Science

Not alone here?! Scalability and UX in Social VR


This TVCG’19 contribution examines the performance and user experience of social virtual environments that are designed for distributed, embodied and immersive personal encounters. As one result, a user study shows the positive effects of an increasing number of co-located social companions on the quality of the virtual world experience.

Summary

This article examines the performance and user experience of social virtual realities (SVR), which are distributed, embodied and immersive personal encounters. We demonstrate the close relationship between scalability, reproduction accuracy, and the resulting performance characteristics and the impact of these characteristics on users who interact with larger groups of embodied virtual others. The scalability of the system provides a variable number of co-located avatars and AI-controlled agents with a variety of different appearances, including realistic looking virtual humans generated from photogrammetry scans. The article reports on how the requirements for embodied SVR can be met with today’s standard technical solutions and what can be expected in terms of features, performance and possible limitations. Special attention has been paid to achieving low latencies and sufficient frame rates required for reliable communication of embodied social signals. We propose a hybrid evaluation approach that coherently relates the results of technical benchmarks to subjective evaluations and confirms the required performance characteristics for the target scenario of larger distributed groups. A user study shows positive effects of an increasing number of co-localized social companions on the quality of experience of virtual worlds, i.e. on presence, interaction possibilities and co-presence. It also shows that a variety of avatar/agent appearances could increase the level of uncannyness, but also stimulate an increased interest of participants in the environment.

Here you can download the paper.

Here you can find information about the Chair and here it goes straight to its leader, Prof. Marc Erich Latoschik.

About the author

Written by:

Not Alone Here?! Scalability and User Experience of Embodied Ambient Crowds in Distributed Social Virtual Reality, In IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics (TVCG), Vol. 25 (5), pp. 2134-2144. 2019.

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