Hi, I'm Jesse!

Doctoral Candidate at the University of California, Davis

Communication Behaviors in Embodied Virtual Reality

Embodied virtual reality faithfully renders users’ movements onto an avatar in a virtual 3D environment, supporting nu- anced nonverbal behavior alongside verbal communication. To investigate communication behavior within this medium, we had 30 dyads complete two tasks using a shared visual workspace: negotiating an apartment layout and placing model furniture on an apartment floor plan. Dyads completed both tasks under three different conditions: face-to-face, embodied VR with visible full-body avatars, and no embodiment VR, where the participants shared a virtual space, but had no visible avatars. Both subjective measures of users’ experiences and detailed annotations of verbal and nonverbal behavior are used to understand how the media impact communication behavior. Embodied VR provides a high level of social presence with conversation patterns that are very similar to face-to-face inter- action. In contrast, providing only the shared environment was generally found to be lonely and appears to lead to degraded communication.

"Honorable Mention Award" winner at CHI 2018 (top 5% of all submissions)





Supplemental Video



	author = {Smith, Harrison Jesse and Neff, Michael},
	title = {Communication Behavior in Embodied Virtual Reality},
	booktitle = {Proceedings of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems},
	series = {CHI '18},
	year = {2018},
	isbn = {978-1-4503-5620-6},
	location = {Montreal QC, Canada},
	pages = {289:1--289:12},
	articleno = {289},
	numpages = {12},
	url = {http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/3173574.3173863},
	doi = {10.1145/3173574.3173863},
	acmid = {3173863},
	publisher = {ACM},
	address = {New York, NY, USA},
	keywords = {computer-mediated communication, embodiment, social presence, virtual reality, vr},


We gratefully thank the team at Oculus Research. In particular, this work would not have been possible without Ronald Mallet, Alexandra Wayne, Matt Vitelli, Ammar Rizvi, Joycee Kavatur and the annotation team.