ISPR Presence News

Category Archives: Presence in the News

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

A new algorithm enables more realistic sound effects in VR

[To really understand the advance in presence-evoking technology described in this short story from Stanford Engineering, watch and listen to the 0:29 second video demonstration in the original story (ideally while wearing headphones) and the two longer videos on the project‘s web page. –Matthew]

A new algorithm enables more realistic sound effects in VR

If a character in a virtual environment drops a plate, software can generate that sound at just the right time.

July 30, 2019
By Tom Abate

When we watch movies or play video games, the right sound effects can help make scenes more realistic: When a grizzled gambler rolls a silver dollar across a card table in a silver screen saloon, the sound seems to travel from ear to ear, a trick movie-makers can accomplish by splicing in a pre-recorded sound that moves from speaker to speaker.… read more. “A new algorithm enables more realistic sound effects in VR”

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A wearable human-machine interface device so thin and soft you won’t even notice it

[The new device described in this story from the University of Houston is another step toward effective presence illusions in teleoperation and other human-machine interactions. See the original version for a different picture and a 1:11 minute video. For more information see the paper in Science Advances. –Matthew]

[Image: Source: IEEE Spectrum]

A Wearable Device So Thin and Soft You Won’t Even Notice It

Device Also Can Serve as Robotic Skin, Relaying Information Back to the User

By Jeannie Kever
August 2, 2019

Wearable human-machine interfaces – devices that can collect and store important health information about the wearer, among other uses – have benefited from advances in electronics, materials and mechanical designs. But current models still can be bulky and uncomfortable, and they can’t always handle multiple functions at one time.

Researchers reported Friday, Aug. 2, the discovery of a multifunctional ultra-thin wearable electronic device that is imperceptible to the wearer.… read more. “A wearable human-machine interface device so thin and soft you won’t even notice it”

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Can virtual reality replace psychedelic drugs?

[Our colleagues Skip Rizzo and Jim Blascovich are quoted in this interesting story from Pacific Standard about the potential of VR to simulate the experiences generated by psychedelic drugs; in the process there are some insights about how it’s possible to “be there” but know that you’re not there during a presence experience. For more information and a video about the Ayahuasca (Kosmik Journey) VR experience, see the a-BAHN website and for a first-person report on the experience see The Cut. –Matthew]

[Image: A man tries out a virtual reality game inside a Fulldome.pro 360-degree projection dome on opening day of the Electronic Entertainment Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center on June 13th, 2017. Credit: David McNew/Getty Images)]

Can Virtual Reality Replace Psychedelic Drugs?

A new ayahuasca “experience” at the Tribeca Film Festival puts the question of whether drug trips can be artificially recreated to the test.read more. “Can virtual reality replace psychedelic drugs?”

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VR Time Capsule preserves your sexual experience for your old age (and beyond)

[This opinion column from The Next Web highlights some of the many ethical, factual and financial problems with a new presence service offered by a pornography company. Despite these issues, it’s interesting to note the evolution of technologies used to record our sexual and other activities for re-experiencing later move beyond still photography and audio to film and video to virtual reality. For more information including images and videos find the company’s website. –Matthew]

[Image: Source: VR Bangers]

Porn company wants $10K to shoot you screwing in VR before you’re too old to be attractive

By Tristan Greene
July 25, 2019

“Yes, time travel is finally possible.” As someone who’s written extensively about quantum physics, the arrow of time, and other wacky aspects of our amazing universe, I’ve waited my entire career to see that sentence pop up in my inbox.… read more. “VR Time Capsule preserves your sexual experience for your old age (and beyond)”

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The Museum of Future Experiences offers a spooky, surreal take on VR

[TechCrunch reports on a different type of out-of-home VR-based presence experience in New York; see the original version for three different pictures, and for more details and another first-person report on the experience see coverage in Bloomberg. –Matthew]

[Image: Source: Bloomberg]

The Museum of Future Experiences offers a spooky, surreal take on VR

It’s definitely not a normal VR arcade

July 30, 2019
Anthony Ha

Here’s what I knew when I visited the Museum of Future Experiences: The startup is part of the current batch of companies at Y Combinator, and it’s doing work with virtual reality. Beyond that, I had no idea what to expect.

The MoFE is currently located in New York’s SoHo neighborhood. To reach it, I walked through an unmarked door, up a dimly-lit flight of stairs and into a waiting room — where I was greeted by founder and CEO David Askaryan, and then by two men in shiny lab coats, who explained that they would be my guides.… read more. “The Museum of Future Experiences offers a spooky, surreal take on VR”

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A Turing Test for androids will judge how lifelike humanoid robots can be

[In a parallel to the movement from Computers Are Social Actors (CASA) to Media As Social Actor (MASA) presence, this story from The Conversation describes a new “Multimodal Turing Test” that evaluates not only whether a computer seems to have the intelligence of a human but whether a humanoid robot is “indistinguishable from a real human.” See the original version for three more pictures. –Matthew]

[Image: Hanson Robotics’ android “Sophia.” Credit: Anton Gvozdikov/Shutterstock]

Our Turing Test for androids will judge how lifelike humanoid robots can be

July 30, 2019
Carl Strathearn, PhD Candidate, Staffordshire University

Alan Turing was recently announced as the face of the new £50 note for his code breaking contributions in World War II and laying the foundations of computer science. However, Turing’s work still challenges and inspires many people working today, especially those in robotics and artificial intelligence.… read more. “A Turing Test for androids will judge how lifelike humanoid robots can be”

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Federally funded study investigating use of VR to teach people with autism to interact with police

[This story from The Philadelphia Inquirer describes another potentially valuable application of presence; see the original story for a 4:24 minute video. –Matthew]

[Image: Credit: Teven M. Falk / Staff Photographer]

People with autism face special risks dealing with police. This virtual reality program could help.

by Rita Giordano
July 30, 2019

Skylar Armstrong, a 17-year-old high schooler from North Philadelphia, has been fielding a lot of attention from police lately.

Officers on the beat have been peppering him with all sorts of questions: “What are you doing here?” “Can you tell me your street address?” “Can you show me your ID?”

But Skylar hasn’t been perturbed by any of this. Quite the contrary.

“It’s fun,” said the student at Jules E. Mastbaum Area Vocational/Technical School.

He is part of an ongoing, $1.7 million federally funded study that one day may affect how young people like him learn.… read more. “Federally funded study investigating use of VR to teach people with autism to interact with police”

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The Dali Museum introduces augmented reality

[I want to go to The Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida – this story from Creative Loafing Tampa Bay describes how the museum has incorporated VR, AI and now AR to enhance the presence experiences of visitors. More information about the current AR exhibit is available from the museum’s website and for more examples of the use of VR and AR in museums see Blooloop. –Matthew]

[Image: Salvador Dalí. Nature Morte Vivante (Still Life-Fast Moving), 1969-70, oil on canvas. Collection of the Dalí Museum, St. Petersburg, FL (USA). Credit: Worldwide: ©Salvador Dalí, Fundacio Gala-Salvador Dalí (artists rights society), 2019. In the USA: ©Salvador Dalí Museum, Inc., St. Petersburg, FL, 2019]

The Dali Museum introduces augmented reality to its St. Pete experience

Think you really know Dali?

Jennifer Ring
June 14, 2019

Can you spot Lincoln in “Gala Contemplating”?… read more. “The Dali Museum introduces augmented reality”

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‘Time travel’ villages vs. virtual reality for dementia care

[In this story from The Conversation Newcastle University scholars compare two types of presence experiences for the care of dementia; see the original version for a second image and a video. –Matthew]

[Image: Source: Mark Combs]

‘Time travel’ as dementia care is spreading, but the future may be more powerful than the past

July 29, 2019

Kellie Morrissey, Research Fellow, School of Computing, Newcastle University
James Hodge, PhD Candidate, Newcastle University

The village of Hogeweyk in The Netherlands has been compared with the Truman Show. It is home to 152 people with dementia and is run by carers who maintain a round-the-clock false reality for the residents. Hogeweyk resembles a 1950s village, with carers acting as butchers, shopkeepers and greengrocers, allowing the residents to “relate to things from their younger days”. Residents are free to shop, visit the local cafe and roam around, all within the confines of this “dementia village”.… read more. “‘Time travel’ villages vs. virtual reality for dementia care”

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Toyota Research developing new telepresence robot for 2020 Olympics

[This short IEEE Spectrum story describes a new telepresence robot with a “near lifesize” display; see the original story for another image and a 0:56 minute video. For more information, images and videos about several more robots being introduced by Toyota for the Olympics see the company’s press release, and for a 6:16 audio report see coverage by Voice of America. –Matthew]

Toyota Research Developing New Telepresence Robot for 2020 Olympics

Toyota’s T-TR1 offers a way for people to attend the Olympics without leaving home

By Evan Ackerman
23 Jul 2019

With the Olympics taking place next year in Japan, Toyota is (among other things) stepping up its robotics game to help provide “mobility for all.” We know that Toyota’s HSR will be doing work there, along with a few other mobile systems, but the Toyota Research Institute (TRI) has just announced a new telepresence robot called the T-TR1, featuring an absolutely massive screen designed to give you a near-lifesize virtual presence.… read more. “Toyota Research developing new telepresence robot for 2020 Olympics”

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