Archive for April, 2007

Competitive Call for another project partner

After the first year of this project, the need for computer vision-based user interfaces was identified which should include technology for computer-based interaction with physical maps and map/model-based tracking. The project is looking for an additional partner with outstanding computer vision and augmented reality expertise who is able to develop core technology in these directions. The required technologies are summarized as follows:

1. Augmenting paper maps: for urban planning situations, paper maps are appropriate because they provide a high-resolution, yet large-scale view of the environment. However, these maps lack dynamical information such as locations of moving vehicles or simulation results. An augmented map should be developed which combines both static information on physical maps and dynamical information using projector-based augmentation information.

2. Handheld map tracking: similar to the augmented paper maps, a portable map tracking algorithm should be developed which allows augmentation on handheld devices rather than direct augmentation on physical maps.

3. Model-based outdoor tracking: we are looking for robust model-based outdoor tracking algorithms which are complementary to GPS and INS tracking. Based on rapid acquisition techniques of 3D models of the environment, robust tracking should be developed which runs on handheld devices (i.e. ultra-mobile PCs, smartphones).

For more information, see this (pdf).
There is also a Guide for proposers here (pdf).


Peach summer school

Peach First Summer School. Santorini, GREECE – July 4/5/6th 2007

Are you a PRESENCE junior RESEARCHER (industry or Academic), Or presence PhD student? Would you like to attend the first Peach Summer School!

Registration opened until APRIL 20th 2007! Peach has money to support your travel and logistic expenses!

Summer School title: “Towards Human Machine Confluence – Presence Technologies and Foundations”.

The Peach Summer School will have morning lectures, in which Presence experts will share with the students Presence technologies, measurement and Foundations, and working group afternoons, where Presence measurements and applications demos will be provided. Finally each day will have a poster session where students will present their work to the attendees and experts.


Design of presence — thesis

BEING THERE, BUT NOT, WITH NEVEJAN (Doors of Perception Report April 2)
Doors’ lifelong friend and collaborator Caroline Nevejan has completed the dissertation for her PhD on “presence and the design of trust”. Her timing could hardly be better. As George Monbiot so inconveniently demonstrates in “Heat”, each passenger on a return flight from London to New York produces roughly 1.2 tonnes of carbon dioxide. “There is no technofix to the disastrous impact of air travel on the environment…the only answer is to ground most of the aeroplanes flying today” concludes cheerful George. So Nevejan’s topic, the design of presence in technologically mediated environments, moves centre stage.


Two performance events of interest

MAPPING THE NECKLACE (Doors of Perception Report April 2)
Can you roam a park which doesn’t, as such, exist? How do you map something ephemeral like a memory, or a noise? In the City of Durham, the Necklace Park has opened for business – virtually. On May 5-7, you are invited to join spies, geeks, performers and other lone rangers to track, create, and compose your own park along a12 mile stretch of the River Wear with its 1,000 years of river-linked experience.

SNOUT – PARTICIPATORY SENSING (Doors of Perception Report April 2)
In next week’s Snout ‘participatory sensing carnival’ in London, artists, producers, performers and computer programmers demonstrate how to create wearable technologies, from scavenged media, in order to map the invisible gases that affect our everyday environment. The project also explores how communities can use this visual evidence to participate in or initiate local action. The performance will show in action two prototype Snout sensor ‘wearables’ based on traditional carnival costumes. Venue: Cargo, 83 Rivington St, Kingsland Viaduct, London, EC2A 3AY, Tuesday 10 April.



FLASHMOB – a mailing list to discuss and convene flashmob and related place-specific performative activities to inform performance research (relates to events in the city). To join the list, see here:

“In modern usage, flash mob describes a group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, do something unusual for a brief period of time, and then quickly disperse. They are usually organized with the help of the Internet or other communications networks.” Wikipedia

For more information on flashmob, see eg. these links:


Spatial Cognition in Architectural Design

19 September 2007: Workshop – Spatial Cognition in Architectural Design

Anticipating User Behavior, Layout Legibility, and Route Instructions in the Planning Process in conjunction with international Conference on Spatial Information Theory (COSIT’07) Melbourne, Australia.

Architects make inferences about the spaces that they are not in. They can infer how multi storey buildings look like by inspecting separate 2D layouts of the floors. They can mentally synthesize separate spaces that make up a building design, and they can create alternative designs by revising the spaces and how these spaces may come together.

Apart from these inferences, architects may also anticipate how residents and visitors of a building will behave in the spaces. They may design a building in such a way that people’s ability to understand the spatial layout of this building is influenced (in a positive or negative way). For instance, the legibility of the spatial environment may in- fluence the way in which routes between locations in the building are conceptualized, mentally processed, and communicated. These issues as well can inform and change the architect’s spatial inferences and decisions in the architectural design process.

Questions to be considered in this workshop include, but are not restricted to:
– How do architects switch between the designer’s and the users’ perspectives during the design process?
– What types of (internal and external) knowledge representations and pro- cesses do they make use of?
– What are suitable computational tools for dealing with the spatial complexity of the diverse spatial perspectives and requirements?
– What means are there to anticipate the way future users of the building will conceive of the building layout?
– Regarding complex built environments, how can the aspect of conceptualizing and communicating route knowledge be integrated in the design process?
– How do spatial / architectural and mental complexity related to each other with respect to building layouts? What are the limits both in the design process and the real experience of the resulting building complex?

Call for contributions
Authors are invited to submit a contribution of 4 to 6 pages as basis for discussions during the workshop (pdf file in Springer Lecture Notes in Computer Science format, see Please send your contribution to Accepted contributions will be made available on the workshop web site, unless their authors instruct us otherwise.

Important dates
-30 April 2007 submission of workshop contributions
-15 June 2007 notification of acceptance
-07 July 2007 final versions of workshop contributions
-19 Sept 2007 workshop

More information at


Research and Activism 4th Urban Studies Days at the Estonian Academy of Arts

25-26 April 2007: Call for papers – Research and Activism 4th Urban Studies Days at the Estonian Academy of Arts, Tallinn, Estonia.

The tools of urban planning and policy can poorly address a range of important contemporary urban issues. Finding cultural and creative uses for old industrial areas, fighting social polarisation, achieving a liveable multicultural milieu and redefining urban character as a political project are questions where forms of urban activism have recently played decisive roles. Multicultural festivals, temporary cultural uses and community based new media are examples of fresh approaches, the “Research and Activism” conference aims at bringing together.

More task=view&id=100&Itemid=37.


Ubicomp2007 Doctoral Colliquium

Call for Doctoral Colloquium (DC)

PhD students and candidates are invited to present, discuss and defend their work-in-progress or preliminary results in an international and renowned audience of researchers and developers in the ubiquitous computing field at UbiComp 2007. PhD students and candidates at all stages in the process are invited to submit a thesis position paper. Participants will be expected to give short, informal presentations of their work during the Colloquium, to be followed by a discussion.

The submission (max. 8 pages) should clearly state:

-the original key idea of the thesis
-the problem domain and the specific problem addressed
-an overview of related work in the area of the PhD work
-methodological approach
-research carried out
-the contribution made in the field of ubiquitous computing (for early work, state the expected contribution)

Submissions should be formatted according to the guidelines of Springer’s Lecture Notes in Computer Science and should be submitted as PDF files through EDAS. The submissions will be reviewed and based on these reviews approximately 8 participants for the doctoral colloquium will be selected. The accepted thesis position papers will be published in the adjunct proceedings of UbiComp 2007.

Important Dates

-extended to March 12, 2007 (closed) — Submission of thesis position paper
-May 15, 2007 — Accept/reject notifications
-June 29, 2007 — Camera ready papers
-September 16, 2007 — Doctoral Colloquium in Innsbruck, Austria

More at


Transmedial Interactions and Digital Games

12 June 2007: Call for Workshop Participation. Transmedial Interactions and Digital Games, Salzburg, Austria

Held in conjunction with the 4th International Conference on Advances in Computer Entertainment Technology

As virtual worlds and games grow in importance, present limitations in access to them limits their ability to achieve their potential. In persistent online worlds, peer actions and event changes have cumulative effects that are consequential to individuals, whether or not they are available, just as in real life. But unlike real life, where we have plenty of tools to help us juggle multiple responsibilities, access into virtual worlds today occurs through a single access point; active participation requires a significant stationary commitment. Even the most dedicated users have difficulty keeping up with the dynamic information. To remain active and included, users need better ways to communicate, cooperate, and coordinate. Transmedial access, in which players’ access to a game and their characters/data is made possible across different devices, offers a promising solution to this problem. It also inaugurates a new category of interaction design: transmedial interaction.

This workshop explores the state of the art of transmedial interaction in games, which today unfortunately is often at most mere afterthought. It provides a participatory environment in which attendees can chart new paths forward, from developing viable business models and understanding the technical infrastructure to developing critical vocabularies and evaluative frameworks.

The workshop is intended for a broad audience, which will collaboratively achieve the following:

– Review current state-of-the-art examples of transmedia interactions in entertainment computing, especially video games
– Survey the technical infrastructure needed for transmedia interactions in digital games (e.g., feedback, adaptivity, etc.)
– Understand how the strength and weakness of different media channels shape player experiences during transmedia interactions
– Construct design guidelines for transmedial interactions and determine the components needed for successful and seamless transmedial interaction design
– Consider evaluation criteria for transmedial interactions

We encourage participation from diverse academic disciplines including design, HCI, computer science,, media and game studies, strategic communications, and psychology, as well as industry experts and practitioners, for a total of 15-20 people. Specifically, this workshop will create a synergy among the following target audiences:

– Online and mobile game designers interested in developing appropriate mechanisms to overcome the difficulty of designing for multiple media channels and cross-media experiences
– Interaction designers and researchers interested in human-human and human-machine interactions across devices, including mobile and ubiquitous computing
– Gaming industry pioneers interested in the exploration of novel ways to extend and integrate different media channels’ capacities to create cross-device and cross-network experiences for their target customers
– Entertainment computing marketers interested in identifying key challenges and solutions in promoting transmedial experiences

Participants will be selected based on 2-4 page position papers that address workshop goals. Send submissions (PDF) to Shaowen
Bardzell (selu [at] with subject “ACE 2007 Workshop Submission” by March 30, 2007.

Accepted position papers will be published on the workshop website. Depending on the outcomes of the workshop and the interests of the workshop attendees, the organizers may also coordinate further publications.


Taking a Stroll Through Virtual Dublin

From Irish Times (03/23/07) Lillington, Karlin
Researchers at Trinity College Dublin are constructing an immersive 3D replica of the city, complete with pedestrians, stonework, and the ability to pan upwards for a vertical view. The people who walk the streets of Virtual Dublin wear various clothes that move separately from their bodies, and the carvings on the side of buildings can be appreciated for their detail. “This is much more realistic than [online virtual world] Second Life,” says TCD computer science professor Carol O’Sullivan. “It’s a good framework for doing studies into human perception.” While the most obvious use for the technology developed by the effort, known as Project Metropolis, would be video games, the work could also contribute to health care and urban planning, as EU regulations will require planners to provide citizens with simulations that take into account road noise, pedestrian traffic, and the aesthetic effects of new buildings. “This will improve our understanding of the human brain,” explains TCD cognitive neuroscientist Fiona Newell. “A world like this could be used to rehabilitate people who are socially disabled–who are agoraphobic, perhaps, or autistic–because all the variables can be controlled. You could also safely put people into otherwise dangerous situations.” So far, 2 square km of the planned 5 square km have been completed in high detail, and there are currently 50,000 virtual people walking the streets. Project Metropolis is part of a 2.5 million euro Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) initiative.
Click Here to View Full Article – Web Link to Publication Homepage

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