ISPR Presence News

Category Archives: Presence in the News

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

6D.ai tech crowdsources smartphone scanning to produce virtual 3D mirror world

[The short New World Notes blog post below describes a new way to quickly scan the real world with regular smartphones and create a virtual 3D mirror version of it, with important implications for presence experiences in virtual worlds and augmented reality. See the original post for the 0:51 minute video (also available via YouTube). For more information see AR Insider. –Matthew]

Watch: Real World Location Virtually Recreated To Scale In Minutes

Wagner James Au
August 20, 2019

This is a pretty impressive tech demonstration from 6D.AI, a startup that’s creating a 3D mirror world of real life from the input of standard smartphones.

“Building a 3D model of the world means fusing crowdsourced scans into huge models and here’s a demo of that in action,” 6D CEO Matt Miesnieks explains. “The model is a SLAM map, it improves [with] every scan and map coordinates are real world coordinates.” In this particular demo, he goes on, “The ~5000 square foot space took 3 minutes for 4 people to scan….… read more. “6D.ai tech crowdsources smartphone scanning to produce virtual 3D mirror world”

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A new Westworld game actually delivers on virtual reality’s promise

[Complimenting the announcement of a fourth Matrix film (see Variety for details), the very positive CNN Business review below of a new VR experience set in the world of HBO’s Westworld series highlights the value of fiction to illustrate and explore presence phenomena. It also touches on the current status and challenges of VR. Follow the link in the second paragraph for more information and a video trailer, and see other positive reviews in The Verge and UploadVR. –Matthew]

A new Westworld game actually delivers on virtual reality’s promise

By Rachel Metz, CNN Business
August 20, 2019

San Francisco (CNN Business) -On a recent weekday, I pulled a virtual-reality headset over my eyes and, in an instant, left behind a bland office and entered a rustic-looking frontier land. The spot in front of me where a table had stood was now a decaying, foreboding home.… read more. “A new Westworld game actually delivers on virtual reality’s promise”

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Should I have let my daughter marry our robot?

[In addition to the wonderful picture below, this opinion piece from Metro UK highlights a variety of intriguing issues and phenomena related to medium-as-social-actor presence. –Matthew]

[Image: Zoltan’s daughter with her robot partner on their ‘wedding’ day. Credit: Zoltan Istvan]

Should I have let my daughter marry our robot?

Zoltan Istvan, Transhumanist, speaker, entrepreneur and author
July 24, 2019

I pride myself on being open-minded. I am a transhumanist, and our culture pushes us to use science and technology to always want to be more than we are.

My friends do everything from injecting themselves with self-created genetic treatments to volunteer for brain implants that will integrate artificial intelligence (AI).

But when my five-year-old daughter asked to marry our four-foot tall robot, even I was a little wary.… read more. “Should I have let my daughter marry our robot?”

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AI speakers fill in welfare blind spots of lonely seniors

[In the story below Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reports on the use of AI speakers, and the medium-as-social-actor presence they evoke, to relieve the loneliness of seniors; see the original for a second image. Forbes recently reported on a related project in the UK:

“Looking to address the challenges of elderly loneliness, Accenture has developed a solution that uses conversational AI to let people capture memorable stories for future generations while providing companionship. Powered by Google Voice Assistant, Memory Lane initiates conversations by asking someone who is lonely to tell their life story. This is then turned into a physical book and podcast.”

And a column in the Harvard Business Review takes a wider view:

“AI provides us with the opportunity to reimagine not just the user experience, but the value exchange. Through collating an abundance of data sources, AI has the ability to establish a true 360-degree view of the consumer’s everyday life, based on his or her past habits and behaviors, well beyond the traditional data silos.… read more. “AI speakers fill in welfare blind spots of lonely seniors”

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In Nukemap simulation, bombing New York is “terrifyingly easy and disturbingly informative”

[The creators of Nukemap VR “hope to take [the limited] public comprehension [of nuclear weapons] to the next level by enabling people to immerse themselves in a realistic first-person experience].” This well written report on what it’s like to use the simulation and the background of the project is from Business Insider, where it includes 5 more pictures and a 0:42 minute video. –Matthew]

[Image: Nukemap VR simulates a nuclear bomb explosion in New York City to educate people about atomic weapons. Credit: Christopher Manzione; Reinventing Civil Defense/Stevens Institute of Technology]

I just nuked Manhattan in a realistic new VR simulation, and the experience changed how I understand the bomb

Dave Mosher
August 15, 2019

Nuking the city of New York was terrifyingly easy and disturbingly informative.

From the bank of the Hudson River in Hoboken, New Jersey, while gazing out at the Manhattan skyline, I simply moved my hand over a giant red button, and then pushed it in.… read more. “In Nukemap simulation, bombing New York is “terrifyingly easy and disturbingly informative””

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Apple and New Museum offer free augmented reality art walks in six cities

[This CNBC story describes a new set of presence experiences offered by Apple stores in six cities; see the original version for more pictures. For more information see the Apple press release and a 0:55 minute video via YouTube. –Matthew]

Apple took us on a surreal walk through San Francisco, looking at digital art on an iPhone

August 13, 2019
Kif Leswing

San Francisco looks different through an iPhone XS Max — it’s still a city, but now there are floating balls of fabric, speech bubbles, and words popping out from the trees and buildings.

For more than two hours on Sunday, I ambled through the streets of San Francisco, taking in several art pieces scattered around the city by Apple. But the art wasn’t actually physically on the ground — instead, it was digital art, mere 1s and 0s, attached to several significant locations around the city, and viewed through the camera and display of an Apple iPhone.… read more. “Apple and New Museum offer free augmented reality art walks in six cities”

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The Democratic Party deepfaked its own chairman to highlight 2020 concerns

[As if the political systems around the world didn’t have enough to worry about, the US Democratic Party recently highlighted the dangers of deepfake videos by creating one and presenting it as if it were a live appearance by their leader. See the original CNN version of the story below for a 2:26 minute video – start at 0:51 for a brief excerpt of the deepfake video itself. –Matthew]

The Democratic Party deepfaked its own chairman to highlight 2020 concerns

By Donie O’Sullivan
August 10, 2019

Las Vegas (CNN Business) – The Democratic National Committee wanted to demonstrate the potential threat to the 2020 election posed by deepfake videos — clips created with artificial intelligence that can make people appear to do or say things they never did. So the committee came up with a novel solution: It had experts make one, with its chair as the victim.… read more. “The Democratic Party deepfaked its own chairman to highlight 2020 concerns”

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‘War Remains’ immersive installation takes you into virtual, yet chillingly realistic, trenches of World War I

[This review of an immersive installation that recreates the experience of a World War I battle describes an intense and emotional presence experience. See the original review in Patch for a different picture, a 1:03 minute trailer and a 7:37 minute ‘making of’ video. For more information see earlier coverage in Variety and Engadget and the War Remains website. –Matthew]

Austin-Exclusive ‘War Remains’ Immersive Exhibit Packs A Wallop

Dramatic narration by Dan Carlin of popular ‘Hardcore History’ podcast gives voice to emotionally powerful experience.

By Tony Cantu, Patch Staff
August 10, 2019

AUSTIN, TX — Unless you’ve experienced combat, you’ll never truly know what it feels like. An immersive installation titled “War Remains” taking participants into virtual, yet chillingly realistic, trenches of World War I opening on Monday approximates the experience in a powerfully impactful way.

Organizers provided Patch with a sneak preview of the installation, outfitting a reporter with special goggles and instrument-laden backpack to experience the production housed within a small building at 500 E.… read more. “‘War Remains’ immersive installation takes you into virtual, yet chillingly realistic, trenches of World War I”

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How will presence-evoking technology change the future of work?

[An August 9, 2019 report in MIT Technology Review begins, “Meet Barry: his sole purpose in life is to listen patiently, and then protest or sob a little as you fire him from an imaginary job in virtual reality. … He was created by Talespin, a company that offers virtual reality workplace training. Barry and other VR characters were developed to help teach people ‘soft’ management skills—such as how to let someone go without causing a scene. If you are too blunt with Barry, he’ll put his head in his hands; other missteps will cause him to shout and yell.” The founder and CEO of Talespin wrote the Forbes column below predicting how presence-related technologies will alter the way we work in the future. For more information see earlier coverage in Wired and the Talespin website (which evokes some presence itself), particularly the section on virtual humans.… read more. “How will presence-evoking technology change the future of work?”

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VR game allows Parkinson’s patients to move and feel in virtual worlds

[USC’s Viterbi School of Engineering reports on an interdisciplinary project to use haptic-enabled VR to help Parkinson’s patients retain mobility and avoid falls. See the original story for three more images and the Overcome website for much more information, including a 1:49 minute trailer (also available via YouTube). –Matthew]

[Image: This picture shows the experiment setup, which includes (1) a clinical treadmill with (2) body weight support for safety of player, (3) HTC VIVE headset, (4) controllers that are attached to the railings, and (5) the tracker along with the haptic feedback setup. See the original on the Overcome website for numbered labels. Credit: Naghmeh Zamani]

VR Game Allows Parkinson’s Patients to Move and Feel in Virtual Worlds

USC engineers team with researchers and VR game designers to help Parkinson’s patients walk steadily with confidence

Dena Taha
August 1, 2019

“Overcome.”

This was the name chosen by a group of USC Viterbi School of Engineering students to embody their vision of developing a virtual reality game for over 10 million people worldwide living with Parkinson’s disease.… read more. “VR game allows Parkinson’s patients to move and feel in virtual worlds”

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