ISPR Presence News

Category Archives: Presence in the News

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

The virtual cutting edge: How presence-evoking technologies are poised to transform surgery

[This compelling first-person report from the Toronto Star describes the rapid evolution and great potential, along with some of the practical challenges, of developing and adopting presence-evoking technology for surgical performance and training. See the original story for four more images. –Matthew]

[Image: Ben Sainsbury, CEO of Marion Surgical, tests out the 5G capabilities of its virtual reality module that can help surgeons practice surgical techniques. Credit: MaRS]

The virtual cutting edge: How augmented reality is poised to transform surgery

Futuristic tools are revolutionizing health care, with everything from virtual reality simulators to 3D holographic body imaging. Will Canada embrace this innovation — or will we be left behind in the metaverse?

By Jason McBride
September 29, 2022

Recently, I stood over a patient in an operating room and, for the first time in my life, began to remove a kidney stone.… read more. “The virtual cutting edge: How presence-evoking technologies are poised to transform surgery”

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China Daily: AI humans to play increased economic role

[Digital humans are becoming more realistic and convincing, cheaper to create and maintain, and prevalent in different aspects of people’s lives, as reported in this story from China Daily (see Wikipedia for cautions about the outlet’s editorial biases). See the original story for a second image and coverage in DAO Insights for more about Baidu’s companionship-oriented virtual beings Lin Kaikai and Ye Youyou. –Matthew]

[Image: A visitor takes pictures of a digital human during the fifth World Artificial Intelligence Conference, or WAIC, in Shanghai on September 1, 2022]

AI humans to play increased economic role

Powered by tech advances, avatars will provide sundry help, companionship

By Fan Feifei, China Daily Global
September 21, 2022

Every Monday, a young, good-looking female anchor named Xiao C appears in an online video program run by CCTV.com, a news website owned by China Media Group.… read more. “China Daily: AI humans to play increased economic role”

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Art, technology and mental health all connect at this new immersive exhibit

[Immersive experiences don’t necessarily evoke presence experiences, but the concepts are clearly related. If you’ll be in Philadelphia this fall you might want to check out “WAITING ROOM – Immersive Art for Wellbeing,” an exhibit from The Jefferson Center of Immersive Arts for Health. The story below from Technical.ly (where the original includes three more images) provides a first-person report on the exhibit as well as interview segments with curator Lyn Godley. Much more information, including a virtual view of the works, is available on the HOT BED gallery’s website. Here’s an extended excerpt:

“Merging Art, Technology, and Science

Research shows that art can have a positive impact on human health, specifically in healthcare environments. Most existing research focuses on static art (paintings, prints, or sculpture) or, more recently, Distraction Therapy with the use of virtual reality which is showing promising benefits in pain management and lowered anxiety.… read more. “Art, technology and mental health all connect at this new immersive exhibit”

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New, more accurate Walmart AR feature lets you try on clothing virtually, but raises concerns

[Fast Company reports on a new augmented reality app feature offered by the retail giant Walmart that produces more realistic, personalized images (illusions) of the user wearing virtual clothing. See the original story for three different images and a 43 second video. A BestLife story reports on privacy and other concerns being expressed about the feature. And CNBC has a story about related efforts by Walmart to take advantage of emerging presence-evoking technologies to attract (especially younger) shoppers. –Matthew]

[Image: Credit: Walmart]

Walmart rolls out a new AR feature to let you try on clothing virtually

The retailer, which already let customers see clothing on a variety of models, will now show lifelike images of apparel on a specialized selfie.

By Steven Melendez
September 15, 2022

Walmart shoppers will now be able to virtually try on clothes without leaving home.… read more. “New, more accurate Walmart AR feature lets you try on clothing virtually, but raises concerns”

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Three UC Santa Cruz alums are revolutionizing telehealth with their virtual reality physical therapy platform

[This story from the University of California, Santa Cruz describes the experience of three alumni who are developing a new (presence-evoking) platform for remote physical therapy. See the original story for a second image and a 2:09 minute video, and follow the link at the end for much more information. –Matthew]

Three UC Santa Cruz alums are revolutionizing telehealth with their virtual reality physical therapy platform

By Melissa Weckerle
September 23, 2022

Incorporating values of tech for social good, inclusivity, and accessibility, three UC Santa Cruz alumni founded Immergo Labs to develop the world’s first virtual and interactive telehealth platform for physical therapy.

Co-founders and UCSC Baskin School of Engineering alumni Aviv Elor, Michael Powell, and Ash Robbins sought to blend their expertise in virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and bioinformatics to make a difference in the telehealth and virtual physical therapy space.… read more. “Three UC Santa Cruz alums are revolutionizing telehealth with their virtual reality physical therapy platform”

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‘Each guest experience will be different’: VR and the future of theme parks

[This story from The Guardian reports on trends in the use of virtual reality at theme parks, including the increasing focus on interactivity and customization, from the 2022 London conference of the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA). See the original story for two more images and the IAAPA website for much more information. For coverage of a related development, see the Theme Park Insider story “Disney Files Patent for Augmented Reality Ride Without Glasses.” –Matthew]

[Image: Bumper car riders wearing VR headsets, at the IAAPA expo in London. Credit: Linda Nylind/The Guardian]

‘Each guest experience will be different’: VR and the future of theme parks

Expo in east London shows how important augmented and virtual reality will be, as attractions move with the times

By Alex Hern, Technology editor
September 19, 2022

In the fight for theme park visitors the battle lines have been drawn – monster trucks, virtual reality zombie warfare and “smellscaping”, just thankfully not all at the same time.… read more. “‘Each guest experience will be different’: VR and the future of theme parks”

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Study: Virtual reality reduces need for anesthesia use during hand surgery

[A new study described in this story from Pain News Network demonstrated the ability of virtual reality (and arguably presence) to distract and calm surgery patients so that they could be given lower doses of anesthesia. See a press release via EurekAlert! and the new article published in PLOS ONE for more details. –Matthew]

[Image: Figure 2 from the study in PLOS ONE: A) Image of a study patient using the VR equipment. B) Screenshot of a typical immersive environment with an example of text communication from study personnel. The text in B says “Surgery is going great! Try to stay still”]

Virtual Reality Therapy Reduces Drug Use During Surgery

By Madora Pennington, PNN Columnist
September 21, 2022

Imagine going in for minor surgery, one where you don’t need to be totally unconscious, and being given a virtual reality headset for pain and anxiety relief instead of the usual dose of anesthesia.… read more. “Study: Virtual reality reduces need for anesthesia use during hand surgery”

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D-ID lets you create AI-generated videos from a single image

[The technology to create convincing videos of any person saying whatever words you supply is evolving quickly, as described in this story from TechCrunch about the latest platform by the company D-ID. The original story includes a second image and a short demonstration video (also available on YouTube). For more information see the D-ID website and YouTube channel. –Matthew]

D-ID, the company behind Deep Nostalgia, lets you create AI-generated videos from a single image

By Ivan Mehta
September 19, 2022

Israeli AI company D-ID, which provided technology for projects like Deep Nostalgia, is launching a new platform where users can upload a single image and text to generate video. With this new site called Creative Reality Studio, the company is targeting sectors like corporate training and education, internal and external communication from companies, product marketing and sales.… read more. “D-ID lets you create AI-generated videos from a single image”

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Scientists try to teach robot to laugh

[Reminiscent of a well-acted scene from Star Trek: The Next Generation in which the android Data is given a ‘gift’ of laughter (see Laughing Squid for details and the video clip), researchers in Japan are training a robot to recognize and share laughter during conversations with humans. The details are in this story from The Guardian, with supplements from coverage in CNET. For an interview with Divesh Lala, a member of the research team, and a 3:16 minute video (also on YouTube) see a story in the Hindustan Times. –Matthew]

[Image: Erica being trained on how to have a sense of humour. Credit: Inoue et al.]

Scientists try to teach robot to laugh at the right time

Research team hopes system could improve natural conversations between humans and AI systems

By Hannah Devlin, Science correspondent
September 15, 2022

Laughter comes in many forms, from a polite chuckle to a contagious howl of mirth.… read more. “Scientists try to teach robot to laugh”

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NFL Pro Era turned me into a quarterback in VR – and it was a total blast

[This CNN review of the first officially licensed NFL football game for virtual reality doesn’t explicitly mention, but is all about, spatial and social presence. See the original story for three more images. A review from Yahoo! includes this assessment:

“As someone who, in my youthful days, played the position, I can attest that it’s the closest I have come to feeling like I was playing the game again. I literally rolled out and threw a touchdown, and it felt realistic, to say the least. I also almost rolled out into a wall, so make sure you’ve got some room.”

Find a 1:52 minute trailer for the game on YouTube; more information is on the game’s official MetaQuest website. –Matthew]

NFL Pro Era turned me into a quarterback in VR — and it was a total blast

By Mike Andronico, CNN Underscored
September 15, 2022

Football season is officially underway, which means lots of yelling at the TV and devouring chicken wings, if you’re anything like me.… read more. “NFL Pro Era turned me into a quarterback in VR – and it was a total blast”

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