The spatial distances between people are increasing both in our private and professional lives. We leave our home town for training, study and work, and in the home office we distance ourselves from our colleagues. This reduces social proximity, which can only be insufficiently compensated for by video conferencing, which lacks spontaneity, non-verbal exchange, play and emotionality.
The goal of SPIELEND ("Social presence through immersive, emotional and vivid experiences of proximity at a distance) is to bridge this social distance. For this purpose, an augmented reality (AR) game is developed, which can be played at a distance. Game elements and the co-players are each projected into the environment of the other distant co-player using AR. The feeling of togetherness thus created is further enhanced by the transmission of emotions. For example, the heartbeat, a tap on the shoulder, or the breath are conveyed via smart textiles.
To achieve these goals, different game concepts, mechanics and interaction methods are designed and evaluated in a participatory way with the target group "family and friends". The evaluation is based on a psychological model of closeness and connectedness developed in SPIELEND.
OFFIS develops methods for representing co-players in a mixed reality environment and explores how the feeling of closeness can be strengthened via different sensory modalities. To this end, OFFIS is performing tasks in the area of tracking method development, co-player representation methods, and multimodal stimulation.
SPIELEND takes the current way of communicating at a distance to a new level by focusing on important elements of social connectedness. The results are not limited to the gaming sector, but can be applied to all types of remote synchronous communication.