PhD Opening (Extreme Performance) RMIT University, School Media & Communications

RMIT University, School of Media & Communications (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (rmit.edu.au), in Melbourne, Australia is seeking an exceptional PhD candidate to research Extreme Performance.

The School of Media & Communications hopes to attract a candidate who values an interdisciplinary design studio and extreme performance environment. You will be highly motivated, willing to learn a variety of skills and own initiative, extremely creative as well as technical, and also have highly developed analytical and communicative skills. Prior research experience (publications, prototypes, films, exhibitions etc.) is desirable and technical abilities in hardware prototyping, motion capture, biometrics, communications and film media (VMX) programming skills.
We are interested in an expression of interest in the following PhD topic:
Extreme Performance (PhD by Research 2015-17): Research, design and development of software to support the prototype development of wearable performance media hardware and remote communications systems for human performance in extreme environments: spanning activities in deep sea, alpine mountaineering and in microgravity environments. Demonstrated interest and experience with human exploration, performing arts technologies, interactive technology, and hardware prototyping and building communications platforms is desirable. A passion for sea, summit or space fieldwork will also be highly regarded. The desired candidate will demonstrate that they thrive in a convergent research culture where arts, science and technology are interrelated, and mutually informing modes of exploration, knowledge and discovery. Dr. Sarah Jane Pell (www.sarahjanepell.com) will mentor the candidate in all areas of the project, including research methods, publications and dissemination of results including interactive exhibitions. The RMIT University School of Media and Communications (SMC) incorporates the fields of art, communication, design, education, humanities, property and social sciences. SMC encourages collaborations across disciplinary boundaries, and promotes opportunities for exchange, guidance and mentoring with high caliber researchers. This project strategically and creatively contributes to the activities, values and pedagogical impact of RMIT’s goals for ‘Transforming the Future’.
Do you have exceptional creativity, research excellence, passion and drive?
Entry requirements: You will need a minimum of a 3year Bachelor Degree and Master’s Degree in an appropriate field plus evidence of practical experience and/or a portfolio of projects and/or expeditions. Example backgrounds may include interaction design, human-computer interaction, industrial design, communications, human movement, sports science, experimental arts, media and engineering but we are curious to know what you can contribute. All nationalities are encouraged to apply.
All applicants will need to apply for, and be accepted, to the PhD program in Media and Communication at RMIT University, see www.rmit.edu.au/mediacommunication/researchdegrees and
March 2015. The position will be supervised by Dr. Florian ‘Floyd’ Mueller and Dr. Sarah Jane Pell and will conclude with a thesis and exhibition. Scholarships are available according to the Australian Postgraduate Award rate of approx. AUD 25,000 per year. We are also offering space to research and design in an open plan lab environment in the award-winning Design Hub, Australia’s newest interdisciplinary design research centre and the RMIT project-built VMX Room Studios.
Expression of interest: 15 Oct 2014.
First, applicants will apply with an expression of interest by the date above to the email below. After the internal interview with Dr. Sarah Jane Pell, the candidate will need to apply to the general RMIT University admissions office by 31 Oct 2014. This two-step process ensures that we are able to endorse your application. Dr. Pell is currently a member of the RMIT University Exertion Games Lab. Their research is focused on the merging of the active human body, technology and play by drawing from research streams such as interaction design, human-computer interaction and human performance. The interdisciplinary culture within the School of Media & Communications ensures that we do not just philosophise about the future, but we actively invent it, and bring it to the world.
Please submit your application (CV, brief research proposal outline (Max 3 pages), transcript of latest academic results and portfolio URL) by email to SarahJane.Pell (at rmit.edu.au).
Looking forward to reading your applications!
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UBISS Bodily Play Workshop

We made a video of the UBISS Workshop D on Bodily Play held by Floyd and Rich in Finland. The workshop was a great success with many new and exciting games being made, thanks to everyone involved!

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DIS paper: Playful Proxemics

Floyd, Rohit, Jayden, Amani and David will present their DIS paper in Vancouver in June. The research presents strategies on how sensing capabilities – and complementary wireless distance zones – could engage players with proxemics: the interpersonal distance between players. The work offers ubicomp and game designers novel resources for digital play.

Mueller, F., Stellmach, S., Greenberg, S., Dippon, A., Boll, S., Garner, J., Khot, R., Naseem, A., Altimira, D. 2014. Proxemics Play: Understanding Proxemics for Designing Digital Play Experiences. DIS 2014. Long paper. 10 pages.

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Exertion Games Lab’s great success at CHI 2014 in Toronto, Canada

Exertion Games Lab at CHI2014The Exertion Games Lab had great success at CHI 2014, the premier conference in human-computer interaction: 10 Exertion Games Lab’ers presented in total 21 accepted submissions, including 4 full papers. CHI is the premier conference in human-computer interaction and attracted well over 3000 participants. The members of the Exertion Games Lab represented Australia’s largest group at the conference by far and had significant impact across all major venues, in particular highlights are: Rohit who presented his PhD research to a massive audience in the paper track but also in interactivity with Jeewon (and became a finalist in the videoshowcase), Jayden who presented his Honours work and became a finalist in the Student Game Competition, Betty who got keynote speaker Margaret Atwood to try out at Interactivity (and tweet about) her research on children’s book apps, Robert and Will who demonstrated with our support-crew Eric and Taylor CHI’s first BMX stunt-show showcasing Wouter’s LumaHelm (Wouter unfortunately could not attend, so thanks Robert and Will for helping Wouter out), Robert organized a workshop and Rich, Chad and Josh contributed to the GameJam4Research and presented their research in HCI and Sports. Well done everyone!

All papers can be seen here.

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Movement-based Game Guidelines

movementguidelines1Together with Katherine Isbister, we created 10 Movement-based Game Guidelines, the first of their kind and validated by experts from indie, commercial and academic game design fields, to aid designers in creating engaging games involving bodily action. They will be presented to the public for the first time at CHI 2014.

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Exertion Cards available now

exertion_cards2We developed Exertion Cards, they are “Things to Think About” when it comes to designing exertion games. They serve as design tools, helping game designers create novel and engaging games for the active human body, and are presented at CHI 2014. They are available here.

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21 submissions accepted at CHI2014

We are very excited to have 21 submissions accepted at CHI 2014, the premier conference in human-computer interaction, to be held at Toronto, Canada.

We have 4 full papers, 4 interactivities, 2 workshop organizations, 1 student game competition, 1 special interest group organization, 1 panel, 1 videoshowcase and 7 workshop submissions. Congratulations to everyone who did such a great job in getting the word out about the great work done in the Exertion Games Lab!

Garner, J., Wood, G., Pijnappel, S., Murer, M., Mueller, F. 2014. i-dentity: Innominate Movement Representation as Engaging Game Element. CHI 2014. Long paper. 10 pages. 30 sec preview video. Video.

Khot, R., Hjort, L., Mueller, F. 2014. Understanding Physical Activity through 3D Printed Material Artifacts. CHI 2014. Long paper. 10 pages. 30 sec preview videoVideo.

Mueller, F., Gibbs, M.R., Vetere, F., Edge, D. 2014. Supporting the Creative Game Design Process with Exertion Cards. CHI 2014. Long paper. 10 pages. 30 sec preview video.

Mueller, F., Isbister, K. 2014. Movement-Based Game Guidelines. CHI 2014. Long paper. 10 pages. 30 sec preview video.

Walmink, W., Chatham, A., Mueller, F. 2014. Interaction Opportunities Around Helmet Design. CHI 2014. Interactivity. 4 pages. 30 sec preview videoVideo.

Garner, J., Wood, G., Pijnappel, S., Murer, M., Mueller, F. 2014. i-dentity: Innominate Representation as Engaging Movement Game Element. CHI 2014. Interactivity. 4 pages. Video.

Khot, R., Lee, J., Munz, H., Aggarwal, D., Mueller, F. 2014. TastyBeats: Making Mocktails with Heart Beats. CHI 2014. Interactivity. 4 pages. 30 sec preview videoVideo.

Sargeant, B., Mueller, F. 2014. How Far is UP? Encouraging Social Interaction Through Children’s Book App Design. CHI 2014. Interactivity. 4 pages.

Garner, J., Wood, G. 2014. i-dentity: Concealing Movement Representation Associations in Games. CHI 2014. Student Game Competition. 4 pages. FINALIST.

Mueller, F., Marshall, J., Khot, R., Nylander, S., Tholander, J. 2014. Jogging with Technology: Interaction Design Supporting Sport Activities. Special Interest Group (organizing). 4 pages.

Mentis, H., Höök, K., Mueller, F., Isbister, K., Khut, G.P., Robertson, T. 2014. Designing for the Experiential Body. CHI 2014. Panel. 5 pages. Video.

Khot, R., Lee, J., Hjorth, L., Mueller, F. 2014. SweatAtoms: Understanding Physical Activity through Material Artifacts. CHI 2014. Videoshowcase. 1 page. Video.

Nylander, S., Tholander, J., Mueller, F., Marshall, J. 2014. HCI and Sports. CHI 2014. Workshop (organizing). 4 pages.

Deen, M., Cercos, R., Chatham, A., Naseem, A., Fowler, A., Bernhaupt, R., Schouten, B., Mueller, F. 2014. CHI 2014 Game Jam [4Research]: Game Jams as a Research Tool. CHI 2014. Workshop (organizing). 4 pages.

Byrne, R. 2014. Game Jam 4 Research. CHI 2014. Workshop submission for Game Jam [4Research] workshop. 4 pages.

Garner, J. 2014. Design for Digital, Physical, Social Play. CHI 2014. Workshop submission for Game Jam [4Research] workshop. 4 pages.

Goddard, W. 2014. Issues and Opportunities Facing Game Jams for Design Research. CHI 2014. Workshop submission for Game Jam [4Research] workshop. 4 pages.

Segura, E. 2014. Jamming and researching the Play BOOST framework. CHI 2014. Workshop submission for Game Jam [4Research] workshop. 4 pages.

Toprak, C. 2014. Game Jams: A Method for Starting, Working On and Completing Games. CHI 2014. Workshop submission for Game Jam [4Research] workshop. 4 pages.

Andres, J. 2014. The Lights Track. CHI 2014. Workshop submission for HCI and Sports workshop. 4 pages.

Khot, R., Hjorth, L., Aggarwal, D., Mueller, F. 2014. Supporting Autonomy in Physical Activity through Material Artifacts. CHI 2014. Workshop submission for Positive Computing workshop. 4 pages.

 

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Talks at Disability Sport & Recreation Festival

eelkeEelke and Ruth gave a talk each at the Disability Sport & Recreation Festival at Federation Square, Melbourne. The festival promotes healthy, active lifestyles through accessible and inclusive sport and recreation and is Victoria’s premier event for the disability sport and recreation sector, taking place annually in Melbourne

ruth

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Game Talks: Stephen Barrass, University of Canberra

Games Talks - Stephen BarrassYou are invited to attend this talk hosted by the Exertion Games Lab entitled “SweatSonics” by  Stephen Barrass. Stephen will be visiting us in the lab from 17 – 24 March.
 
When: Monday 17 March 2014, 1:00pm – 2:00pm.
Where: Pavilion 2, Level 10, RMIT Design Hub (Building 100) 
Abstract:
The dance-aerobics of the 70s introduced music to enhance enjoyment and social synchronisation in fitness activities. In the 1980’s the Sony Walkman allowed joggers to chose their own music to enhance motivation and reduce fatigue. Music has proven effects on emotion, and for example the Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps listens to rap and techno before a big race to get into the ‘zone’. More recently, sportswear brands have introduced music apps on mobile devices that interactively select songs with tempo matched to jogging pace measured by a wireless sensor.
The advances in wireless sensor technology have led to an increasing interest in interactive feedback about movements and physiological condition directly to the athlete during the training session. The need to provide feedback in visually busy, hands-busy and attention-demanding sporting activities lends itself to sonic feedback through realtime data sonification.
In this talk, Stephen will
  • overview the state of the art in realtime sensor sonification in sports,
  • present experiments on the aesthetics of sonification in rowing,
  • present the open source Mozzi Sonification Synthesiser that allows rapid prototyping on the Arduino microcontroller,
  • discuss work in progress on sensor sonification at the Australian Institute of Sport.
 
Bio
Stephen Barrass is an Associate Professor in Digital Design and Media Arts at the University of Canberra. You can check his full bio here: http://stephenbarrass.com/about/
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New paper on dance gaming at FDG2014

fdg2014Florian ‘Floyd’ Mueller co-authored a paper on dance gaming with Miko Charbonneau (who did most of the work), who recently graduated with a PhD on the topic and is now at Microsoft Studios. The paper has been accepted at Foundations of Digital Games 2014:

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TEI’14 big success

Our 3 presentations at TEI 2014, the International Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction, were a big success, with many people applauding our presentation style:

Displaying Heart Rate Data on a Bicycle Helmet to Support Social Exertion Experiences

Associated paper.

Designing Interactive Technology for Skateboarding

Associated paper.  Video shown during presentation.

Designing Mediated Combat Play

Associated paperVideo shown during presentation.

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4 long papers accepted for CHI 2014

We are very happy to announce that we have 4 full papers accepted at CHI 2014, to be held in Toronto, Canada. CHI is the top conference in the field of human-computer interaction and this year’s acceptance rate for full papers was 23%. Having 4 papers accepted is a significant achievement, confirming our status as one of the top game research labs in Australia.

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Games Talks: “Playing Games without Visual Feedback” by Eelke Folmer

When: Thursday 12 December 2013, 4:00pm – 5:00pm.
Where: Pavilion 4, Level 10, RMIT Design Hub (Building 100)

“Playing Games without Visual Feedback” by Eelke Folmer

With compelling, realistic video graphics constituting such a major part of the game experience, it is hard to imagine playing games without any visual feedback. Though the web and email are largely accessible to individuals with visual impairments, commercial video games are not; as they require their players to respond to visual stimuli that indicate what input to provide and when. In this talk, Eelke will discuss some of the barriers that players with visual impairments face when playing video games. He will present a number of novel audio and haptic interfaces developed by his research lab, and which can make virtual worlds (SecondLife), and exercise games (Nintendo Wii and Kinect) accessible to players that are blind. He will also present a machine learning/crowdsourcing techniques for making user generated virtual world content accessible.

Bio:
Eelke Folmer is an Associate Professor in Human-Computer Interaction at the University of Nevada in Reno. His research is focused on accessibility/assistive technology, wearable computing, haptics and video games. His research is largely motivated by the belief that a disability can be turned into a driver of innovation and that solving interaction design problems for users with “extreme” abilities allows for discovering interaction solutions that could benefit anyone. Eelke’s research is supported by the National Science Foundation, Microsoft Research and Google Research. He is joining the Exertion Games Lab as a visiting professor until January. An overview of projects can be found here: eelke.com/projects
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