XR for sciences
#Abstract: Back in 2010 when I suggested to a roomfull of game students that the relationship between cinema and games could be bidirectionally fruitful, I had to hide from the rotten tomatoes behind the podium. Indeed, cinema and videogames have a long history of mutual love and hate. My talk, however, is not about this battle, but about what is in common. Specifically, I suggest that both can be regarded as mental simulations of the world. I will adopt a cognitive science angle, talking about the sense making of the idiosyncratic mind, reflected through the enactive mind theory of Francisco Varela and colleagues. The mind is active in the world in an embodied and situated manner, in this sense the mind enacts virtually, or simulates the world’s dynamic phenomena it wants to understand. Drawing from the combination of phenomenological inquiry and scientific evidence, I will argue that narratives are the mind’s essential means of sense making. This applies equally for games and cinema. This leads further to interpreting the communicative role of narratives as an extension of that sense making function to the social world. Systemicity is at the core of my enactive virtuality approach. Be it cinema, video games, books, or social media newsfeed, they can be considered as bio cultural feedback systems continuously mediating between the idiosyncratic minds and the intersubjectively shared worlds. In this endeavour , cinema and games provide a wide range of examples for my arguments. Towards the end of the talk, I hope to engage the audience to the discussion of whether stories told, worlds imagined, and enacted upon, can empower social change for the wellbeing beyond entertainment.
#Abstract This presentation explores the work of EPFL’s Laboratory for Experimental Museology, a transdisciplinary initiative at the intersection of imaging technologies, immersive visualisation , visual analytics and digital aesthetics. eM + engages in research from scientific, artistic and humanistic perspectives and promotes a post cinematic multisensory engagement using experimental platforms. Our research explores the ways in which mechanistic descriptions of database logic can be replaced and computation can become ‘experiential, spatial and materialized; embedded and embodied’. It was at the birth of the Information Age in the 1950s that the prominent designer Gyorgy Kepes of MIT said “information abundance” should be a “landscapes of the senses” that organizes both perception and practice. “This ‘felt order’ he said should be “a source of beauty, data transformed from its measured quantities and recreated as sensed forms exhibiting properties of harmony, rhythm and proportion.
#Abstract he research presented in this talk explores the impact that virtual reality and virtual embodiment technologies have on the distinction between ‘self and other’. Do VR and virtual embodiment have the capacity to reevaluate this gap, blurring this binary? The work presented here aims to evaluate these technologies in the ever-evolving relationship between technology and the self. From Narcissus’s pond, through reflective surfaces and mirrors, to current day selfies, the concepts of the self, body image, and self-awareness have been strongly influenced by the human interaction with imaging technologies. In fact, one could argue that the evolution of imaging, sensing, and computational technologies has played a central role in the evolution of the self as a construct. Between the mental process of body image and how we think we appear to others, imaging technologies such as mirrors, photos and videos can be considered as a new “external eye” – providing humans the perspective of seeing themselves from the outside. My talk explores various VR methods of placing participants “in others’ shoes”, with the goal of finding out to what extent the self-other gap can be blurred. This investigation is contextualized in the emerging field of ‘Techno-self’, exploring the complex relationship between Technology and the Self.
#Abstract Virtual reality has been a hot topic lately. Most people know it from entertainment, healthcare or industry, but thanks to huge investments, VR devices have become affordable for education too. Virtual reality provides some unique learning affordances, but should be fostered in an appropriate way. What is the state of the art of VR in higher and secondary education, what are the topics, is VR an effective learning tool, how should it be designed and how should we implement it in the classroom itself? These are the questions which will be addressed. Although this session will be mainly focussing on education, most insights also apply to corporate training. In short: virtual reality for learning: lesson (to be) learned.
#Title : Building realities. How we learned to engineer worlds in our own image and likeness - and got fond of it #Abstract Building realities. How we learned to engineer worlds in our own image and likeness – and became fond of it In recent years, we witness the rise to a new industry: that of Extended Reality (XR). Encompassing diverse forms of immersive, alternate and expanded realities, this industry has become broadly accessible to consumers and producers and has made its presence increasingly felt in everyday life. The means of construction of XR are accessible to the man on the street, granted both by cheaper hardware (as our smartphones) and software easier for non-specialized users (such as augmented reality for social media and WebXR). This has dissolved, as has happened in other technological fields, the boundaries between user and developer. As a result, a requirement already present in the gaming world is crystallized: as users, we no longer aspire to only co-author the information about the world, we demand agency in the construction of the world itself, or rather the worlds in which this information inhabits. Faced with these possibilities integrated into our daily lives, we ask ourselves: has extended reality extended not just our use of the word reality but also its meaning? Extended reality may imply a new phase in our understanding of reality, and by extension, of information. We may also wonder if this affects the notion of media itself, since its primary function would no longer be to communicate information, but to build it. It is said that the media we use defines the boundaries of the world we perceive, but it seems that our role in this world shaping process has become less passive. Whether the notions themselves are really changing is uncertain, but the rules of the game have undeniably changed. The main focus of the conference will be the increase of access to the creation of worlds in XR in certain everyday contexts, in order to identify a feeling of power which grows in the non-specialized end user, and the possible cultural implications. Based on the study and observation of cultural trends as well as on conversations with XR actors, this research seeks to observe and understand some of these implications in diverse fields and concepts.
#Title: Teacher Professional Development on AR-Enhanced Learning: Insights and Lessons Learned from the European Projects EL-STEM and Living Book #Abstract: The presentation will provide an overview of the main insights gained from the design, pilot testing, and implementation of two innovative professional development programs developed within the European projects Living Book—Augmenting Reading for Life (September 2016–August 2019), and EL-STEM: Enlivened Laboratories within STEM Education (September 2017-June 2020). Living Book exploited the affordances of augmented reality (AR) to address the underachievement of European youth in reading skills. The Living Book “Training Course for Augmented Teachers”, empowers European educators from upper primary and lower secondary schools (ages 9–15) to ‘augment’ students’ reading experiences through combining offline activities promoting reading literacy with online experiences of books’ ‘virtual augmentation’ and with social dynamics. EL-STEM aimed at fostering an innovation “ecosystem” in European secondary schools (ages 12-18) that can facilitate more effective and efficient user-centric design and use of AR resources for personalised STEM learning and teaching. The EL-STEM professional development program familiarizes teachers with the potential of AR technology for enhancing instructional practices and students’ motivation and learning processes in secondary STEM education. Teachers are acquainted with ways in which they could employ AR (but also VR/MR) to promote students’ engagement in STEM education and to strengthen their 21st century skills.
#Abstract Our experiences are multifaceted and amplified in Extended Reality [XR] mode where humans interpret the world through multiple lenses. The growing prevalence of augmented and virtual environments is set to extend our collective cognizance. As we reboot together, we have an opportunity to avoid negative consequences in XR systems enhanced by Autonomous and Intelligent Systems where society must proactively seek solutions, set standards and adopt methods that can enhance access, innovation and governance to ensure the human wellbeing. By adopting a lens of pragmatic introspection, society can envision a positive outcome for all the inspiring and immersive realities humanity will encounter in the near future. Could we possibly create a Fair Data Economy by rallying around the Fair Use of Data?
#Abstract Founder and CEO of XRSI, Kavya Pearlman, with the mission of Helping build Safe and Inclusive XR ecosystems, has been outlining the potential issues and the need for research in the respective areas. Building these brave new worlds fueled by augmented and virtual reality requires us to proactively address safety, privacy, and ethics in this domain. Without informed consent and lack of awareness around risks that these sophisticated technologies bring along, the industry is walking a thin line between trust and dystopia. This talk will provide the XR stakeholders the concrete actions that are possible to execute today and shed light on what to expect in the coming months and years from the XR landscape.
#Abstract Privacy in XR and Spatial Computing is more than just Data protection, the amount of data collected, processed, stored, and ultimately being misused, Regulation.Up to date, digital frameworks were not designed with accessibility as their foundation, but why? Therefore, a post production movement emerged to make digital systems accessible to all. With immersive technologies, both the hardware and software of XR should be customizable for all users and, specifically, for those with disabilities or special needs. Only then can we hope for an extended reality design and development that is genuinely human centric and accounts for human limitations, whether temporary or permanent infusing accessibility into the privacy landscape is not only because it’s the right thing to do, but also because it leads to better, more inclusive digital environments and a culture where everyone feels welcomed.
This talk of Roderick Mc Call made in October 29th, 2020 has been given during the International Congress of Extended Reality in Sciences (https://dimensionsxr.com) organized by the Swiss Society of Virtual and Augmented Reality (SSVAR - https://ssvar.ch) #Bio Lead Researcher with around twenty years’ experience in a variety of research organisations and universities in Germany, Luxembourg and the UK. Core themes within these are augmented and mixed realities, human-computer interaction, serious games and behaviour change technologies (mobility and energy). A major part of my work involves mixed realities and HCI for security-related topics, e.g. radiological incidents, terrorism and crime. Other recent work is exploring behaviour change approaches to help ease energy poverty. A key motivating factor for me is to take basic research ideas from the lab to industry. Example of some current or very recent projects: * H2020 SAYSO – PI @LIST. * H2020 PasCal – member of LIST team. * H2020 TARGET – project technical coordinator. * FNR CORE-INTER MADSAV – [email protected] * H2020 TERRIFFIC ([email protected]). * H2020 STEP-IN (PI/coordinator). * FNR Pathfinder – TARGETplace (PI). * FNR Proof-of-concept – STARRI (PI). * FNR Pathfinder – RISAR (PI). Since 2011, I have attracted around €6m in funding from the EU, FNR and industry. Most recent funding coming from the EU (6 H2020 applications accepted). Prior to being at LIST I founded the IGNITE (Interaction, Games and Novel Interface TEchnologies) research collective at the University of Luxembourg, which was part of the SECAN-Lab research group. Aside from work I am a bit of a current affairs and theatre junkie. #Abstract This talk will look at how mixed reality, in particular augmented reality, has the potential to radically change our future and with it present some key technical, ethical and social challenges. The talk will look at how the technology has moved from the lab, to one which so far has been useful in specific niche sectors such as training, security and games. As the technologies improves is there an opportunity to move beyond one-off experiences to a more augmented world? What will this new Wild West be like? Now is the time to ask the questions.