ISPR Presence News

Category Archives: Presence in the News

News stories explicitly or implicitly related to presence from a wide variety of sources

Presence predictions: Second Life founder returns to revamp his original metaverse

[The CNET story below details the current views and predictions of Philip Rosedale, the founder of Second Life, regarding virtual reality and the metaverse. Fast Company’s story, “Second Life’s creator is back to build a ‘metaverse that doesn’t harm people,’“ includes these additional details and quotes:

“Rosedale tells me he fears that the mistakes of Web 2.0—such as the surveillance-based advertising used by Meta/Facebook—will carry over into the web’s next paradigm. He says there are better ways to make money in the metaverse. ‘Second Life is a demonstration of a model that works,’ he says. ‘It makes lots of money per person, it has a free tier, and it makes money charging people small fees on transactions, hosting fees, and land fees.’ ‘It’s possible to build a version of the metaverse that doesn’t harm people but actually can help with the problems we have now with divisiveness and misinformation,’ he says. … read more. “Presence predictions: Second Life founder returns to revamp his original metaverse”

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Is the ‘uncanny valley’ good for a future metaverse?

[Japanese roboticist Masahiro Mori and other experts comment on the application of the uncanny valley phenomenon in the shared virtual spaces of a metaverse in this story from The Mainichi. An introduction to the uncanny valley in a November 2021 story from Discover includes this passage that includes examples and refers to a new paper about different explanations for the phenomenon:

“When we spoke by Zoom, [Karl] MacDorman, a world-renowned expert in human-computer interaction, showed me several robots that tend to drop into the uncanny valley but do not come close to being humanlike. One was less humanlike than R2D2, but still managed, perhaps by virtue of its appearing to have four eyes, to evoke the uncanny feeling in many observers. ‘You can get into the uncanny at all levels of humanness,’ MacDorman says. Take, for example, the Telenoid, a teleoperated android designed by Japanese roboticist Hiroshi Ishiguro.… read more. “Is the ‘uncanny valley’ good for a future metaverse?”

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The maker of Pokemon Go says the metaverse should take you outside

[As this Fast Company story explains, an extended ad titled “Meet You Out There” is part of a brand campaign from the company behind Pokemon Go and other AR games to advance its vision of using technology to augment rather than replace the real world, bringing people together outside instead of in a potentially dystopian metaverse. See the original story for a different image and the 2:07 minute ad (also available on YouTube). –Matthew]

The maker of Pokemon Go says the metaverse should take you outside

Niantic, the augmented reality gaming company behind Pokemon Go, lays out its vision for the metaverse in its first-ever ad campaign.

By Jeff Beer
November 17, 2021

Before Faceboo, er, Meta and Microsoft unveiled their high-profile and ambitious visions for the metaverse in October, Niantic founder and CEO John Hanke wrote a company blog post titled, “The Metaverse is a Dystopian Nightmare.read more. “The maker of Pokemon Go says the metaverse should take you outside”

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When art transports us, where do we actually go?

[Without using the term explicitly, this essay from Psyche elegantly describes (tele)presence experiences, including the requirement that they begin with an external stimulus and that they involve a subtle dual awareness of mediated and nonmediated realities. See the original version for a second image and a video. –Matthew]

[Image: Detail of The Hunters in the Snow (1565), by Pieter Bruegel the Elder. Credit: Courtesy the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna]

When art transports us, where do we actually go?

By Harri Mäcklin, a postdoctoral researcher of aesthetics at the University of Helsinki in Finland. His research interests include phenomenology, hermeneutics, and the history of aesthetics.
January 11, 2022

An old Chinese legend tells of the painter Wu Daozi (680-c760), who learned to paint so vividly that he was finally able to step inside his work and vanish into the landscape.… read more. “When art transports us, where do we actually go?”

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I spent hundreds of hours working in VR. Here’s what I learned

[Here’s an interesting first person report on what it’s like to regularly do one’s work in virtual reality. It’s from Wired, where the original story includes a second image. –Matthew]

[Image: The author’s virtual desktop, floating in orbit above Southeast Asia at night, inside of Immersed, a VR virtual work environment. Credit: Ben Klemens]

I Spent Hundreds of Hours Working in VR. Here’s What I Learned

This is how it feels in the future Mark Zuckerberg promised—disembodied and unaware of my surroundings.

By Ben Klemens
January 6, 2022

Hello from low Earth orbit! I have spent hundreds of hours working here in virtual reality. Even as I write this to you, I have Facebook’s Oculus strapped to my face and am in an aptly named app called Immersed. It puts me in this orbiting spaceship where there’s just me, the computer screen in front of me, and—let me look out the window—Ecuador.… read more. “I spent hundreds of hours working in VR. Here’s what I learned”

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The potential for VR (and presence) in flight training

[Although I’d assumed they’re already an integral part of pilot training, this article from FLYING magazine notes resistance to, argues for, and predicts, greater use of virtual reality and other immersive technologies in the training of new pilots. See the original version of the story for a second image and two videos. –Matthew]

[Image: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Reserve Officer Training Corps Cadet Preston Tower looks behind him at two jets flown by fellow MIT cadets in a mixed reality environment during a flying training session with the 80th Flying Training Wing at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas. Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by John Ingle]

Virtual Reality in Flight Training: More Than a Fad

VR presents immediate opportunities for more realistic lessons for more students.

By Michael Wildes
December 20, 2021

If you’re planning to sign up for flight training in the near future, there’s a strong chance you may be handed a virtual reality (VR) headset before a pair of David Clarks [aviation headsets].… read more. “The potential for VR (and presence) in flight training”

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GigXR partners with universities for holographic simulation medical training

[Two recent stories from Campus Technology describe partnerships between GigXR and universities to expand the development of presence-evoking, safe-to-fail holographic simulations for medical training. The original version of the first story below includes a one-minute video (also available via YouTube). For more details, a 37 minute December 2020 GigXR Holographic Standardized Patients webinar from HealthySimulation.com is available via YouTube. –Matthew]

[From Campus Technology]

University of Cambridge, Cambridge Hospitals Partner with GigXR to Co-Create Holographic Simulation Medical Training

By Kristal Kuykendall
January 6, 2022

GigXR, a global provider of extended reality (XR) solutions for instructor-led teaching and training, has partnered with the University of Cambridge and Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to co-create holographic acute-care simulations for training medical professionals at every level, according to a news release.

Using mixed reality — merging physical environments with hyper-realistic digital elements — learners will be able to interact with holographic patients to practice making high-level treatment and intervention decisions in real time.… read more. “GigXR partners with universities for holographic simulation medical training”

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‘You have to distance yourself from it being a human’: Humanoid robot Ameca interviewed at CES

[The first video of the humanoid robot Ameca went viral at the end of 2021 (see a summary of coverage from a December 3 ISPR Presence News post). Now Ameca has appeared for the first time in public at the 2022 Consumer Electronics Show, where the author of this story from CNET interviewed both the robot and the director of operations of the company that created it, Engineered Arts. See the original story to watch the nine minute interview (also available on YouTube) and search online for other videos. While the company purposely made Ameca look less like a human and more like a robot, “backing away” from the uncanny valley, it (“she” seems more appropriate even though Ameca is said to be ungendered) moves and has facial expressions that are very human-like, raising questions about which combinations of social cues are most likely to evoke medium-as-social-actor presence (something Kun Xu and I have recently written about in the journal Human-Machine Communication).… read more. “‘You have to distance yourself from it being a human’: Humanoid robot Ameca interviewed at CES”

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Disney patents AR without headsets for theme park rides

[Disney’s new “Virtual World Simulator” patent describes a sophisticated projection mapping system that can track multiple users and project personalized three-dimensional images to create augmented reality illusions without the need for a headset, phone or other user device. This story from SiliconValley.com provides details and context (and the original version includes two different images). IGN’s coverage adds this:

“In addition to creating immersive theme park experiences, Disney’s patent also appears to note that the technology could be adapted for home use. The patent states that the virtual world simulator could be used to enable the transformation of a real-world venue, in the form of a personal residence or photography studio, into a movie set without requiring the user to leave their home. While this still feels like it could be some way off, the notion that the company is working on such technologies is still a very exciting prospect.”… read more. “Disney patents AR without headsets for theme park rides”

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Not CGI: BMW unveils car that can change its color using E Ink

[BMW has unveiled a car that can change colors, with some reports (e.g., see DesignTAXI) reassuring us that the video demonstration is real and not the result of CGI or other special effects. The details are in the VentureBeat story below, which also describes new presence-evoking technology developed for the interior of BMW vehicles. Watch the color-changing technology in videos in the original story and from DPC Cars and the BMW Blog via YouTube. For even more details, images and videos see the company’s press releases about the exterior and interior technologies. –Matthew]

BMW unveils car that can change its color using E Ink

By Dean Takahashi
January 5, 2022

BMW unveiled a car that can change its color because its exterior has a coating of E Ink.

E Ink is the same kind of tech used in Amazon Kindle ebook readers, and can now cover the surface of an entire automobile.… read more. “Not CGI: BMW unveils car that can change its color using E Ink”

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