ISPR Presence News

Category Archives: Presence in the News

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

Experiencing the illusion of having an opposite-sex body in VR can shift aspects of gender identity

[Reading this new story in PsyPost about a study demonstrating interesting effects of the illusion of having an opposite-sex body led me to the lead author’s earlier study of the effects of seeming to switch bodies with a friend. That study is nicely presented in a link-filled Vice story from August 2020 that reviews embodied cognition research based on these kinds of presence illusions. –Matthew]

 

Experiencing the illusion of having an opposite-sex body in virtual reality can shift aspects of gender identity

By Beth Ellwood
December 23, 2020

A new study published in Scientific Reports offers insight into how the perception of one’s body influences one’s sense of gender identity. An experiment involving the illusion of owning an opposite-sex body led people to embrace a more equal identification with both genders.

While it appears that the way a person perceives their body is linked to their gender identity, it has yet to be established exactly how the two are connected.… read more. “Experiencing the illusion of having an opposite-sex body in VR can shift aspects of gender identity”

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Cooee offers personalized Zoom tours of places you can’t visit

[After ten months in which actual travel is risky or impossible, virtual travel options look more appealing, especially the personalized one offered by Cooee and described in this short story from Fast Company (the original includes three more pictures). On behalf of myself and ISPR I wish you, and us all, a much brighter year ahead. –Matthew]

[Image: Credit: Paul Szewczyk/Unsplash]

Missing vacation? Take a custom Zoom tour of Cambodia or Peru

Cooee is finding ways to keep tour guides in business during the pandemic—and let people get a view of somewhere besides their own house.

December 23, 2020
By Adele Peters

If you’re on a staycation and you’ve run out of things to watch on Netflix, here’s an alternative: Call someone living in Siem Reap, Cambodia, and he’ll take you on a one-on-one tour of local temples and floating villages.… read more. “Cooee offers personalized Zoom tours of places you can’t visit”

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Nissan GT-R(x) 2050 wearable vehicle takes Brain-to-Vehicle tech to the next level

[MotorTrend reports on a Nissan intern’s innovative car design, which the company has brought to life in a full-scale model. The Nissan GT-R(x) 2050 allows the driver to share control via a brain-to-vehicle connection and “feel as one with the car.” See the original story for 35 photos and a 3:38 minute video. The Nissan press release (which includes even more images and the video) includes this quote from David Woodhouse, vice president of Nissan Design America: “JB [Choi] has essentially envisioned a new mode of transportation that people could experience like clothes, ‘wearable,’ instead of a traditional vehicle ‘carriage.’ It is the kind of breaking-the-mold thinking that has always been encouraged here at NDA.” For more details about the project see Choi’s website and for more on Nissan’s Brain-to-Vehicle technology (including videos) see the Bitbrain blog. –Matthew]

Nissan GT-R (X) 2050 Concept First Look: A Wearable Autonomous Supercar?read more. “Nissan GT-R(x) 2050 wearable vehicle takes Brain-to-Vehicle tech to the next level”

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Virtual reality holds promise in combatting ‘stereotype threat’

[This story from Davidson College describes the potential for presence-evoking technology to reduce the negative effects of gender stereotypes. See the original story for two more images and for links to Professor Peck’s publications on this and other presence-related topics see Google Scholar. –Matthew]

Virtual Reality Holds Promise in Combatting ‘Stereotype Threat’

December 22, 2020
By Mark Johnson

Harvard’s president lost his job. So did a Google researcher. Mattel recalled a new version of “Barbie.” Each was a consequence of reinforcing the harmful stereotype that girls and women can’t compete with boys and men in science and math.

The stereotype not only is damaging, it self-perpetuates. It contributes to the difficulty of convincing more young women to study and enter those fields, where they already are underrepresented, because they think they will do poorly, said Tabitha Peck, assistant professor of mathematics and computer science at Davidson College.… read more. “Virtual reality holds promise in combatting ‘stereotype threat’”

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Microsoft Flight Simulator’s new VR mode haunts my dreams

[As this first-person report on the new VR mode in Microsoft Flight Simulator makes clear, there are many early-day bugs to overcome, but the experience evokes a strong sense of spatial presence and presence as realism. See the original Engadget story for three more images and a 4:51 minute video. A 6:52 minute video review by a professional pilot is available on YouTube, along with the same pilot’s sparsely narrated 23 minute video of a bush flight and flights around New York and San Francisco. –Matthew]

Microsoft Flight Simulator’s new VR mode haunts my dreams

When virtual reality meets dream reality.

Devindra Hardawar
December 24, 2020

I’ve made peace with the fact that I’ll never be anything more than a casual Microsoft Flight Simulator player. I’m not a hardcore “simmer,” as devoted fans of the series call themselves. I’ve played the game off and on since its release, and like Engadget’s Jessica Conditt, I’ve found it to be a chill and meditative experience.… read more. “Microsoft Flight Simulator’s new VR mode haunts my dreams”

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Hot new trend: Kids on TikTok are convinced we’re living in a simulation

[The theory that our entire existence is an advanced simulation is going viral on TikTok, as reported in this link-filled short story from Futurism. The December 22 Your Tango roundup it mentions has more examples and notes that “The simulation theory hashtag on TikTok already has 27.4 million views and the simulation hashtag has 624.4 million views — that means it’s gaining a ton of traction on TikTok.“ The September 2020 Bustle story “#GlitchTok Viral TikTok Videos Are The Best Way To Creep Yourself Out” says “There are thousands of videos to lose yourself in, and comment sections to theorize in. Search for #glitch, #conspiracytheories, #matrix, #simulation, and explore from there — if you want to believe.” I also found several “Simulation Theory” songs on TikTok including ones by Calavera, Sergey Kolosov and Truth & Truth. These stories don’t mention it but perhaps living through the era of Donald Trump and a global pandemic has something to do with this new attention to the theory, as if the creators of our simulation are experimenting with or torturing us (see ISPR Presence News posts from 2020, 2018 and 2016).… read more. “Hot new trend: Kids on TikTok are convinced we’re living in a simulation”

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CrowsNest XR’s virtual concierge Anna is the future of hospitality

[As this story from The Ghost Howls blog explains, CrowsNest XR’s Anna is a multi-lingual, always-available digital concierge for hotels in China. While ‘she’ currently has to be triggered by a QR code and answers predetermined questions from a screen menu, the company and partner Amazon China have big plans to expand the service to evoke greater presence – she already can appear in augmented reality and will be able to interact conversationally and in other ways become more of a human companion for tourists and other guests. See the original story for three more images and three videos. –Matthew]

CrowsNest’s Anna is the future of hospitality

By Tony Skarredghost
December 22, 2020

Some days ago I had a chat with my friend Eloi Gerard, the CEO of CrowsNest XR, about Anna, the virtual concierge assistant he is launching.… read more. “CrowsNest XR’s virtual concierge Anna is the future of hospitality”

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Next level presence: NextMind’s brain-computer interface

[While technology-based presence experiences are usually designed to simulate ‘normal’ non-mediated human experiences of the world, they can become even more intuitive and direct, as with brain control interfaces. This story from Engadget explains the potential in reviewing a new developer kit for the NextMind BCI. For a similarly positive assessment see coverage in TechCrunch, which includes this:]

“NextMind’s system is elegantly simple in conception, which is probably why it feels so powerful and rich in use. After the calibration process, I immediately jumped into the demos and was performing a range of actions effectively with my brain. First was media playback and window management on a desktop, and from there I moved on to composing music, entering a pin on a number pad and playing multiple games, including a platform where my mind control was supplementing my physical input on a USB gamepad to create a whole new level of fun and complex gameplay that wouldn’t be possible otherwise.… read more. “Next level presence: NextMind’s brain-computer interface”

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‘I run a virtual reality dating network where you can have sex and marry’

[In this engaging first person story from Newsweek, the CEO of the Utherverse 3D virtual reality social network provides insights into the platform’s origins, evolution, and design philosophy and the experiences of users that mimic those in the physical world. See the original story for three more images and a 15 minute video. –Matthew]

‘I Run a Virtual Reality Dating Network Where You Can Have Sex and Marry’

Brian Shuster, CEO of Utherverse
December 13, 2020

Before I was creating avatar real world representations, I was a key innovator for the very early internet in the 90s. Around that time, as a hobby I picked up one of the first three massively multiplayer online (MMO) games, Asheron’s Call—it was a hugely entertaining Dungeons and Dragons type game. I would usually adventure solo, but every now and again I would get into a group and we would go on some kind of quest.… read more. “‘I run a virtual reality dating network where you can have sex and marry’”

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This man is ‘buying’ faces to make creepily realistic masks, and people want in

[The prospect of extremely realistic, presence-evoking masks that can make one person appear to be another is entertaining in the Mission: Impossible franchise (see a Variety story and CinemaBlend video compilation), but it raises all kinds of practical and ethical issues. The story below from Vice features an interview with the head of a Japanese company “buying faces” of members of the public to reproduce them in mask form in what it calls the “That Face” project. The original story features seven different pictures and a 28 second video also available via YouTube (for some reason the story introduction overlooks the concept of twins, triplets, etc.). A 1:46 minute video report about “That Face” from the South China Morning Post is available on YouTube. CNET’s coverage adds these details:

“’We will buy and sell your faces. A science fiction story has now become reality,’ Kamenya Omoto said in a statement.… read more. “This man is ‘buying’ faces to make creepily realistic masks, and people want in”

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