Conference Proceedings

Interrogating Social Virtual Reality as a Communication Medium for Older Adults

Steven Baker, Ryan Kelly, Jenny Waycott, Romina Carrasco, Thuong Hoang, Frances Batchelor, Elizabeth Ozanne, Briony Dow, Jenny Warburton, Frank Vetere

Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction | Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) | Published : 2019


A growing body of research is examining the way that virtual reality (VR) technology might enrich the lives of older adults. However, no studies have yet examined how this technology—combining head mounted displays, motion tracking, avatars, and virtual environments—might contribute to older adult wellbeing by facilitating greater social participation (social VR). To address this gap, we conducted three workshops in which 25 older adults aged 70 to 81 explored the utility of social VR as a medium for communicating with other older adults. Participants first created embodied avatars that were controlled through natural gestures, and subsequently used these avatars in two high-fidelity social ..

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