Both enterprises and their employees have globally experienced remote work at an unprecedented scale since the outbreak of COVID-19. As the pandemic becomes less of a threat, some companies have called their employees back to a physical office, citing issues related to working remotely, but many employees have refused to return. Thus, working in the metaverse has gained much attention as an alternative that could complement the weaknesses of completely remote work or even offline work. However, we do not know yet what benefits and drawbacks the metaverse has as a legitimate workspace, because there are few real cases of 1) working in the metaverse and 2) working remotely at such an unprecedented scale. Thus, this paper aims to identify real challenges and opportunities the metaverse workspace presents when compared to remote work by conducting semi-structured interviews and participatory workshops with various employees and company stakeholders (e.g., HR managers and CEOs) who have experienced at least two of three work types: working in a physical office, remotely, or in the metaverse. Consequently, we identified 1) advantages and disadvantages of remote work and 2) opportunities and challenges of the metaverse. We further discuss design implications that may overcome the identified challenges of working in the metaverse.
Sleep is important for humans, and past research has considered methods of improving sleep through technologies such as virtual reality (VR). However, there has been limited research on how such VR technology may affect the experiential and practical aspects of sleep, especially outside of a clinical lab setting. We consider this research gap through the lens of individuals that voluntarily engage in the practice of sleeping in VR. Semi-structured interviews with 14 participants that have slept in VR reveal insights regarding the motivations, actions, and experiential factors that uniquely define this practice. We find that participant motives can be largely categorized through either the experiential or social affordances of VR. We tie these motives into findings regarding the unique customs of sleeping in VR, involving set-up both within the physical and virtual space. Finally, we identify current and future challenges for sleeping in VR, and propose prospective design directions.
Human behaviour and habits co-evolve with technology, and the metaverse is poised to become a key player in reshaping how we live our everyday life. Given the importance of food in our daily lives, we ask: how will our relationships with food be transformed by the metaverse, and what are the promises and pitfalls of this technology? To answer this, we propose a co-design study that reveals the important elements people value in their daily interactions with food. We then present a speculative catalogue of novel metaverse food experiences, and insights from discussing these ideas with food designers, anthropologists and metaverse experts. Our work aims to provide designers with inspirations for building a metaverse that: provides inclusive opportunities for the future of food; helps re-discover the forgotten or lost knowledge about food; facilitates the exploration, excitement and joy of eating; and reinvigorates the ways that food can soothe and heal.
Embodying virtual twins – photorealistic and personalized avatars – will soon be easily achievable in consumer-grade VR. For the first time, we explored how photorealism and personalization impact self-identification, as well as embodiment, avatar perception and presence. Twenty participants were individually scanned and, in a two-hour session, embodied four avatars (high photorealism personalized, low photorealism personalized, high photorealism generic, low photorealism generic). Questionnaire responses revealed stronger mid-immersion body ownership for the high photorealism personalized avatars compared to all other avatar types, and stronger embodiment for high photorealism compared to low photorealism avatars and for personalized compared to generic avatars. In a self-other face distinction task, participants took significantly longer to pause the face morphing videos of high photorealism personalized avatars, suggesting a stronger self-identification bias with these avatars. Photorealism and personalization were perceptually positive features; how employing these avatars in VR applications impacts users over time requires longitudinal investigation.
Technology interactions found their way into public space and present others attend what users are doing. However, in HCI research, the attendant perspective has often been neglected or considered only vaguely in the sense of “social context”. Aiming at a better understanding of different types of attendants and their experiences, we developed a typology of four types based on two differentiating criteria (conspicuousness and voluntariness of attending the user interaction). An experimental vignette study (N = 181) tested the typology and revealed typical experiential patterns (e.g., need fulfillment, emotions, desire to join the technology interaction) related to the four types based on quantitative and qualitative data. Our research provides various contributions to HCI theory and design. For example, the typology can be used analytically in UX research. Moreover, it can be used generatively to design positive technology experiences in public for all stakeholders, namely, users and attendants.
We explored continuous changes in self-other identity by designing an interpersonal facial morphing experience where the facial images of two users are blended and then swapped over time. Both users' facial images are displayed side by side, with each user controlling their own morphing facial images, allowing us to create and investigate a multifaceted interpersonal experience. To explore this with diverse social relationships, we conducted qualitative and quantitative investigations through public exhibitions. We found that there is a window of self-identification as well as a variety of interpersonal experiences in the facial morphing process. From these insights, we synthesized a Self-Other Continuum represented by a sense of agency and facial identity. This continuum has implications in terms of the social and subjective aspects of interpersonal communication, which enables further scenario design and could complement findings from research on interactive devices for remote communication.