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Date: Sunday, November 17th
Time: 11:30am - 1:00pm
Venue: Plaza Meeting Room P2

Cybersickness in Virtual Reality: Examining the Influence of the Virtual Environments on Gender Susceptibility

Speaker(s): Christopher J. Curry, University of Minnesota, United States of America

Description: The auspicious future of VR could be thwarted by cybersickness. A factor known to influence susceptibility is sex, with females often experiencing higher incidences. A mitigation strategy is to identify individuals who are more sensitive to cybersickness, such that interventions can be implemented before the onset of subjective symptoms. Such an approach is developing predictive models that compare a user's online kinematic body sway and physiological characteristics to data from individuals that reported cybersickness. If such predictive models can be developed, then one approach is altering the virtual environment (VE) based on this real-time data. The benefit of adjusting the VE is that it permits a susceptible individual to use the VR device with a reduction in adverse symptoms. One way to alter the VE is by manipulating optic flow, which can be described as the perceived visual motion of objects that are generated through an observer’s movements. Optic flow can be increased by increasing the level of details in the VE. That is to say, visual displays that contain a lot of details often give rise to stronger subjective sensations of movement. Thus, if the level of details in the VE are reduced, then this may reduce cybersickness reports.
Bio of Speaker:

Displacement of Self-Continuity: A Heuristic Inquiry into Identity Transition in an Animated Narrative Short Film

Speaker(s): Hossein Najafi, Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand

Description: This research considers how a fictional allegory can be employed to examine issues of acculturation, displacement and identity transition. Using the story of a refugee family, my PhD research by artistic practice explores the implications of reconstructing an identity inside the body of a new culture. The short film, Stella, being developed as the final artifact, is designed to serve as a provocative vehicle for considering the social implications of identity loss and transition. Methodologically, the project employs a heuristic inquiry to increase the chances of discovery in a process that is intuitively negotiated. In processing the inquiry, I shape the work and I am shaped by unexpected discoveries. Inside this dynamic, I generate a narrative embodiment of theory. This relationship may result in elevating both the self (the writer/director/animator) and the body of knowledge, though the making process [Moustakas 1990]. Beyond its contribution to understanding processes and implications of acculturation, displacement, and identity transition, the project’s technological significance lies in its propensity to extend the application and demonstrate the potential of deep learning algorithms, performance capture using motion capture technology, and utilising 3d laser scanning and photogrammetry in digital human development.
Bio of Speaker:

Intermediated Reality

Speaker(s): Llogari Casas, Edinburgh Napier University, United Kingdom

Description: This thesis explores technical solutions to address the gap between the virtual and physical worlds towards photo-realistic interactive Augmented Reality (AR). As mobile network bandwidth increases, latencies reduce and graphics processing power becomes more efficient, this work tackles the challenge of convincingly re-animating physical objects remotely through digital displays. A framework for distributed Intermediated Reality (IR) communication is introduced, and forms the structure of the constituent methods developed for seamless collaboration through the remote possession of entities that come to life in mobile AR. To perform such augmentation in an unnoticeable way, a method of deforming surface camera samples for seamless animations of physical objects with background inpainting is first introduced. This technique, in combination with a method to retarget the proximate appearance of real shadows to deformed virtual shadows and a method to perform environment illumination estimation using inconspicuous flat Fresnel lenses, brings real-world props to life in a compelling and practical way. Each method is integrated together to perform in real-time with analysis and evaluations using metric comparisons to expected ground truth. Intermediated Reality can be applied to a variety of industries and scenarios. This thesis presents applications in distributed communication, the movie industry and computer games sectors.
Bio of Speaker:

Kernel-Based Image Filtering: Fast Algorithms and Applications

Speaker(s): Sanjay Ghosh, Indian Institute of Science, India

Description: Image filtering is a fundamental preprocessing task in computer vision and image processing. While the dominant applications of kernel filtering are enhancement and denoising, it can also be used as a powerful regularizer for image reconstruction. In general, the brute-force implementations of kernel filtering is prohibitively expensive. They are often too slow for real-time applications. In the first half of the thesis, we propose fast algorithms for bilateral filtering (BLF) and nonlocal means (NLM). The core ideas can be extended to other forms of kernel filtering.
Bio of Speaker: Sanjay Ghosh is a final year PhD student in the Department of Electrical Engineering, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India. His research interests are in inverse problems in imaging (denoising, deblurring, inpainting etc.), restoration/reconstruction techniques in medical imaging, and computational models for neuroimaing. Prior joining to the doctoral studies, he received the M.Tech. degree in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India, in 2013. From August 2013 to July 2014, he served as a faculty member at the National Institute of Technology, Jamshedpur, India.