ISPR Presence News

Monthly Archives: October 2020

Call: UK Government Telexistence funding competition

[From the GOV.UK website; follow the link at the bottom for much more information. –Matthew]

DASA launches search for telexistence technology
Funding available to develop capabilities to operate in hazardous environments without physically being present

From: Defence and Security Accelerator and Defence Science and Technology Laboratory

The deadline for proposals is Thursday 19 November 2020

The Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) is looking to develop and demonstrate innovative technology or novel solutions that would give military personnel, emergency services, or humanitarian workers the capability to operate in hazardous environments without physically being present.

On behalf of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), we are calling on innovators to submit their ideas for ‘telexistence’ technologies with £500,000 funding available for multiple proposals.

A telexistence capability can be defined as a system, or a system of systems, which allows a human user to operate in an environment without physically being there.… read more. “Call: UK Government Telexistence funding competition”

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Kim Kardashian’s father resurrected as hologram in birthday present from Kanye West

[It’s still limited to the wealthy and famous, but as technology improves and becomes less expensive, will the “presence after death” technology described in this story from The Guardian become common in the future? The story includes the two versions of the video Kardashian West tweeted, the first with the text, “For my birthday, Kanye got me the most thoughtful gift of a lifetime. A special surprise from heaven. A hologram of my dad. It is so lifelike! We watched it over and over, filled with emotion.” The second tweet reads

“I can’t even describe what this meant to me and my sisters, my brother, my mom and closest friends to experience together. Thank you so much Kanye for this memory that will last a lifetime. Here’s a more close up view to see the incredible detail.”

TMZ adds these details:

“A lot of work went into the hologram … our sources say Kanye spent a lot of time in the studio pouring over old video and audio of Robert to bring the vision to life, and AI was used to finish off the project, which Kanye started in early September.”

–Matthew]

Kim Kardashian’s father resurrected as hologram in birthday present from Kanye West

Dead celebrities appearing via hologram is not unprecedented, but the high cost optical illusions are typically the purview of concerts and museums

By Alyx Gorman
29 October 2020

Six years on from her Paper magazine cover shoot, Kim Kardashian West’s ability to break the internet remains unrivalled.… read more. “Kim Kardashian’s father resurrected as hologram in birthday present from Kanye West”

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IrisVision and other companies are using VR headsets to help the visually impaired

[Although we rarely think of them that way, common eye glasses are a presence-evoking technology because they mediate our experience of the world and we quickly forget their role in changing how we see. As a person with a non-correctable vision impairment (due to congenital nystagmus) I especially appreciate the value of the more advanced presence-evoking technologies to improve vision described in this New York Times story (see the original for two more pictures). –Matthew]

[Image: Ammad Khan, chief executive of IrisVision, with the company’s device to help those with low vision see better. It uses a smartphone, virtual reality headset and algorithms. Credit: Cayce Clifford for The New York Times]

Technology Bridges the Gap to Better Sight

More than 6 million Americans have vision problems that cannot be corrected by glasses or contact lenses. Companies like IrisVision are creating headsets to help them see better.read more. “IrisVision and other companies are using VR headsets to help the visually impaired”

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Call: “Games as fuel for connection and transformation for teens” issue of Journal of Games, Self, and Society

Call for Abstracts: Volume 3 of Journal of Games, Self, & Society

Guest edited by play2PREVENT’s Dr. Claudia-Santi F. Fernandes and Liminal Esports’ J Collins, Volume 3 of the Journal of Games, Self, & Society will highlight how gameplay fuels connection, attends to well-being and supports learning.

https://ithrivegames.org/newsroom/news/jgss-call-for-abstracts-journal-of-games-self-society/

Deadline for extended abstracts: November 20, 2020

Journal of Games, Self, & Society (JGSS), a peer-reviewed journal created and edited by iThrive Games and published by ETC Press, publishes original research and scholarship examining the benefits to humans and to society when games include humanity as a core design element. We encourage interdisciplinary research, community, and conversation focused on how games, game design, and gameplay contribute to a deeper understanding of learning, health, and humanity. We enthusiastically seek original works that push the boundaries of what we know—or what we think we know—about the qualities of games that can benefit our lives emotionally and socially.… read more. “Call: “Games as fuel for connection and transformation for teens” issue of Journal of Games, Self, and Society”

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Stanford Medicine educators use VR to teach anatomy to med students in Kenya

[The project described in this story from the Stanford University School of Medicine represents a very positive application of presence-evoking technology that involves sharing knowledge and experience across the planet. –Matthew]

[Image: A virtual-reality-enabled anatomy class that Stanford Medicine educators taught to high school students over the summer. Credit: Matt Hasel]

Educators will use virtual reality to teach anatomy

This fall, Stanford Medicine educators will teach anatomy to medical students in Kenya using virtual reality. The effort is part of a pilot project to educate medical students in under-resourced schools.

October 16, 2020
By Mandy Erickson

Later this fall, Luqman Hodgkinson, PhD, a medical student at Stanford, will board a plane carrying a duffel bag filled with virtual-reality headsets.

His destination is Kenya’s Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology. He’ll show medical students there how to use the headsets.… read more. “Stanford Medicine educators use VR to teach anatomy to med students in Kenya”

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Call: FDG 2021: 16th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games

Call for Papers

FDG 2021: 16th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games
3-6 August 2021
Hybrid – Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada, and Online
http://fdg2021.org/

First submission deadline: 7 December 2020

The 16th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games (FDG), 2021, is proud to invite research contributions in the form of papers, games and demos, as well as doctoral consortium applications, and panel, competition, and workshop proposals. We invite contributions from within and across any discipline committed to advancing knowledge on the foundations of games: computer science and engineering, humanities and social sciences, arts and design, mathematics and natural sciences.

DATES & LOCATION

3-6 August 2021

Hybrid – Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada, and Online *

* Depending on the situation with COVID-19 in Canada, the conference may be held fully online.

THEME & VISION

The FDG 2021 conference theme is Diversity & Inclusion through Games.… read more. “Call: FDG 2021: 16th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games”

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The pandemic has led to greater use and acceptance of robots in daily life

[This National Geographic story from September 2020 describes the increasing prevalence and acceptance of robots, including telepresence robots, because of the pandemic; see the original version of the story for three more (typically vivid National Geographic) images, and for more on Spot see coverage (including a 1:03 minute video) from IEEE Spectrum. –Matthew]

[Image: Spot, a dog-like robot developed by Boston Dynamics, allows health workers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston to interact with patients—and even to measure their temperature, pulse, and oxygen saturation—from a safe distance. Credit: Screen capture from video by Farah Dadabhoy/Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Video “Robot takes contact-free measurements of patients’ vital signs” available via YouTube.]

The pandemic has been good for one kind of worker: robots

Now that any job involving human contact is considered hazardous, demand for mechanical replacements has skyrocketed.read more. “The pandemic has led to greater use and acceptance of robots in daily life”

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Facebook researchers use invisible finger-tracking to make typing in VR/AR more natural

[Facebook Research Labs is working on technology that makes typing while in virtual or augmented reality more natural and intuitive, as reported in this story from Virtual Reality Times. Note the reference to the technology’s use in future “‘always on’ … standalone Augmented Reality headsets that users might wear anywhere including in the car, at home, at work and anywhere else.” See the original story for three short demonstration videos; more information is in a Facebook blog post and a UIST 2020 research paper (at the link at the end of the story). –Matthew]

Facebook Researchers Develop Invisible Finger-Tracking Keyboard

Using AI training and statistical word prediction, researchers at Facebook Reality Labs (FRL) are developing an invisible finger tracking keyboard that could be used in combination with Virtual Reality headsets like Oculus Quest.

By Sam Ochanji
October 25, 2020

One of the most basic dilemmas surrounding AR/VR tech has been how to make text input in VR a fast, comfortable and also a familiar and intuitive experience.… read more. “Facebook researchers use invisible finger-tracking to make typing in VR/AR more natural”

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ISPR News: Thank you to PRESENCE 2020 participants, attendees, co-organizers

[Image: Credit: Jihyun Kim]

Thank you to the 160+ people who registered for and attended at least part of the PRESENCE 2020 conference on Friday (October 23), especially those who presented their work at the event. While we had to adjust to the limitations in presence caused by meeting via Zoom, I was pleasantly surprised that we were able to retain the sense of informal connection and community of the previous in-person PRESENCE conferences. And as usual I left the event energized by new ideas and a reinforced sense of the value of our diverse and evolving interests in, research about, and applications of presence. Of course we still look forward to meeting in person when circumstances allow, hopefully next fall, and to retaining a virtual component in our future conferences.

A special thanks to fellow organizers of the conference Jihyun Kim (University of Central Florida), Eugene Kukshinov (Temple University), Kun Xu (University of Florida) and Hocheol Yang (Cal Poly University) and the many other people who helped make the event possible.… read more. “ISPR News: Thank you to PRESENCE 2020 participants, attendees, co-organizers”

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Call: “Enabling technologies for marginalised groups: Removing barriers and improving outcomes” at HCII 2021

CALL FOR PAPERS

Enabling Technologies for Marginalised Groups: Removing barriers and improving outcomes
Session at the Human-Computer Interaction International conference 2021
Washington DC, USA / Online
24-29 July
https://marginalisedgroups.wordpress.com/

Deadline to submit extended abstract: 30 November 2020

We invite you to take part in this parallel paper session at the Human-Computer Interaction International conference in Washington DC, USA, 24-29 July 2021 (http://2021.hci.international/). This session is part of the conference’s thematic area Design, User Experience and Usability (DUXU)

An inclusive approach to technology design should draw on the full range of human diversity. This means that as researchers, technologists, and educators we need to learn from people with a range of experiences and perspectives. They offer us views, insights and valuable contributions which are often neglected in current research and practice.

Failing to take an inclusive approach means we create exclusive solutions that are shaped around our own biases, assumptions and design perspectives.… read more. “Call: “Enabling technologies for marginalised groups: Removing barriers and improving outcomes” at HCII 2021”

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