DIS Co-organizes a Dagstuhl Seminar in Social XR

Pablo Cesar, from the Distributed and Interactive Systems group (DIS) of CWI, has co-organized the Dagstuhl Seminar #23482, titled “Social XR: The Future of Communication and Collaboration.

Publication date
22 Dec 2023

The seminar took place between November 26th and December 1st, 2023, and was organized by Mark Billinghurst (University of South Australia - Adelaide, AU), Pablo Cesar (CWI - Amsterdam, NL), Mar Gonzalez-Franco (Google - Seattle, US), Katherine Isbister (University of California at Santa Cruz, US), and Julie Williamson (University of Glasgow, GB).

dis dagstuhl

We are rapidly moving towards a hybrid world where communication and collaboration occur in reality, virtuality, and everywhere in-between. But, are current technologies ready for such a shift? Available solutions for telepresence create exhaustion and fatigue because we lose key social signals when interacting remotely, for example there is a loss of mobility, limited capability for gesture, and inability to establish eye contact. This Dagstuhl Seminar aimed to lay the foundations for a new paradigm for immersive communication and collaboration. Social Extended Reality (XR) systems promise to overcome the limitations of current real-time teleconferencing systems, enabling a better sense of immersion, enhancing the sense of presence, and fostering more successful interpersonal interactions.

The final goal of the seminar was to explore social XR as the future of communication and collaboration. Twenty-Six academics and practitioners from different disciplines spent a week together in Dagstuhl, working together to address the open challenges of immersive interaction, including the ethical, legal, and societal aspects of this possible future. In particular, topics that were discussed included:

  • Capturing and modelling of humans, ensuring realistic representation of the users and thus allowing for realistic and immersive experiences;
  • Digital proxemics and social metrics, that help and enrich communication and collaboration between the participants;
  • Instrumentation and evaluation, focusing on the possibility of evaluating and monitoring the experience of the users;
  • Principles of Social XR, for making sure that the right values and principles are followed;
  • Exploration of design approaches for Social XR that support communication and connection by enabling and strategically heightening social signalling and dynamics.

Participants tried as well latest immersive technologies, recreating in 3D the official Dagstuhl group photo on the staircase: https://x.com/twi_mar/status/1730062159151800399?s=20

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