ISPR Presence News

Category Archives: Presence in the News

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

Virtual filmmaking takes center stage in reopening Hollywood

[It’s already hard to recognize the widespread use of visual effects in television and film (e.g., see the Stargate Studios 2018 Showreel on YouTube), but this story from the Los Angeles Times describes how social distancing requirements are leading to even more use of virtual production techniques and the likelihood that the changes will continue even after the dangers of the Coronavirus subside. The original story includes three more images; for more information see coverage from CNBC and the Stargate Studios website. –Matthew]

[Image: Stargate Studios CEO Sam Nicholson sits in what looks like a train’s restaurant car as it passes through Los Angeles. The virtual production company’s ThruView technology, with the help of leading video game engine technology, allows productions to recreate locations on a soundstage. Credit: Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times]

Virtual filmmaking takes center stage in reopening Hollywood

By Anousha Sakoui, staff Writer
May 28, 2020

When “Good Trouble” returns to screens, fans of the Freeform TV drama will reconnect with the two young women, Callie and Mariana, trying to make it in Los Angeles.… read more. “Virtual filmmaking takes center stage in reopening Hollywood”

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Niantic adds ‘reality blending’ to Pokémon Go to make your virtual pals even more realistic

[New occlusion and 3D mapping features of the augmented reality game Pokémon Go will make the appearance of and interaction with its virtual characters more realistic, and others will adapt the game for home-play during the pandemic. Details are in this story from The Verge, where the original includes a different image and a 1:18 minute video (also available via YouTube); for more information and a vivid animated gif see the Pokémon Go website. –Matthew]

Niantic adds ‘reality blending’ to Pokémon Go to make your virtual pals even more realistic

A new AR feature to make pokémon more believably blend with the environment

By Nick Statt
May 26, 2020

Niantic Labs is adding a new augmented reality feature to Pokémon Go next month that will make the virtual creatures look even more realistic. The new feature will let real-world objects obscure parts of the pocket monsters or let them hide entirely behind environmental fixtures like trees or furniture.… read more. “Niantic adds ‘reality blending’ to Pokémon Go to make your virtual pals even more realistic”

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Miss your office? Some companies are building virtual replicas

[Our desire, especially in times of great stress, for simulated versions of real, familiar environments where we can experience spatial and social presence is the focus of this story from The Wall Street Journal, where the original includes a second image. –Matthew]

[Image: WeTransfer employees tend to use the simulated office for casual meetings and social catch-ups. Important meetings still take place in Google Hangouts. Credit: Achtung Mcgarrybowen/Isobar for Wetransfer]

EXPERIENCE REPORT

Miss Your Office? Some Companies Are Building Virtual Replicas

Demand for simulated office space may grow as more employers embrace remote work

By Katie Deighton
May 27, 2020

Stay-home orders and the shuttering of workplaces have given corporate employees some respite from getting dragged into time-wasting water-cooler conversations.

But some companies and their employees don’t want to leave everything about the office behind, it turns out, and are replicating their offices in “SimCity”-like simulations online.… read more. “Miss your office? Some companies are building virtual replicas”

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With virtual racing on rise, Formula E just disqualified racer for impostor plot

[While many sports are on hold because of the pandemic, auto racing has translated well to the virtual realm, with professional drivers switching to impressively realistic “at home” digital competition. But as this story from IGN makes clear, that has created both familiar and new opportunities for drama. For more details about the impostor plot reported by IGN, see the-race.com (where the coverage includes a link to a video clip from the Twitch feed of driver Stoffel Vandoorne). You can watch the full 1:49:15 video of “Round 5 Race LIVE! ABB Formula E Race At Home Challenge In Support Of UNICEF” as it was streamed live on May 23, 2020 via YouTube. –Matthew]

[Image: Screenshot from Twitch feed of driver Stoffel Vandoorne during Round 5 of the ABB Formula E Race At Home Challenge In Support Of UNICEF]

With Virtual Racing on the Rise, Formula E Just Disqualified a Racer for Having Another Player Pose as Him

It’s time for some sports drama.read more. “With virtual racing on rise, Formula E just disqualified racer for impostor plot”

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Norimaki Synthesizer serves up a taste of virtual food

[This story from Tech Xplore describes a new invention that creates the illusion of different tastes, along with examples of previous unsuccessful attempts to create effective taste and smell illusions. See the original story for a 0:32 minute video (also available via YouTube), and for more details see coverage in Gizmodo and follow the links at the end of the story below.–Matthew]

[Image: Explanatory graphic screenshot from “[CHI2020] Norimaki Synthesizer: Taste Display Using Ion Electrophoresis in Five Gels” via YouTube]

Digital device serves up a taste of virtual food

By Peter Grad, Tech Xplore
May 25, 2020

We’re used to measuring our digital devices by how fast they are, how clear the sound is, how crisp the display is, how large the storage capacity is.

Some day soon, if Homei Miyashita has his way, we may measure them by how delicious they are.… read more. “Norimaki Synthesizer serves up a taste of virtual food”

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NASA is seeking participants for an 8 month simulation of trip to Mars

[NASA is recruiting for an eight-month simulation experience, as reported by Space.com; see the original story for more pictures, videos and links. –Matthew]

[Image: The social isolation experiment facility at the the Institute for Biomedical Problems in Moscow, Russia. Credit: ESA]

Love isolation? NASA wants you to spend 8 months locked in a Russian lab

Want to see what a trip to Mars might be like?

By Chelsea Gohd
May 20, 2020

Do you thrive in social isolation? NASA is looking for people to spend 8 months locked in a Russian lab for a new experiment.

When humans return to the moon and travel to Mars, they will need to be prepared for long-duration space travel and even longer stays on these far-off destinations. Currently, NASA’s Artemis program aims to land humans on the moon for the first time since NASA’s Apollo 17 mission landed in 1972.… read more. “NASA is seeking participants for an 8 month simulation of trip to Mars”

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Facebook teases a vision of remote work using augmented and virtual reality

[The pandemic is hastening Facebook’s development of presence-evoking technologies designed to enhance remote work in the years ahead, as demonstrated in a new, very short video featured and discussed in this story from The Verge. The story notes that “Facebook and Oculus’ joint work on hand tracking, more realistic avatars, spatial audio, and more powerful wireless technology illustrate how seriously the company is committed to the idea of virtual presence and making it as powerful as possible.” It also reports on how Facebook is moving toward remote work for its own employees. For more information see coverage in Upload and the Facebook‘s blog post. –Matthew]

[Image: Source: Upload]

Facebook teases a vision of remote work using augmented and virtual reality

The future of work post-pandemic might look something like this

By Nick Statt
May 21, 2020

Facebook has long believed in the promise of virtual and augmented reality extending well beyond entertainment, and we’re now getting a clearer glimpse at what that future might look like now that the current pandemic is reshaping how companies everywhere think about remote work.… read more. “Facebook teases a vision of remote work using augmented and virtual reality”

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Holographic VR meetings just became real, whether you’re ready or not

[A first-person report on the latest iteration of Spatial holographic virtual reality experiences has new importance with our unexpected reliance on 2D video meeting systems like Zoom. This story is from VentureBeat and for more details see a second story from the same publication (which explicitly praises the “sense of collective presence” of Spatial VR and provides information on free access) and a 2018 post in ISPR Presence News. –Matthew]

Holographic VR meetings just became real, whether you’re ready or not

Jeremy Horwitz
May 20, 2020

I’m not often at a loss for words, but as I re-entered the real world after my second holographic media briefing this month, I realized that I was struggling to speak or type. Mentally, the sensation was awe — my sincere belief that I had just experienced the future of remote work and meetings.… read more. “Holographic VR meetings just became real, whether you’re ready or not”

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After real loss, virtual comfort must do

[The New York Times has compiled short stories from people who have lost a loved one during the pandemic about their experiences of mourning. Many of the stories highlight the abilities, and limitations, of media technology to overcome physical isolation from other people at an extremely difficult time. Warning: Reading these stories may evoke intense emotions; they did for me. See the original version for two more images, and a related story, “A 24-Hour Virtual Vigil Will Mourn Americans Who Have Died Of Coronavirus,” from Gothamist (that event is scheduled for today, Wednesday May 20, 2020). –Matthew]

[Image: A family sits shiva remotely on Zoom for an elderly relative who died of heart failure in New Canaan, Conn. Credit: Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis, via Getty Images]

After Real Loss, Virtual Comfort Must Do

Readers talk about mourning loved ones from afar.

By Rachel L.… read more. “After real loss, virtual comfort must do”

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Texas tries a pandemic first: A jury trial by Zoom

[As the need to stay physically apart during the pandemic continues to motivate more uses of presence-evoking technologies, a Texas courtroom is conducting what is said to be the first jury trial via videoconferencing. The story below from Reuters provides some key details; Law.com reports on what happened during the jury selection process; the NBC station in Dallas-Fort Worth has a 1:56 minute news report; and the ABA Journal considers more of the challenges related to presence, including this:

“Video can be distancing and distorting. As courts come to grips with virtual hearings, they will need to consider how framing, lighting, camera angle and location might make jurors question the credibility of a witness or create bias. A jury could view defendants differently if they are seated in jail, wearing an orange jumpsuit and 10 feet away from a camera, or if they are framed from a low angle or have shadows on their faces.… read more. “Texas tries a pandemic first: A jury trial by Zoom”

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