ISPR Presence News

Category Archives: Presence in the News

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

To digitize Burning Man, indie developers reimagine human online interaction

[TechCrunch reports on how teams of volunteers are working to take the Burning Man event online because of the pandemic and in the process, participate in some “avant garde imagineering for what the future of human online interaction looks like.” In addition to the links to the separate projects, the original story includes six more images and links to related content. –Matthew]

Digitizing Burning Man

How indie developers are re-imagining social apps to save the iconic off-the-grid event

Lucas Matney
August 12, 2020

For decades, Burning Man has represented an escape from the current reality. An event for free-er spirits to rethink new age ideals inside a stateless entity where art, music and partying reign supreme on the desert plains.

Over the years, the Bay Area-founded event has dealt with an internal clash as the gathering has grown larger and attracted a heavy presence from Silicon Valley’s wealthy tech class, with tales of turnkey experiences, air-conditioned camps, helicopters and lobster dinners.… read more. “To digitize Burning Man, indie developers reimagine human online interaction”

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Dangerous teleoperation: Robot takes straight razor to face of brave roboticist

[This IEEE Spectrum story describes how roboticist John Peter Whitney takes some personal risks to develop technology that permits precise teleoperation (and potentially autonomous operation) of robots. The original version includes two more images and the mentioned video; follow the link at the end for more information. –Matthew]

Remotely Operated Robot Takes Straight Razor to Face of Brave Roboticist

You should really probably definitely not ever try this at home or anywhere else

By Evan Ackerman
July 28, 2020

Roboticists love hard problems. Challenges like the DRC and SubT have helped (and are still helping) to catalyze major advances in robotics, but not all hard problems require a massive amount of DARPA funding—sometimes, a hard problem can just be something very specific that’s really hard for a robot to do, especially relative to the ease with which a moderately trained human might be able to do it.… read more. “Dangerous teleoperation: Robot takes straight razor to face of brave roboticist”

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VR Quest engages and provides deep learning as kids build and play in immersive worlds

[This review of VR Quest educational software explores the potential of virtual learning experiences, and the spatial and social presence they produce. It comes from Parentology, where the original version includes two more images and a 1:54 “Introduction” video (also available via YouTube). A new 1:57 minute news report from Fox 12 in Oregon, and a 2013 CBS News report include brief interviews with students and the creator, and more information is available on the VR Quest website. For more context, “hear from researchers, educators, and developers from MIT, Stanford, and Seattle Public Schools as they share their experiences, benefits and challenges with VR in the classroom, and talk about their visions for the future” in a 45-minute Oculus-sponsored “Classrooms and Case Studies: VR in Education” panel discussion from October 2019 available via YouTube. –Matthew]

[Image: After creating their own game world, players can enter it through VR.read more. “VR Quest engages and provides deep learning as kids build and play in immersive worlds”

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Ghost Pacer AR gives runners their own holographic training partner

[Taking advantage of social presence, a new Kickstarter project creates a 3D holographic training partner for runners. The original version of this VRScout story includes three more pictures and a 2:29 minute video; the PR Newswire press release includes this:

“’Nothing is a perfect substitute for running with another person,’ says CEO AbdurRahman ‘AR’ Bhatti, a former all-state cross-country runner himself. ‘But racing against a holographic avatar that you can train with anywhere at any time is the next best thing.’”

For more information see the Kickstarter page and an interview with AbdurRahman Bhatti from NewsTalk Florida. –Matthew]

Ghost Pacer Headset Offers Runners Their Own Holographic Training Partner

An augmented reality running coach designed by runners, for runners.

August 5, 2020
by Kyle Melnick

There’s nothing wrong with a little healthy competition, especially when it comes to physical fitness. Unfortunately, finding a reliable training partner compatible with your specific workout goals can often prove difficult, especially in a post COVID-19 world.… read more. “Ghost Pacer AR gives runners their own holographic training partner”

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These motorized shoes could be the key to making virtual reality fully immersive

[The design is still evolving, but this short story from Gizmodo describes a new VR accessory that could increase presence for VR users. See the original story for two videos, and for much more information including several videos, see the designer/creator Alexander Evans’ blog. –Matthew]

These Motorized Shoes Could Be the Key to Making Virtual Reality Fully Immersive

Joanna Nelius, Staff Reporter, Reviews at Gizmodo. Formerly PC Gamer, Maximum PC.
August 5, 2020

There’s no shortage of people trying to make virtual reality gaming a more immersive experience. There are VR arenas where people strap on PC backpacks and play in a pre-programmed area. There are gloves and shoes, and even VR treadmills. Nothing seems to have that full immersion factor, though, either because the person playing still needs to sit down to game, the haptic technology isn’t responsive enough, or because the headset is too large and expensive.… read more. “These motorized shoes could be the key to making virtual reality fully immersive”

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Future presence: A day in the metaverse

[For many years I’ve assigned students a “future of media” exercise in which they imagine what their mediated experiences will be like in 20 years; this thought-provoking story from Forbes does something similar by describing a near-future in which technologies have evolved to evoke many different kinds of presence and change the nature of work and play. See the original version for two more images and two videos. –Matthew]

A Day In The Metaverse

Cathy Hackl, Contributor
Forbes CMO Network
“I’m a tech futurist focused on the transformative impact of AR, VR, & AI.”
Written with insight from Fifer Garbesi, Lily Snyder, Rob Crasco, Marcus Endicott, Taron Lizagub, Ryan Gill, and Linda Ricci.

July 19, 2020

For most of us, we start the day by opening our eyes – and looking immediately at our smartphones. Smartphones have become an extension of who we are.… read more. “Future presence: A day in the metaverse”

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New immersive film takes you to Notre Dame Cathedral before the fire and during reconstruction

[Frenchly reports on a new 360 degree film at the FlyView attraction in Paris, and available for free viewing via Oculus VR, that features footage from before and after the fire that nearly destroyed the Notre Dame Cathedral. The description from Flyview says viewers will “Teleport into the cathedral in virtual reality, as if you were really there.” See the original story for a 52 second video (also available via YouTube); the story also includes an embedded Tweet from Targo that notes that the documentary “Rebuilding Notre Dame” is “competing for a nomination to the #Emmys2020 in the Original Interactive Program category.” –Matthew]

Visit the Notre Dame Using VR

The Parisian Cathedral is closed to the public until 2024. An immersive film proposes to (re)discover the interior of the cathedral during its reconstruction.

By Baudouin Eschapasse, Le Point
July 28, 2020

Since spring 2018, FlyView, a company located just a stone’s throw from Opéra, has been offering tourists the opportunity to visit Paris through virtual reality.… read more. “New immersive film takes you to Notre Dame Cathedral before the fire and during reconstruction”

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See old New York appear before your eyes with new augmented reality app

[TimeOut New York reports on a new augmented reality project that “bring[s] the streets and buildings of old New York to life before your eyes.” I particularly like the inclusion of a separate “immersive” mode that omits the visual and audio information available in other modes. The original story includes two other images and a 6:54 minute video (also available via YouTube). The mentioned coverage in Untapped New York adds the detail that the two creators are both NYU undergraduate students. –Matthew]

See old New York appear before your eyes with this new augmented reality app

Explore Chinatown’s Doyers Street around the turn of the 20th century.

By Shaye Weaver
July 29 2020

A couple of New York University students are changing how we see history—literally.

Metro ARchive, headed by Samuel Avery Levin and McCoy Zhu, is creating an augmented reality app that will allow you to bring the streets and buildings of old New York to life before your eyes.… read more. “See old New York appear before your eyes with new augmented reality app”

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The potential of socially assistive robots during infectious disease outbreaks

[A new article in the journal Science Robotics discusses how home-based telepresence robots can help societies lessen the “secondary impacts” of a pandemic; this story from Inverse summarizes the article. Note that the initial definition of a telepresence robot is then implicitly broadened to include independent (AI-based) capabilities. For more information follow the link to the original article. –Matthew]

SOCIAL DISTANCING CAN BE LONELY, BUT ROBOTS CAN HELP

The robot revolution is coming, but not as you think.

Sarah Wells
July 16, 2020

With Covid-19 infection rates continuing to climb throughout the U.S., it’s safe to say that maintaining social distance — whether to return to work or to throwback cold ones with friends — has been a massive failure. But a new report published Wednesday in the journal Science Robotics, says that widespread use of telepresence robots could help solve that.… read more. “The potential of socially assistive robots during infectious disease outbreaks”

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Presence and inverse presence: VR tour of Sir Edumund Hillary’s Antarctica base launched by NZ PM

[This story from STUFF describes a new virtual tour that provides the public with a first-person experience of a distant heritage site and it also includes an interesting example of inverse presence, where an experience not mediated by technology is perceived as mediated. See the original story for 7 more images and a 41 second video. For more information, including a different 2:31 minute video, see the Antarctic Heritage Trust website. And for a 1:53 minute news report see 1 News. –Matthew]

[Image: Sir Edmund Hillary’s grandson Alexander Hillary with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Credit: Abigail Dougherty/STUFF]

Hillary’s Hut: Virtual reality tour of explorer’s Antarctica base launched by PM

Kendall Hutt
July 31 2020

Kiwis can now take a step back in time and explore Scott Base’s oldest building in Antarctica thanks to virtual reality.

It is hoped thousands will gain an insight into how the 23 men of Sir Edmund Hillary’s team lived and worked more than 60 years ago by exploring his hut.… read more. “Presence and inverse presence: VR tour of Sir Edumund Hillary’s Antarctica base launched by NZ PM”

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