REVERIE Virtual Hangout: An Immersive Social and Collaborative VR Experience

Doumanis, Ioannis orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-4898-7209 and Economou, Daphne (2021) REVERIE Virtual Hangout: An Immersive Social and Collaborative VR Experience. International Journal of Virtual and Augmented Reality, 5 (2). pp. 18-39. ISSN 2473-537X

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Social media sites have gained popularity in the past decade by enabling people to create and share content online easily. However, social media cannot engage users on a level beyond content prosumption to create immersive experiences. A promising technology to create such experiences is multimodal virtual reality. REVERIE is a multimodal framework with an integrated workflow for developing immersive experiences, including various forms of virtual representation of human users (e.g., replicas and avatars). To demonstrate the social and collaborative capabilities of the framework, the authors created the Virtual Hangout. It features a VE where people can meet online to socialise and collaborate. This paper presents a study designed to evaluate user immersion using participants with variable computer skills. The results showed that participants experienced engagement-based immersion but not presence. Barriers to immersion were the absence of pleasurable interactions and the participants' computer skills. The authors propose DGs for deeply immersive experiences in Virtual Hangout and similar systems.

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