“Social interactions in VR are very similar to face-to-face interactions.”
This is one of the findings from the study “Realistic motion avatars are the future for social interaction in virtual reality” done by Shane Rogers, Rebecca Broadbent, Jemma Brown, Alan Fraser, Craig Speelman. The study compared VR interactions with analogous face-to-face interactions, where the participants rated VR and face-to-face experiences by evaluating several factors: enjoyment, closeness, self-disclosure, comfort and awkwardness. Here is what they found:
1. Social interactions in VR can be as good as F2F
The results showed there is no significant difference between VR and F2F meetings for ratings of enjoyment, comfort, awkwardness and self-disclosure making VR communication as good as face-to-face.
2. Expressive avatars provide a high level of non-verbal communication
The research was performed using realistic motion avatars with sophisticated tracking of both facial expression and body posture. These avatars are much more expressive than basic avatars, they create a more immersive and natural virtual experience which is extremely important for true presence feeling.
3. Eye contact is crucial
Eye contact plays a huge role in any interaction as the eyes contribute to the communication of emotions. The correlations between ratings used in the study show that eye contact is crucial in VR to make conversations as good as face-to-face. This is why having eye-tracking technology for avatars is vital.
These findings prove the points we have been talking about for a while at Glue. VR is a powerful technology which can be used for efficient collaboration and to make remote meetings as great as face-to-face. This is why in Glue, you have AI-powered avatars providing a high level of non-verbal communication and eye contact. Combining expressive avatars with spatial audio and immersive spaces makes Glue a great collaboration platform.