Virtual conferencing to promote research and scholarly exchange during the current pandemic and possible future disruptions
- Contact person:
- Maria Engberg
- Malmö University
- Responsible at Malmö University:
- Maria Engberg
- Project members:
- Georgia Institute of Technology
- Digital media
- Time frame:
- 01 September 2020 - 31 March 2022
- Research environment :
- Research subject:
In this pilot project researchers at Malmö University and Georgia Tech conduct preliminary research, design and tests to examine the role for virtual and mixed reality (VR/MR) conferencing and academic meetings within a hybrid virtual conferencing environment. In comparison with traditional video conferencing, VR/MR conferencing has a number of unique characteristics e.g. spatial presence and embodied interaction. The pilot project explores the strengths and limitations in virtual and mixed media platforms.
The research questions we wish to pursue are:
- What are the benefits and limitations for VR conferencing? What kinds of communication are facilitated by this medium? How can the spatiality of VR exchanges facilitate scholarly exchange, including social and informal meetings?
- How can aesthetics and design facilitate fruitful and meaningful experiences in the virtual spaces to support research exchange? What are the specific design issues that need to be addressed? What kinds of interactions among virtual participants are most important? What are the best architectures for such conference spaces?
- Early experiments indicate that VR should not be an exclusive channel for a conference but rather is part of a multiple media channel approach. How can VR spaces be most effectively integrated with streaming video and audio services, chat, etc.? This pilot project constructs and test scenarios that allow us to explore these research questions and reach preliminary results that can then be expanded in a large scale project.