ISPR Presence News

Category Archives: Presence in the News

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

Google tech captures and streams immersive 3D 6DoF video over the internet

[UploadVR reports on a new Google video technology that provides a more immersive and realistic presence experience than other systems and can be streamed using currently available internet connections. TechCrunch provides a description of its capabilities:

“Google is showing off one of the most impressive efforts yet turning traditional photography and video into something more immersive: 3D video that lets the viewer change their perspective and even look around objects in frame. […]

The effect of high-definition video and freedom of movement gives these light field videos a real sense of reality. Existing VR-enhanced video generally uses fairly ordinary stereoscopic 3D, which doesn’t really allow for a change in viewpoint. And while Facebook’s method of understanding depth in photos and adding perspective to them is clever, it’s far more limited, creating only a small shift in perspective.

In Google’s videos, you can move your head a foot to the side to peek around a corner or see the other side of a given object — the image is photorealistic and full motion but in fact rendered in 3D, so even slight changes to the viewpoint are accurately reflected.… read more. “Google tech captures and streams immersive 3D 6DoF video over the internet”

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Ikea imagines home life post-COVID-19, and it’s wild

[Several of the innovative design concepts in the new Ikea project described in this story from Fast Company involve presence. Follow the links for much more information and many images and videos. –Matthew]

[Image: Source: designboom]

Ikea imagines home life post-COVID-19, and it’s wild

Ikea sees an opportunity to rethink the home

By Mark Wilson
June 25, 2020

If sheltering in place has taught us one thing, it’s that your home has to be more than a place to sleep. It’s where we live a lot of our lives—and even work and teach school—and so spending on indoor and outdoor furniture has gone through the roof.

In response to the COVID-19 era, Ikea and its innovation lab Space10 haven’t just put a bunch of bookshelves on sale. They’ve seized the moment to launch a series of radical home concepts called Everyday Experiments.… read more. “Ikea imagines home life post-COVID-19, and it’s wild”

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$2.3 million grant will support development of virtual operating room team training

[A new NIH-funded project will develop the use of virtual reality to produce both spatial and social presence to train teams of operating room doctors and nurses, all of whom can be in different remote locations. This story from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) describes the project; see the original version for a 1:06 minute video (also available on YouTube). –Matthew]

$2.3 Million Grant Will Support Development of Virtual Operating Room Team Training

Shared virtual system will provide new opportunities for clinical team training

June 24, 2020
By Torie Wells

TROY, N.Y. — A surgeon makes an incision on a virtual patient with support from a perioperative nurse, while an anesthesiologist monitors the patient’s vital signs. As the procedure continues, the team members navigate together through any challenges that arise — even though each of them may be participating from different rooms, buildings, or even cities.… read more. “$2.3 million grant will support development of virtual operating room team training”

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What is Olfactory VR? Interview with OVR Technology’s CEO Aaron Wisniewski

[The company OVR Technology is introducing a new platform for adding scents to virtual reality experiences, with the explicit goal of enhancing presence. This interview with the CEO from the AWE (Augmented World Expo) blog provides a lot of interesting details. For more information, see a January 2020 story in Seven Days and the company’s website. –Matthew]

[Image: Source: OVR Technology via Twitter]

What Is Olfactory VR? Interview with OVR’s Aaron Wisniewski

20 May 2020
Emily Friedman

He’s been described as the “Indiana Jones of scent.” Self-described mad scientist, artist and olfactory evangelist Aaron Wisniewski is the CEO of OVR Technology. Read our interview below to learn more about Aaron, the significance and potential of smell in virtual reality, and OVR’s soon-to-be-launched, first-of-its-kind product. Aaron [spoke] during AWE Online May 26-29. [Details are] at www.awexr.comread more. “What is Olfactory VR? Interview with OVR Technology’s CEO Aaron Wisniewski”

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Amazon’s ‘Distance Assistant’ uses AI and AR to provide real-time social distancing feedback

[Artificial intelligence and augmented reality could provide a valuable way to perceive, and maintain, social distancing. The Amazon blog post below describes the company’s new “Distance Assistant” technology and includes a 32 second demonstration video. If AR-capable glasses were common, this technology could provide a first person view that evokes greater presence and would be even more useful. Coverage in TechCrunch makes a similar point:

“It’s not exactly immediate feedback that technology might be able to provide with, say, a haptic wearable. Instead, it’s designed to serve as a visual reminder for workers to keep their circles green by maintaining the appropriate social distancing. There’s probably a privacy trade-off either way — be it a wearable or camera tracking.”

And along the same lines, a Reuters story adds this detail about the company’s efforts: “Amazon is also testing a wearable device that lights up and makes an audio alert when workers are too close to each other, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters.”

VentureBeat covers the increased scrutiny Amazon is facing in its response to the pandemic and links to a story (with video) about a similar AI/AR technology:

“A growing number of companies claim to offer solutions to discourage workers from congregating or coming into close contact with each other, but most of these are commercial.… read more. “Amazon’s ‘Distance Assistant’ uses AI and AR to provide real-time social distancing feedback”

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“Feel the Conversation” phones turn speech into physical sensations

[Ideal for a world in various stages of lockdown during a pandemic, the design project called “Feel the Conversation” features telephones that translate speech into simple haptic signals that create social presence. This story is from dezeen, where it includes five different pictures and a 0:14 minute video. For more information, pictures and a 0:44 minute video, see Xian-Zhi Zhang’s website. –Matthew]

[Image: Source: Xian-Zhi Zhang’s website]

RCA students design licking phones that turn speech into physical sensations

Natashah Hitti
27 May 2020

Royal College of Art students Sandeep Hoonjan and Xianzhi Zhang have designed a pair of devices that allow people to physically experience conversations while apart during the coronavirus lockdown.

The project, called Feel the Conversation, comprises two handheld machines that connect to a phone and translate the user’s speech into a series of simple haptic patterns based on their intonation and volume.… read more. ““Feel the Conversation” phones turn speech into physical sensations”

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Meet TELEBOT, the terrifying telepresence robot

[This very short post from the Arduino blog, and the 4:20 minute video titled “We Built a Telepresence Robot (To Survive the Quarantine)” in the original version (and on YouTube), demonstrate how even basic DIY technology can be used to evoke presence. For more details see the project’s Hackaday page. –Matthew]

Meet TELEBOT, the terrifying telepresence robot

June 1, 2020
Arduino Team

The Internet has been perhaps more important than ever to keep us connected these days. Available technology, however, apparently wasn’t good enough for brothers Hunter and Josh Irving, who built their own telepresence robot using parts on-hand during their own two-person hackathon.

The robot they came up with, dubbed TELEBOT, features a partially 3D-printed face along with a set of chattering teeth and eyes recycled from an antique doll. An Arduino Uno is used to take audio signals from remote “guests” via a standard 3.5mm cable, simulating their facial expressions with servos that drive TELEBOT’s mouth and LED-lit eyes.… read more. “Meet TELEBOT, the terrifying telepresence robot”

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Jean-Michel Jarre to host innovative live VR concert on VRrOOM June 21

[Musician Jean-Michel Jarre will host an innovative concert in virtual reality on Sunday June 21, 2020, as described in this press release from VRrOOm (where it includes two more pictures). Coverage from AFP via Yahoo! News add this:

Jarre said the concert will be one step beyond the lockdown concert performed by the US rapper Travis Scott inside the shooter game Fortnite in April, which was watched by more than 12 million players. “Everything will be done live,” Jarre told AFP, whereas with “Fortnite it was pre-recorded in a universe that already existed. Here it will be total immersion in a space that we will be creating live, like in ‘The Matrix’,” he said, referring to the cult 1999 sci-fi film.

For more details from a participant see The Ghost Howls blog.

–Matthew]

Jean-Michel Jarre, VRrOOm Team For A Live VR Gig

June 18, 2020

Live from his studio, French musician Jean-Michel Jarre, via his Avatar, will perform live in a virtual stage and universe specially designed and produced by VRrOOm, simultaneously broadcast and accessible to everyone online via PC in video game mode, tablets, and smartphones in 2D mode, or in total immersion using any tethered VR headset.… read more. “Jean-Michel Jarre to host innovative live VR concert on VRrOOM June 21”

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VR makes exercise more enjoyable and less tiring, study finds

[A new study comparing exercise combined with music, virtual reality, both, and neither, and measuring a variety of effects, provides more evidence for the benefits of presence. This story is from Forbes, where the original includes a second image; follow the link to the study for more details. –Matthew]

[Image: Credit: Photo by Amy E. Price/FilmMagic]

Virtual Reality Makes Exercise More Enjoyable And Less Tiring, Study Finds

Simon Chandler, Contributor
June 16, 2020

Virtual reality makes exercise more enjoyable and less difficult, according to a new study published in the British Journal of Health Psychology.

Authored by researchers from Brunel University London and the universities of Exeter and Gloucestershire, the “Ready Exerciser One” study put 24 volunteers on VR-enabled exercise bikes. Rather than staring at the wall, these volunteers experienced themselves cycling through the French countryside, thanks to the VR headsets provided by Massachusetts-based developer VirZOOM.… read more. “VR makes exercise more enjoyable and less tiring, study finds”

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New (free online) XPRIZE anthology of short stories that imagine the future of telepresence technologies

[This press release from XPRIZE and All Nippon Airways via Business Wire provides details about and links to a new 25-story archive of short stories about telepresence, including the winner of a contest judged by a large panel of science fiction experts. The stories provide more interesting material for the Telepresence in Media Environments project. –Matthew]

[Image: Anya Ow’s “Life in Achar” awarded Top Prize in Avatars Inc Short Story Competition. Credit: Illustration by Mathis Burmeister.]

XPRIZE Announces Winner of Global Short Story Contest to Imagine the Future of Telepresence Technologies

Nearly 500 stories were submitted by writers in 33 countries, with each story presented as a memory retrieved from a robotic avatar unit

June 09, 2020

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–XPRIZE, the global leader in incentivized prize competitions, in partnership with All Nippon Airways (ANA), Japan’s largest 5-star airline, announce the winner of a global writing contest to imagine future use-cases of telepresence technology, as part of the Avatars Inc anthology.… read more. “New (free online) XPRIZE anthology of short stories that imagine the future of telepresence technologies”

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