Featured profile of Dr James Birt in the March 2021 Oxford University Virtual Minds Network

Press/Media: Research

Description

My research profile was featured as part of the Oxford Univerdity Virtual Minds Network. Details below:

 

[March 2021] 

  

Dear colleagues and immersive technology enthusiasts, 

 

Another fantastic line up for you this month; we hope you enjoy the content and reach out to form new contacts and collaborations. 

  

The network keeps us in touch with others both locally and across the globe by highlighting current projects, papers, researchers, technology, and talks/events of interest.

 

This month’s line-up: 

 

Featured project: Experiencing the intangible: Communicating cultural meaning through storytelling and immersive technologies (Claire Eaglesham, School of Simulation and Visualisation, Glasgow School of Art, Scotland) 

 

Featured profile: James Birt, Faculty of Society and Design, Bond University, Queensland, Australia 

 

Featured publication: Immersive virtual reality as a tool to learn problem-solving skills (Paola Araiza-Alba et al., Swinburne University of Technology, Australia)

 

Tech review: SenseGlove Nova VR Haptic Gloves (Kyle Melnick, VRScout)  

 

Talks/events: Child Health Technology Conference 2021 (conference). How VR can be used to treat a variety of mental health problems (podcast).  

 

Postdoc positions: The Centre for Data Science at New York University is advertising a postdoctoral position. The Brain, Language and Computation Laboratory at Hong Kong Polytechnic University is advertising a postdoctoral position. 

 

Featured project: Experiencing the intangible: Communicating cultural meaning through storytelling and immersive technologies  

   

Main Researchers: Claire Eaglesham   

  

Based:  School of Simulation and Visualisation, Glasgow School of Art, Scotland   

  

Background: Ethnographic collections offer a wealth of historical and cultural information for museum audiences. However, traditional display approaches and museum spaces limit the full contextualisation of ethnographic artefacts, particularly in terms of their socially constructed forms of meaning and significance. This research will explore the use of digital and immersive technologies to communicate this information and provide a new method of engaging museum audiences with ethnographic artefacts.   

  

Aim: To evaluate the ways immersive technologies and storytelling techniques can be used to communicate the intangible aspects of ethnographic artefacts.  

  

VR technology used: Unity, Oculus Quest 2   

  

Methods:  Consultation with source communities will inform the initial design of the immersive experience. The experience will be further developed through an iterative design process, applying user feedback (collected from usability testing, participant observation and semi-structured interviews) to inform development cycles which address the overall design goals. Testing of the final experience will target a diverse user group, involving both the source communities and a representative group of museum visitors.   

  

Implication of the work: The findings from this research will inform a framework which can support the creation of impactful immersive experiences within museum contexts, in particular experiences which promote cultural understanding and engagement for museum visitors.   

   

Twitter: @_IndigoOrange  

Email: c.eaglesham@gsa.ac.uk   

Click this link for Claire’s GSA PhD Showcase  

 

Featured profile:  

Name: James Birt 

 

Institution: Faculty of Society and Design, Bond University, Queensland, Australia 

 

Area of interest: James is an Associate Professor of Computer Games and Digital Media in the Faculty of Society and Design at Bond University, Australia, where he runs the Mixed Reality Research Lab. The Lab aims to improve learners’ pedagogical experience and learning outcomes through the use of mobile mixed reality solutions. To date, all projects are built using the Unity game engine and developed for a range of platforms and devices.  

 

His research spans computer science, games and visual arts, with an emphasis on applied design and development of interactive mixed reality (VR, AR, 3D printing, mobile) experiences assisting learning, skills acquisition and knowledge discovery. The distinctive contribution James brings to research and scholarship is evidenced in over 70 research publications and multiple national media engagements including The Conversation, ABC News and The Project. In 2020, James received a Universities Australia citation for sustained leadership in the scholarship of mobile mixed reality innovations to enhance authentic experiential teaching and learning. This followed his award of a citation in 2014 for innovation in emerging technology and applied digital multimedia to enhance learning and skills training. His service to the university and wider community has formed around his experience in emerging technology, computer games, teaching and learning. Where he takes an active role in supporting industry and peers through mentorship, presentations and expert judging. 

 

Website: http://www.mixedrealityresearch.com/    

Email: jbirt@bond.edu.au    

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dr-james-birt/ 

Twitter: @DrJamesBirt  

Academic profile: https://bond.edu.au/profile/james-birt 

 

Featured publication: 

A paper on the educational potential of immersive virtual reality with children. By Paola Araiza-Alba, Swinburne University of Technology, Victoria, Australia (and colleagues):  

 

Araiza-Alba, P., Keane, T, Chen, W. S., & Kaufman, J. (2021). Immersive virtual reality as a tool to learn problem-solving skills. Computers & Education, 164.  

 

Tech review:  

Kyle Melnick, author for VRScout, reviews the SenseGlove Nova VR Haptic Gloves: Force-feedback exoskeleton capable of simulating everything from shapes and impact to stiffness and resistance in VR. 

 

“Designed for use by companies for a variety of professional training purposes—such as the proper handling of hazardous material and the use of complex tools or machinery—these futuristic-looking devices allow users to interact with digital objects in a virtual world just as they would in real-life. They can feel the softness of a virtual pillow or the handle of a virtual tool, resulting in a new level of immersion impossible to replicate using conventional motion controllers and basic haptic vibrations. 

 

Unlike research applications, VR training projects are all about quick implementation. We created SenseGlove Nova—a new glove using stretchable, easy-to-put-on material—specifically for VR training, based on direct customer feedback. The ability to experience digital worlds through intuitive real-world behaviors coupled with a low $5,000 USD price make the SenseGlove Nova the most accessible device for the future of work and a new sense in VR training,” said Gijs den Butter, CEO of SenseGlove in an official release…” 

 

For the full review visit: https://vrscout.com/news/senseglove-nova-vr-haptic-gloves-ces-2021/ 

 

Upcoming training, courses and meetings: 

 

2nd – 5th March 2021: Child Health Technology Conference 2021: A virtual conference that will bring together healthcare professionals, industry experts, engineers, designers, academics, and patient representatives. 

https://cypmedtech.nihr.ac.uk/child-health-technology/  

 

Science Focus Podcast: Daniel Freeman, Professor of Clinical Psychology and Co-founder of Oxford VR, explains how VR can be used to treat a variety of mental health problems. Virtual reality is helping patients with phobias, anxiety and more - BBC Science Focus Magazine 

 

Postdoc Positions:  

 

1.     The Centre for Data Science at New York University is recruiting for a postdoctoral position! (Looking to fill the position as early as January 2021) 

 

The fully-funded postdoctoral position is to work on computational principles of task representation in virtual reality (VR). The project is part of a multi-lab effort to build goal representation and inference models for human-machine collaboration. 

 

More information here: http://gureckislab.org/blog/?p=4729 

 

2.     The Brain, Language and Computation Laboratory at Hong Kong Polytechnic University is inviting applications for a 2-year postdoctoral position! (Commencing in September 2021) 

     The appointee will assist the project leader in the research project “Second language learning in VR: The perception-action connection”: https://www.polyu.edu.hk/hro/postspec/20102303.pdf . The successful candidate will join the PI's team (https://blclab.org/) in a vibrant university community (https://www.polyu.edu.hk/) and a dynamic international city.  

Note: The candidate's experience in L2 studies is more important than experiences in neuroimaging or VR.  

For inquiries please email pingpsu@gmail.com or pauline.tai@polyu.edu.hk; for non-Chinese speaking candidates, consult with other non-Chinese members in the lab (https://blclab.org/ourlab/). 

Period2 Mar 2021

Media coverage

1

Media coverage

  • TitleFeatured profile of Dr James Birt in the March 2021 Oxford University Virtual Minds Network
    Degree of recognitionInternational
    Media name/outletOxford University
    Media typeOther
    CountryUnited Kingdom
    Date2/03/21
    DescriptionMy research profile was featured as part of the Oxford University Virtual Minds Network. Details below: [March 2021] Dear colleagues and immersive technology enthusiasts, Another fantastic line up for you this month; we hope you enjoy the content and reach out to form new contacts and collaborations. The network keeps us in touch with others both locally and across the globe by highlighting current projects, papers, researchers, technology, and talks/events of interest. This month’s line-up: Featured project: Experiencing the intangible: Communicating cultural meaning through storytelling and immersive technologies (Claire Eaglesham, School of Simulation and Visualisation, Glasgow School of Art, Scotland) Featured profile: James Birt, Faculty of Society and Design, Bond University, Queensland, Australia Featured publication: Immersive virtual reality as a tool to learn problem-solving skills (Paola Araiza-Alba et al., Swinburne University of Technology, Australia) Tech review: SenseGlove Nova VR Haptic Gloves (Kyle Melnick, VRScout) Talks/events: Child Health Technology Conference 2021 (conference). How VR can be used to treat a variety of mental health problems (podcast). Postdoc positions: The Centre for Data Science at New York University is advertising a postdoctoral position. The Brain, Language and Computation Laboratory at Hong Kong Polytechnic University is advertising a postdoctoral position. Featured project: Experiencing the intangible: Communicating cultural meaning through storytelling and immersive technologies Main Researchers: Claire Eaglesham Based: School of Simulation and Visualisation, Glasgow School of Art, Scotland Background: Ethnographic collections offer a wealth of historical and cultural information for museum audiences. However, traditional display approaches and museum spaces limit the full contextualisation of ethnographic artefacts, particularly in terms of their socially constructed forms of meaning and significance. This research will explore the use of digital and immersive technologies to communicate this information and provide a new method of engaging museum audiences with ethnographic artefacts. Aim: To evaluate the ways immersive technologies and storytelling techniques can be used to communicate the intangible aspects of ethnographic artefacts. VR technology used: Unity, Oculus Quest 2 Methods: Consultation with source communities will inform the initial design of the immersive experience. The experience will be further developed through an iterative design process, applying user feedback (collected from usability testing, participant observation and semi-structured interviews) to inform development cycles which address the overall design goals. Testing of the final experience will target a diverse user group, involving both the source communities and a representative group of museum visitors. Implication of the work: The findings from this research will inform a framework which can support the creation of impactful immersive experiences within museum contexts, in particular experiences which promote cultural understanding and engagement for museum visitors. Twitter: @_IndigoOrange Email: c.eaglesham@gsa.ac.uk Click this link for Claire’s GSA PhD Showcase Featured profile: Name: James Birt Institution: Faculty of Society and Design, Bond University, Queensland, Australia Area of interest: James is an Associate Professor of Computer Games and Digital Media in the Faculty of Society and Design at Bond University, Australia, where he runs the Mixed Reality Research Lab. The Lab aims to improve learners’ pedagogical experience and learning outcomes through the use of mobile mixed reality solutions. To date, all projects are built using the Unity game engine and developed for a range of platforms and devices. His research spans computer science, games and visual arts, with an emphasis on applied design and development of interactive mixed reality (VR, AR, 3D printing, mobile) experiences assisting learning, skills acquisition and knowledge discovery. The distinctive contribution James brings to research and scholarship is evidenced in over 70 research publications and multiple national media engagements including The Conversation, ABC News and The Project. In 2020, James received a Universities Australia citation for sustained leadership in the scholarship of mobile mixed reality innovations to enhance authentic experiential teaching and learning. This followed his award of a citation in 2014 for innovation in emerging technology and applied digital multimedia to enhance learning and skills training. His service to the university and wider community has formed around his experience in emerging technology, computer games, teaching and learning. Where he takes an active role in supporting industry and peers through mentorship, presentations and expert judging. Website: http://www.mixedrealityresearch.com/ Email: jbirt@bond.edu.au LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dr-james-birt/ Twitter: @DrJamesBirt Academic profile: https://bond.edu.au/profile/james-birt Featured publication: A paper on the educational potential of immersive virtual reality with children. By Paola Araiza-Alba, Swinburne University of Technology, Victoria, Australia (and colleagues): Araiza-Alba, P., Keane, T, Chen, W. S., & Kaufman, J. (2021). Immersive virtual reality as a tool to learn problem-solving skills. Computers & Education, 164. Tech review: Kyle Melnick, author for VRScout, reviews the SenseGlove Nova VR Haptic Gloves: Force-feedback exoskeleton capable of simulating everything from shapes and impact to stiffness and resistance in VR. “Designed for use by companies for a variety of professional training purposes—such as the proper handling of hazardous material and the use of complex tools or machinery—these futuristic-looking devices allow users to interact with digital objects in a virtual world just as they would in real-life. They can feel the softness of a virtual pillow or the handle of a virtual tool, resulting in a new level of immersion impossible to replicate using conventional motion controllers and basic haptic vibrations. Unlike research applications, VR training projects are all about quick implementation. We created SenseGlove Nova—a new glove using stretchable, easy-to-put-on material—specifically for VR training, based on direct customer feedback. The ability to experience digital worlds through intuitive real-world behaviors coupled with a low $5,000 USD price make the SenseGlove Nova the most accessible device for the future of work and a new sense in VR training,” said Gijs den Butter, CEO of SenseGlove in an official release…” For the full review visit: https://vrscout.com/news/senseglove-nova-vr-haptic-gloves-ces-2021/ Upcoming training, courses and meetings: 2nd – 5th March 2021: Child Health Technology Conference 2021: A virtual conference that will bring together healthcare professionals, industry experts, engineers, designers, academics, and patient representatives. https://cypmedtech.nihr.ac.uk/child-health-technology/ Science Focus Podcast: Daniel Freeman, Professor of Clinical Psychology and Co-founder of Oxford VR, explains how VR can be used to treat a variety of mental health problems. Virtual reality is helping patients with phobias, anxiety and more - BBC Science Focus Magazine Postdoc Positions: 1. The Centre for Data Science at New York University is recruiting for a postdoctoral position! (Looking to fill the position as early as January 2021) The fully-funded postdoctoral position is to work on computational principles of task representation in virtual reality (VR). The project is part of a multi-lab effort to build goal representation and inference models for human-machine collaboration. More information here: http://gureckislab.org/blog/?p=4729 2. The Brain, Language and Computation Laboratory at Hong Kong Polytechnic University is inviting applications for a 2-year postdoctoral position! (Commencing in September 2021) The appointee will assist the project leader in the research project “Second language learning in VR: The perception-action connection”: https://www.polyu.edu.hk/hro/postspec/20102303.pdf . The successful candidate will join the PI's team (https://blclab.org/) in a vibrant university community (https://www.polyu.edu.hk/) and a dynamic international city. Note: The candidate's experience in L2 studies is more important than experiences in neuroimaging or VR. For inquiries please email pingpsu@gmail.com or pauline.tai@polyu.edu.hk; for non-Chinese speaking candidates, consult with other non-Chinese members in the lab (https://blclab.org/ourlab/).
    Producer/AuthorJulia Badger - Department of Experimental Psychology
    PersonsJames Birt