you can’t travel to Iceland to do it, you can scream into your device and your voice will be broadcast throughout the empty Icelandic countryside.… read more. “Let It Out: Record your scream for broadcast into the empty Icelandic countryside”

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