Magics Kick-off Event

Ever wondered what all you could do in virtual, augmented, and mixed reality? How to measure and observe how people respond and interact in virtual and naturalistic contexts? Is it possible to meet virtually, to see, hear, touch and smell, as if the other people were in the same space with you? 


As a peek into the future, the MAGICS kick-off event was organised as a multi-location hybrid event on 6 October at 14:30 – 16:30. We organized the kick-off event in cooperation with IEEE MMSP 2021, International Workshop on Multimedia Signal Processing in Tampere, and Embrace Impact, a hack-art-on for developers in the Helsinki XR Center.  

Recording of the event is available at:

Please note that

  • Keynote session by Dr. Oliver Schreer on volumetric video starts at 16:38
  • The kick-off event starts at 1:23:00
  • There is a break for a few minutes starting at 2:56:40, the program continues with Embrace Impact at 3:00:00

In Tampere, the physical event was part of the IEEE MMSP 2021 in Hotel Rosendahl. The engaging keynote ‘Current State and Advances of Volumetric Video’ was given by Oliver Scheer, Head of the Immersive Media & Communication research group, Fraunhofer HHI, Germany.


14:30 – 15:30    Introduction to MAGICS, Mikko Sams, Director of MAGICS, Aalto University 

Panel Discussion on Remote Presence, Atanas Gotchev, Vice Director of MAGICS, Tampere University 


  • Mikko Sams, Professor of Neuroscience, Brain and Mind Laboratory, Aalto University and Director of the MAGICS infrastructure network 
  • Elisa Mekler, Assistant Professor in Human-Computer Interaction at Aalto University and Director of Aesthetic Experience in Interactive Systems Group 
  • Justin Trieger, Director of New Media and Distance Learning at New World Symphony, America’s Orchestral Academy, Miami, FL, USA 
  • Kimmo Pentikäinen, Vice President, Business Development at Elisa Oyj 
  • Gur Arie Bittan, CEO of Mantis Vision  

15:30 – 16:30 Demonstrations of MAGICS activities (6 á 10 min): 

  • VoCap platform, Mantis Vision (live stream from Israel) 

  • Remote operation of vehicle, Hotel Rosendahl 

  • Remote operation of medical robots, Hotel Rosendahl 

  • Multi-location musical performance, Sebastian Schlecht, violin (Espoo) and Henna Tahvanainen, kantele (Tampere) 

  • Embrace jury awards the winning team who present their XR project (Espoo) 

16:30 Closing of event, Mikko Sams 

The webinar language is English. 

Mikko Sams

Mikko Sams, Professor of Neuroscience, Brain and Mind Laboratory, Aalto University and Director of the MAGICS infrastructure network

Mikko Sams is a professor of cognitive neuroscience in Aalto University and academic leader of MAGICS-Aalto and coordinator of the MAGICS infrastructure. He has studied neural mechanisms of human cognitive functions, from sensory processing to complex cognitive functions and experiences. In his research he is now he is focusing on the measurement of human experiences under naturalistic conditions and developing this research field in MAGICS-Aalto.

Atanas Gotchev

Atanas Gotchev is Professor of Signal Processing at Tampere University, and Director of CIVIT. His research interests are in sampling theory, multi-dimensional signal analysis and transform-domain image processing. His recent research work concentrates on 3D and light field imaging and their employment in safety-critical applications.

Prof. Gotchev is among the top international experts in the field of 3D media and immersive visual technologies, with significant contributions to the development of immersive imaging and light field processing. He has led the establishment of CIVIT as the largest research infrastructure in the Nordics dedicated to immersive visual technologies. He has been leading the light field  related doctoral training in Europe, being coordinator of four Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions on plenoptics and immersive imaging across 24 partners and totalling 46 PhD projects in the field. 

Justin Trieger

Justin Trieger, Director of New Media and Distance Learning at New World Symphony, America’s Orchestral Academy, Miami, FL, USA

Justin is the Director of New Media and Distance Education at the New World Symphony, America’s Orchestral Academy, and Co-Founder of Buskerfest Miami, an organization dedicated to improving civic life through public street performance. For the past 14 years, he has led the New World Symphony's explorations with interactive media and has produced hundreds of educational activities and performances. He is also an accomplished multimedia artist, engineer and performer.


Kimmo Pentikäinen, Vice President, Business Development, Elisa Oyj

Kimmo Pentikäinen has a degree in Lahti Institute of Design and MA in theoretical philosophy from University of Helsinki. He has successfully transformed the business of Elisa and its partners several times. In 2020, Boston Consulting Group ranked Elisa as the telecom company with the third-highest return globally. The company is the market leader in Finland, with the highest mobile data usage per capita in the world.

Kimmo’s current focus is on scaling the 5G business with new services. Elisa has brought to market 28 new, highly successful 5G services, including a 4K multicamera supervision system for vehicles, 5G video robots for treating COVID-19 patients in hospitals, 5G multiple camera television broadcasting, remote controlled drones, 12K video streaming, remote control of heavy machines, 8K remote education and the world’s fastest 5G services, achieving 6 Gbps in medical imaging and gaming.


Elisa Mekler is an assistant professor in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) at Aalto University, and director of the AERIS (Aesthetic Experience in Interactive Systems) group. Drawing from her background in psychology, her research is focused on motivational and emotional aspects of the User Experience and Games to establish a better understanding of what constitutes "good" interaction. In particular, her work investigates how interactive systems support aesthetic and meaningful user experiences that endure beyond interaction. Moreover, prof. Merkler has keen interest in methodology and meta-science, especially with regards to the role of psychological theories in HCI.

For more information:

[email protected] 

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