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Bristol CS academic to chair main Augmented Reality conference

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12 September 2016

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Augmented and Mixed reality are part of a continuum that goes from purely virtual worlds as in Virtual Reality to the mixing of -real- objects and scenes with -virtual- information. At the centre of it are core problems such as spatial mapping, visualisation, mobile hardware architectures as well as the human factors of human perception and usability.

AR is a promising way in which we can interact with the world in a more efficient manner as well as a vehicle for gaming and assistive technologies.

The IEEE ISMAR is the leading international academic conference in these fields. It attracts hundreds of participants from academia as well as increasingly from industry. Its main program is single track with this year's acceptance rate at 22 percent. In addition, it features a core track for live demonstrations with contributions from leading industry such as Daqri, Intel, PTC, Verizon, Microsoft among others.

ISMAR has been fundamental in the development of technologies that have impacted in other areas. One of these is real-time Visual Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping (VSLAM) which enables to make spatial representations of the surrounding and importantly, thanks to the emphasis in real-time operation, it allows for virtual information to be immediately put in context. Real-time VSLAM has gone to find applications in areas such as robotics and is now an established area in Computer Vision.

ISMAR 2016 is the 15th edition, and brings new horizons to the event as it will be the very first time it is held in Latin America, in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico from 18th to 23rd September 2016.

Prof Walterio Mayol-Cuevas, who was born in Mexico, and who is a staff member of the Department of Computer Science, will be this year's General Chair. His work with colleagues on VSLAM has been showcased at ISMAR as early as 2003 and he has previously served as Europe's Program Chair and via other conference organising positions.

This year ISMAR aims to emphasize the offering to 30+ local undergraduate students and local junior staff by introducing for the first time an outreach event where they will be able to learn about AR from the world experts, the ISMAR “rockstARs”. This event is free to them and will then be given free access to the entire conference. This aims to nurture the field to enlist new talent.

ISMAR2016 also introduces many new unique events such as a week-long hakathon where participants compete to develop novel technologies, a Pitch Your Lab event for groups to advertise their work and projects as a whole, and a job market with rooms for private interviews.

ISMAR is a fully sponsored conference by the IEEE via the IEEE Computer Society and a core conference of the IEEE Visualization and Graphics Technical Committee (VGTC).

This year's and past ISMAR information is available at