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We’re In This Together: Embodied Interaction, Affect, and Design Methods in Asymmetric, Co-Located, Co-Present Mixed Reality

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posted on 2019-06-06, 17:46 authored by Anna HensonAnna Henson
Head-mounted immersive media (XR) places challenges on our ability to “cope skillfully,” with what we encounter. Experientially, these technologies layer content, muddle our perception, re-orient our body in space, and can even seem to contradict laws of physics. They mediate the experience of our own bodies and interactions with others. These qualities make XR difficult to negotiate, as our bodies, both physiologically and cognitively, are directly implicated. Investigating XR from the lens of embodied interaction, this thesis defines and examines a particular social (i.e. multi-participant) manifestation of XR: asymmetric, co-located, co-present, mixed reality (ACLCPMR), and identifies key elements of embodied and relational experience within this medium.
Addressing a gap in current research regarding the affective nature of embodied interaction in XR, this thesis advocates for socially and physically mindful XR experiences, and formulates relevant design methods and considerations for future XR designers. An ACLCPMR design probe, Wake, and corresponding findings from a user study (N = 25) are presented. Wake, a social experience for one participant in-headset, one dancer, and one facilitator, uses a combination of an HTC Vive headset, Vive trackers, and an Intel RealSense depth camera to allow a participant to perceive virtualized real-time renderings of, and collaborate in simple movements with, a live, co-located, co-present dancer.
Trust in co-present head-mounted XR, a key emergent theme from the user study, is examined from the perspectives of embodied and social interaction, and human-machine mediated communication. The study utilizes the proxemics framework in real-world units, semi-structured phenomenological interviews, and two standardized metrics for identifying key cognitive experiences, emotions, and intersubjective relationships with co-present parties.




Degree Type

Master's Thesis



Degree Name

  • Master of Science in Computational Design (MSCD)


Golan Levin Daniel Cardoso Llach Angela Washko