ISPR Presence News

Category Archives: Presence in the News

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

Eyecam, an uncanny anthropomorphic webcam to explore our relationships with technology

[You have to watch the 2:11 minute video to really appreciate Marc Teyssier’s anthropomorphic webcam, which purposely evokes uncanny valley responses to prompt us to think about a variety of issues related to our relationships with technology. This story is from IGN and much more information, including the video, photos and a link to a CHI 2021 paper, are available on Teyssier’s website. –Matthew]

This Webcam Looks Like a Human Eye and Even Blinks at You

A webcam with a mind, err, eye of its own.

By Wesley LeBlanc
April 14, 2021

A new prototype webcam looks like a realistic human eye, complete with its own eyebrow – and it blinks, too.

If that’s not enough, it’s also capable of looking around and acting out on its own accord. It can express emotions such as anger and sadness, and it can check out what else is going on in the room if it doesn’t feel like looking at you anymore.… read more. “Eyecam, an uncanny anthropomorphic webcam to explore our relationships with technology”

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FSU professor connects students through virtual reality

[This story from Florida State University News describes Professor Andrew Opel’s use of immersive media to teach Immersive Media Production and includes both his and his students’ impressions about the experience. See the original version of the story for two more images. If you have related experiences using presence-evoking media to teach, please add a comment to this post and/or send me an email at lombard@temple.edu –Matthew]

[Image: Students in Professor Andy Opel’s Immersive Media Production class were issued Oculus Quest 2 headsets this semester and used virtual reality (VR) to simulate a classroom space. Using the EngageVR platform, students were able to create virtual avatars and travel to different VR environments, like the Oval Office. Credit: Andy Opel]

FSU professor connects students through virtual reality

By Kelsey Klopfenstein, Leah Abounader
April 14, 2021

While most students taking remote classes are meeting via Zoom, a professor in Florida State University’s School of Communication has been using virtual reality (VR) to simulate a classroom space.… read more. “FSU professor connects students through virtual reality”

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VR (and presence) that teaches inhibitory control may be helpful in treating binge eating disorder

[A new study by Drexel University researchers explores the potentially valuable application of presence-evoking technology in treating inhibitory control deficits such as those in binge-eating disorder. The study is described in this story from PsyPost. The journal article by the researchers includes this:

“Delivering ICT through virtual reality (VR) confers many important advantages over traditional ICTs. First, the more realistic imagery of VR better approximates encountering palatable foods in the natural environment. In samples of individuals with eating disorders (EDs), exposure to 3D images, compared to 2D images, induce greater desires to consume the food (Perpiñá et al., 2013). Additionally exposure to real food and VR food stimuli produce equivalently high arousal (Gorini, Griez, Petrova, & Riva, 2010). Secondly, a VR ICT can be designed to facilitate inhibition of realistic motor movements (e.g., reaching and grabbing), which may increase the potential for transfer to eating behavior.… read more. “VR (and presence) that teaches inhibitory control may be helpful in treating binge eating disorder”

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Presence in the OR: Proximie’s lower tech AR system brings surgeons together digitally during operations

[The Boston Globe reports on the increased use of several types of presence-evoking technology in the medical sphere, driven in part by the pandemic. The focus is on Proximie’s “only as high-tech as it has to be” system that links surgeons to remote operating rooms and is in use at over 300 hospitals in the U.S. –Matthew]

[Image: The virtual hand of a remote doctor was able to guide a surgical procedure thanks to Proximie’s software interface. Credit: Proximie]

Telesurgery surges to meet pandemic needs. Think of it as Zoom for surgeons

By Hiawatha Bray, Globe Staff
March 23, 2021

In late January, neurosurgeon Sohum Desai of Harlingen, Texas, wanted assistance with a brain operation. So he called in some extra help from two colleagues who looked over Desai’s shoulder, using their voices and hands to guide him through each step of the process.… read more. “Presence in the OR: Proximie’s lower tech AR system brings surgeons together digitally during operations”

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How VR (and presence) can transform the process of data analysis and presentation

[This essay from ARPost summarizes some of the benefits of using virtual reality to visualize, analyze and present complex data; see the original story for three more images and links to related stories. –Matthew]

How Virtual Reality Data Visualization Sets a New Standard for Big Data

Virtual reality helps users to process large amounts of data, understand and act on multidimensional relationships, and more.

Andy Maggio, Founder and General Manager of D6 VR, a subsidiary of The Glimpse Group focused on data analytics and presentation
March 25, 2021

We live in an age of enormous data creation. The amount of global data generated per year has increased by more than 30x over the past 10 years, and it is projected to more than quadruple over the next five. The problem for humans is no longer access to data — it’s how to possibly process the immense amount of data that is now at our fingertips.… read more. “How VR (and presence) can transform the process of data analysis and presentation”

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CREAL light-field VR and AR prototype HMDs take leap forward in focus and resolution

[This story from Road to VR describes progress by the Swiss company CREAL in developing virtual and augmented reality headset technology with not only “near retina resolution” but the ability to adjust depth of field focus as we do in nonmediated experience. The original version of the story includes two more images and the 1:33 minute demonstration video mentioned (which is also available on YouTube). For more information see the company’s website and YouTube channel. –Matthew]

New Video Shows Off CREAL’s Latest Foveated Light-field VR Headset

By Ben Lang
April 8, 2021

CREAL, a company building light-field display technology for AR and VR headsets, has revealed a new through-the-lens video showing off the performance of its latest VR headset prototype. The new video clearly demonstrates the ability to focus at arbitrary distances, as well as the high resolution of the foveated region.… read more. “CREAL light-field VR and AR prototype HMDs take leap forward in focus and resolution”

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Presence in higher education: Our new digital colleagues and friends

[Although it doesn’t uses the terminology of presence, this essay from Inside Higher Ed is all about the evolution of technologies designed to evoke medium-as-social-actor presence and how they can be applied in the context of higher education.  –Matthew]

[Image: Cecilia Santiago-González, left, assistant vice president for strategic initiatives for student success, left, and communications specialist Zoe Lance are managers of Billy Chat, an artificial intelligence text messaging bot for students at Cal Poly Pomona. Source: “Artificial intelligence meets real friendship: College students are bonding with robots,” Los Angeles Times. Credit: Irfan Khan]

Our New Digital Colleagues and Friends

By Ray Schroeder
March 25, 2021

There is an intriguing anthropomorphic trend underway to apply human attributes and attitudes to artificial intelligence-driven chat bots and assorted personal assistant tools.

This is not unique in the history of humans. We tend to assign human attributes and names to tools and conveyances.… read more. “Presence in higher education: Our new digital colleagues and friends”

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How CrimeDoor uses AR to recreate crime scenes including the Crucifixion of Jesus

[The new augmented reality app CrimeDoor features augmented reality recreations of crime scenes, as reported in this Yahoo! story. A pre-Easter press release from the company via PR Newswire highlights the recreation of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ (and includes a video demonstration):

“With billions of people around the world familiar with the story of Jesus’ crucifixion, AR allows app users to finally experience the moment that shaped history, directly in their own space. The innovation of Augmented Reality places the 3D scene in a user’s room, so they can physically walk into the space with a mobile device and stand next to Jesus at the moment of this solemn, influential event, portrayed as it was over 2,000 years ago. Users can gain a new, firsthand perspective of what it would have been like to be there.”

Mystery Wire’s coverage via KRON4 includes a four minute video with more information and demonstrations.… read more. “How CrimeDoor uses AR to recreate crime scenes including the Crucifixion of Jesus”

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Presence after the pandemic: Three lessons CEOs can learn from the boom of virtual experiences

[While we’re dealing with the difficult day-to-day realities of the pandemic it’s easy to overlook the speed, magnitude and significance of what will be lasting changes in how we live, many of which involve increases in presence. This essay from Chief Executive by the CEO of a technology company captures some of that big picture and what to expect as the world slowly recovers; as the author’s last line notes, “It’s a strange, but exciting, new (virtual) world.”  –Matthew]

Three Lessons CEOs Can Learn From The Boom Of Virtual Experiences

Our world likely will remain in a hybrid model well beyond the end of this pandemic, which means we must be providing products and services that allow customers to choose between the real-world or virtual-world version of the same experience.

By Todd Greene
April 1, 2021

Conducting facets of our lives online was a trend that started years before the pandemic.… read more. “Presence after the pandemic: Three lessons CEOs can learn from the boom of virtual experiences”

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How we treat animals will inform our future with robots

[This Meidum OneZero interview with author Kate Darling explores several interesting implications of medium-as-social-actor presence evoked by human-like robots, including insights from the history of our views about interacting with animals. –Matthew]

How We Treat Animals Will Inform Our Future With Robots

Evan Selinger in conversation with Kate Darling from MIT Media Lab

By Evan Selinger
April 1, 2021

[This is Open Dialogue, an interview series from OneZero about technology and ethics.]

A few years ago, I read a fascinating paper by Kate Darling, a research specialist at the MIT Media Lab, that left a lasting impression. In “Extending Legal Protection to Social Robots: The Effects of Anthropomorphism, Empathy, and Violent Behavior Towards Robotic Objects.” Kate clarifies how easy it is, given the way the human mind works, for us to become emotionally attached to all kinds of robots — robots that have humanlike, animal-like, or even basic lifelike features.… read more. “How we treat animals will inform our future with robots”

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