ISPR Presence News

Category Archives: Presence in the News

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

BellaBot is a cat-like robot waiter

[It may be necessary to watch the 1:14 minute video from the story below (or via YouTube) to appreciate the likelihood that the new “robot cat waiter” BellaBot will evoke medium-as-social-actor presence. The short story from YellRobot is followed by excerpts from a press release from the company that created her, er, it. –Matthew]

BellaBot is a Cat-Like Robot Waiter

January 12, 2020

We’ve seen robot waiters before. Whether a novelty to get more customers or a necessity to battle staff shortages, robots have been becoming increasingly more common in the restaurant industry. The newest robot waiter from Shenzhen, China-based PuduTech puts a bit of a new spin on things.

Meet BellaBot. It’s part waiter, part cat, and all robot. Like other robot waiters, it will bring food from kitchen to table. What makes BellaBot a bit different is its feline-like qualities.… read more. “BellaBot is a cat-like robot waiter”

Posted in Presence in the News | Leave a comment

Skydiving, kayaking, fly fishing: Virtual reality therapy is taking paralyzed veterans to new places

[This article from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch is full of inspiring personal stories about different uses of presence-evoking technology to improve the lives of paralyzed military veterans. See the original version for four more pictures. –Matthew]

[Image: Recreational therapist Matt Luitjohan, center, helps veteran Mike Erbe use a virtual reality head set in the Recreational Therapy Department of the Spinal Cord Unit at the Jefferson Barracks Division of Veterans Affairs in St. Louis on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020. Credit: David Carson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch.]

Skydiving, kayaking, fly fishing: Virtual reality therapy is taking paralyzed veterans to new places

Michele Munz
January 18, 2020

ST. LOUIS COUNTY — A car wreck in 1983 paralyzed Navy veteran Mike Erbe from the waist down, but he fought to stay positive, stay active. He finished his engineering degree. He got his pilot’s license.

It’s getting harder, though, as he gets older, especially while staring at four hospital walls.… read more. “Skydiving, kayaking, fly fishing: Virtual reality therapy is taking paralyzed veterans to new places”

Posted in Presence in the News | Leave a comment

Mojo AR contact lenses give your eyes superpowers

[There are still many challenges ahead but a company called Mojo Vision is developing technologies that increase the prospect of practical and safe contact lenses that augment our view of the world with virtual images, as described in this story from Fast Company (where it includes seven more images). Note that it’s not just the user of the AR lenses that would experience presence illusions but the people who interact with the user and aren’t aware of the technology-based source of that person’s augmented perception and knowledge. –Matthew]

[Image: Credit: Mojo]

The making of Mojo, AR contact lenses that give your eyes superpowers

Using a display the size of a grain of sand to project images onto the retina, this startup could help everyone from firefighters to people with poor vision.

By Mark Sullivan
January 16, 2020

When I looked into the user interface of Mojo Vision’s augmented reality contact lenses, I didn’t see anything at first except the real world in front of me.… read more. “Mojo AR contact lenses give your eyes superpowers”

Posted in Presence in the News | Leave a comment

NHK, Yamaha use AI to bring back late Japanese singer to perform new song

[The Japan Times reports on reactions to a televised New Year’s Eve performance of a new song by an AI-based holographic simulation of a famous singer who died in 1989. The reactions raise complex questions about both the presence illusions and the ethics involved in these efforts. For more on the technology behind the simulation see a story in audioXpress (based on a press release available from Business Wire); here’s an excerpt:

“Yamaha Corporation announces that it has succeeded in reproducing the singing of the late Hibari Misora, a legendary Japanese vocalist, using its own VOCALOID:AI singing synthesis technology in technical cooperation with an NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) television program [NHK Special: Bringing Hibari Misora Back with AI (title unofficially translated by Yamaha)] broadcast in Japan on September 29, serving as both the public debut and first real-world implementation of VOCALOID:AI.… read more. “NHK, Yamaha use AI to bring back late Japanese singer to perform new song”

Posted in Presence in the News | Leave a comment

Virtual reality may be the next frontier in remote mental health care

[Note the specific references to different types of presence in this report from by the lead author of a study that compared the effectiveness of VR-based therapy to Skype-based counselling. The results suggest valuable potential for presence-evoking technologies for remote mental health care. The story is from The Conversation; see the April 2020 article in Computers in Human Behavior for more details. –Matthew]

[Image: Rural road passing through Hawker – town in South Australia at sunset. Credit: SHUTTERSTOCK.]

Virtual reality may be the next frontier in remote mental health care

January 13, 2020

Shiva Pedram, Associate Research Fellow, University of Wollongong

In recent years, experts have focused on finding better ways to improve remotely delivered mental health care.

Now, virtual reality (VR) may pave the way for myriad new opportunities.

Using VR for remote therapy involves conducting “face-to-face” sessions in a virtual environment.… read more. “Virtual reality may be the next frontier in remote mental health care”

Posted in Presence in the News | Leave a comment

The ‘virtual’ future of Holocaust education is already here

[This story from The Times of Israel about the increasing use of, and the choices involved in designing, presence-evoking simulations to educate people about the Holocaust is unfortunately timely. See the original version for five more pictures and a video. And for more on the topic see related coverage from BBC News and The Jewish News of Northern California. –Matthew]

[Image: Amanda Friedeman takes a question from a student directed to Holocaust survivor Adina Sella, as she is displayed as a three-dimensional hologram at the Take A Stand Center in the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center on October 26, 2017, in Skokie, Illinois. Credit: Joshua Lott/AFP]

The ‘virtual’ future of Holocaust education is already here

From recreating the Nuremberg Trials to a virtual reality ‘walk-through’ of Auschwitz-Birkenau, new gaming technology is replacing face-to-face encounters with Holocaust survivors

By Matt Lebovic
10 January 2020

Some designers of virtual reality (VR) are doing what was long considered verboten in Holocaust education: they are recreating aspects of the genocide so users can “experience” those dark years from the comfort of VR headsets.… read more. “The ‘virtual’ future of Holocaust education is already here”

Posted in Presence in the News | Leave a comment

Samsung’s new Neon AIs are “independent but virtual living beings”

[Samsung’s introduction at last week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) of a new form of artificial intelligence sure to evoke medium-as-social-actor presence has garnered lots of coverage, including this concise summary from CNET. See the original version for five more pictures and a 6:22 minute video report. –Matthew]

Confused about Samsung’s Neon AIs? Here’s everything you need to know

Never mind weather reports and playlists — Neon promises to keep your secrets, teach you yoga and help you find a great restaurant. But can the AI deliver?

Dale Smith, Shara Tibken
January 11, 2020

While other companies at CES 2020 looked to the future of artificial intelligence, Samsung brought a bit of futuristic AI to the present when it revealed Neon, an AI chatbot emerging from the company’s Star Labs advanced research division. But chatbots have been around for well over a decade now, so you may be curious what the hubbub surrounding Neon is all about.… read more. “Samsung’s new Neon AIs are “independent but virtual living beings””

Posted in Presence in the News | Leave a comment

SC State Parks using virtual reality so more people can experience mountain’s summit

[The Charleston Post and Courier reports on an interesting use of presence to reproduce the experience of hiking a challenging nature trail in a South Carolina State Park. See the original story for two different pictures and a 2:14 minute 360 video (a larger version is available via YouTube), and see the website of WYFF TV for a 0:45 minute news report. –Matthew]

[Image: Source: GoUpstate.com]

SC State Parks using virtual reality so more people can experience mountain’s summit

By Emily Williams
January 2, 2020

A new virtual reality experience — the first, but likely not the last, of its kind for South Carolina’s state parks — will allow people to experience one of the most strenuous hikes in the Upstate from a chair in the visitor center.

The trek to the top of Table Rock Mountain is one that many people can’t make because of mobility or health restrictions, said State Park Service Director Paul McCormack.… read more. “SC State Parks using virtual reality so more people can experience mountain’s summit”

Posted in Presence in the News | Leave a comment

“Purrfect companion” MarsCat robot is autonomous, interactive and easy to program

[The Kickstarter page for MarsCat calls it “a robotic pet to comfort you and surprise you.” The story below from The Verge has some of the details (and two different images); see the Elephant Robotics website and the Kickstarter page for many more details including images and videos. As of this writing the campaign has raised 3.5 times the $20,000 USD sought. –Matthew]

There’s a robot cat you can back on Kickstarter

It’s actually kind of cute

By Jay Peters
December 26, 2019

You may have heard of Aibo, Sony’s robot dog, but if a robot cat is what you’ve always wanted, you’re now able to back one on Kickstarter. In fact, it actually looks kind of cute.

MarsCat, made by Elephant Robotics, looks a lot like a cat, but it’s not realistic enough that you’ll be fooled into thinking it’s a replacement for a furry feline that might already wander around your house.… read more. ““Purrfect companion” MarsCat robot is autonomous, interactive and easy to program”

Posted in Presence in the News | Leave a comment

Presence technologies in 2020 and beyond

[For this last day of 2019, we have The Motley Fool’s optimistic review of the prospects for advances in virtual and augmented reality in the year ahead, led by Facebook. It’s followed by links to and excerpts from several other forecasts regarding presence-evoking technologies, which I can safely predict will continue to change our lives and provide new opportunities for interesting and important scholarship.

Look here early in the new year for news about some exciting developments at ISPR, including the PRESENCE 2020 conference in Orlando, Florida in October and the formal launch of the International Journal of Telepresence (IJT).

I wish you all a safe, healthy, happy, productive and fun 2020!

–Matthew]

[Image: Source: Tech Republic. Credit: Igor Borisenko, Getty Images/iStockphoto.]

Will 2020 Finally Be the Year AR and VR Matter for Facebook?

It’s been said before, but next year might actually be a breakout year for marketable applications of augmented and virtual reality technologies.read more. “Presence technologies in 2020 and beyond”

Posted in Presence in the News | Leave a comment
  • Find Researchers

    Use the links below to find researchers listed alphabetically by the first letter of their last name.

    A | B | C | D | E | F| G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

css.php