ISPR Presence News

Monthly Archives: October 2020

Study: Presence mediates VR nature effects on positive mood and nature connectedness

[In these stressful times, the topic of this story from Medical News Today is particularly important. The story describes a new study that compared the positive effects of experiencing nature via TV, 360 video and VR, with interesting results regarding the role of presence. The full article is available without subscription from the Journal of Environmental Psychology. See also a related April 2020 ISPR Presence News post. –Matthew]

[Image: Credit: Donald Iain Smith/Getty Images]

Virtual reality nature boosts positive mood

Watching nature on an ordinary television relieves boredom and negative emotions, according to a study. But interacting with nature in virtual reality (VR) leads to greater improvements in positive mood and nature connectedness.

Written by James Kingsland on October 21, 2020
Fact checked by Rita Ponce, Ph.D.

Many people say they notice the psychological benefits of reconnecting with nature during the COVID-19 pandemic — whether in their backyards, in public parks, or in the countryside.… read more. “Study: Presence mediates VR nature effects on positive mood and nature connectedness”

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ISPR News / Call: Join us Friday (Oct 23) for PRESENCE 2020

This is a last reminder that you’re invited to join us as we gather online tomorrow (Friday, October 23) for the PRESENCE 2020 conference. We’ll do everything possible to retain the informal, social nature of the in-person PRESENCE conferences and in addition to keeping us all safe, meeting online means the conference is free. The program for the day-long event is available on the conference website here, and you can register here. If you have any questions please e-mail Hocheol Yang at hyang25@calpoly.edu and/or me at lombard@temple.edu. We’re looking forward to “being with” you!

–Matthew, on behalf of the organizing committee

PRESENCE 2020
18th conference of the International Society for Presence Research (ISPR)
Online + Synchronous
October 23, 2020
https://ispr.info/presence-2020

PROGRAM HERE
REGISTER HERE

Conference theme: Presence during and after the pandemicread more. “ISPR News / Call: Join us Friday (Oct 23) for PRESENCE 2020”

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‘Universal law of touch’ will enable new advances in virtual reality

[This Cosmos report describes more clearly than most press coverage what appears to be an important discovery that will lead to improved haptics in VR, and thereby improved presence. See the story from the University of Birmingham for more information and a 1:56 minute video (also available via YouTube). –Matthew]

[Image: Credit: Sebastian Kopp / EyeEm, via Getty Images]

The science behind our sense of touch

There are some surprising similarities with earthquakes.

By Lauren Fuge, science journalist at The Royal Institution of Australia
13 October 2020

European researchers have developed a new universal scaling law for the sense of touch, and it’s paving the way for an expansion of virtual reality technology.

“Touch is a primordial sense, as important to our ancient ancestors as it is to modern-day mammals, but it’s also one of the most complex and therefore least understood,” says lead researcher Tom Montenegro-Johnson from the University of Birmingham, UK.… read more. “‘Universal law of touch’ will enable new advances in virtual reality”

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Job: Junior Professorship in Human-Robot Interaction at University of Wurzburg

Call for Applications

Junior Professorship with tenure-track in Human-Robot Interaction
Institute for Computer Science
University of Würzburg
Würzburg, Germany
https://www.uni-wuerzburg.de/fileadmin/midas/2020/Ausschreibungen/2020-09-24_Ausschreibung_HRI_en.pdf

Application deadline: 4 November 2020

The Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science of the University of Würzburg has an open tenured position in the Institute for Computer Science starting at the earliest possible date.

The junior professorship is to be filled on a temporary basis as a civil servant for an initial period of three years. The temporary civil service relationship is to be extended on probation for a total duration of up to six years. The tenure and appointment as a university professor of grade W3 in a civil servant relationship for life shall only be granted if the junior professor has proven his/her worth in accordance with the university’s internal quality assurance concept. This tenure-track professorship is funded by the Bund-Länder Programme for the Promotion of Young Academics (Tenure-Track Programme).… read more. “Job: Junior Professorship in Human-Robot Interaction at University of Wurzburg”

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What keeps virtual reality stuck in the future?

[For the technology most associated with presence to become more than a niche product after so many years we need clear-eyed evaluations about the remaining barriers like this one in Polygon from a long-time user/observer. –Matthew]

The VR revolution has been 5 minutes away for 8 years

What keeps virtual reality stuck in the future?

By Ben Kuchera
October 20, 2020
[Part of the Polygon series “Imagining the Next Future”]

Virtual reality is either better than it has ever been, or at least a few years away from mainstream acceptance, depending on who you ask. Both points of view always seem to be true. That’s because VR has been five minutes away from some kind of breakthrough for about eight years.

Which points at one very hard truth: We’re much further away from VR headsets being just another appliance in the home than many in the industry would like to admit.… read more. “What keeps virtual reality stuck in the future?”

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Call: ARCHDESIGN ’21 VIII. International Online Architectural Design Conference

[Note the several themes related to presence, especially “TRACK 02.2. Digital Age and Contemporary Discussions.” –Matthew]

CALL FOR PAPERS

VIII. INTERNATIONAL ONLINE ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN CONFERENCE
ARCHDESIGN ’21
April 2, 2021
https://www.dakamconferences.org/archdesign

Abstract Submission Deadline: December 25, 2020

NOTE: In response to restrictions posed by the Coronavirus pandemic, we change[d] our conferences in 2020 into online events. VIRTUAL Presentation (Live Connection |Pre-recorded video | Short films | Powerpoint Presentation | Written Papers) is now the only presentation category while the new fees are set as 30 Euros for presentation, 20 Euros for Students.

ARCHDESIGN ’21 / VIII. International Architectural Design Conference will be held in the form of an online event. The conference is coordinated by DAKAM (Eastern Mediterranean Academic Research Center) and will be organized by BILSAS (Science, Art, Sport Productions).

Since 2014, nearly three hundred presentations by scholars from different places of the world has been hosted by DAKAM’s ARCHDESIGN Conferences and six proceedings books have been published.… read more. “Call: ARCHDESIGN ’21 VIII. International Online Architectural Design Conference”

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Negative bias in virtual falls: How we discovered that VR can profile your personality

[The new study described in this story from The Conversation is interesting on its own but as the author notes, it brings into focus some of the ethical concerns raised by virtual reality and other immersive, ‘experiential’ media. See the original story for a 2:57 minute video. –Matthew]

[Image: View of the virtual environment from perspective of participant. Source: “Assessment of threat and negativity bias in virtual reality” by Christopher Baker, Ralph Pawling & Stephen Fairclough in Scientific Reports.]

How we discovered that VR can profile your personality

Stephen Fairclough
Professor of Psychophysiology in the School of Psychology, Liverpool John Moores University
October 15, 2020

Virtual reality (VR) has the power to take us out of our surroundings and transport us to far-off lands. From a quick round of golf, to fighting monsters or going for a skydive, all of this can be achieved from the comfort of your home.… read more. “Negative bias in virtual falls: How we discovered that VR can profile your personality”

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Call: “Information in Interactions between Humans and Machines” for Philosophy and Technology

Call for Papers

Information in Interactions between Humans and Machines
Philosophy & Technology Topical Collection

Guest Editors:
Orsolya Friedrich (FernUniversität in Hagen)
Sebastian Schleidgen (FernUniversität in Hagen)
Johanna Seifert (FernUniversität in Hagen)
Andreas Wolkenstein (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München)

Deadline for Submissions is: March 31, 2021

TOPICAL COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

Current developments in AI-based technologies (especially in machine learning) open up new ways of data and information exchange in Human-Machine Interactions (HMI). As a consequence, the character of HMIs is influenced considerably. This poses challenges on the individual as well as societal level. For instance, some applications of HMI (like self-tracking devices or neurotechnologies) can effectuate new forms of self-knowledge, influence the way people interact with their environment or affect their being-in-the-world. Furthermore, epistemic authority or dependencies on information might change in the context of new HMI technologies. HMI related information might result in changes of attitudes, aims, actions, or self-concepts of persons.… read more. “Call: “Information in Interactions between Humans and Machines” for Philosophy and Technology”

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Tech Titans’ 5G Challenge winner creating stand-alone, life-like holograms of virtual teachers

[As reported in the press release below, Dr. Marjorie Zielke has won the Tech Titans’ 5G Challenge with a proposal to develop an Emergent Virtual Teacher Platform (EVTP); she and her team at the Center for Simulation and Synthetic Humans at the University of Texas at Dallas “see a future society of synthetic and real humans working together.” For information about Dr. Zielke’s 2020 NSF grant “to explore how augmented reality can help medical students prepare for interactions with real patients” see the UTD website; the UTD Office of Research website hosts a 52 minute video of a seminar by her about her work; and a 2010 ISPR Presence News post describes her work creating a first-person cultural trainer for soldiers. –Matthew]

[Image: Dr. Marjorie Zielke (seated second from right) and her team of researchers, artists, and developers at The Center for Simulation and Synthetic Humans at the University of Texas at Dallas.read more. “Tech Titans’ 5G Challenge winner creating stand-alone, life-like holograms of virtual teachers”

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Call: Fourteenth International Conference on e-Learning and Innovative Pedagogies

CALL FOR PAPERS

Fourteenth International Conference on e-Learning & Innovative Pedagogies
Online + University of the Aegean, Rhodes, Greece
5–6 May 2021
Format: A mix of live, pre-recorded, and in person (at scale that’s allowed) presentations and social interaction spaces.
https://ubi-learn.com/rhodesconference2021

Regular Proposal Deadline:  5 February 2021
Late Proposal Deadline:  5 April 2021

A BLENDED CONFERENCE

To support the range of options, and flexibility needed in our current climate, we will offer a blended conference experience. You do not need to commit either to a place-based or virtual presentation at the time of submission. You can present both ways or change your mode of the presentation if your preferences change. The choice to participate virtually could also be a moral decision – for the planet, for security, or when the financial burden of travel is too great. We seek to foster spaces that align with principles of social justice and community development — particularly in difficult times.… read more. “Call: Fourteenth International Conference on e-Learning and Innovative Pedagogies”

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