Social VR

A New Medium for Remote Communication & Collaboration

07 mei 15:00 CEST
Online: Mozilla Hubs

Important Dates

Submission Deadline: March 5, 2021

Notification: March 10, 2021

This is the 2nd CHI Social VR workshop. It is intended for continuing interdisciplinary discussions regarding proxemics, social cues, and virtual environment designs, which were identified as three important aspects of Social VR communication in our CHI 2020 Social VR Workshop.



This workshop is supported by Mozilla Hubs, and sponsored by the European Commission H2020 program, project "VRTogether".

Social Virtual Reality (VR) invites multiple users to join a collaborative virtual environment (VE) fostering new opportunities for remote communication. These shared experiences may reshape our perception towards the physical world, leading to shifts in our understanding of social behaviour, the concept of personal spaces, or the realness of the VE, and bring about novel everyday social interactions. However, social VR also raises privacy concerns and ethical risks when the boundary between the real and virtual worlds becomes blurred. In this workshop, we intend to spur discussions on social VR as an emerging immersive remote communication tool.

We plan to use a social VR platform (Mozilla Hubs) as a testbed for the workshop. We would like to invite academics from multiple fields, including computer science, psychology, HCI/UX, sociology, designers, developers, practitioners, and government policymakers to gather together on in our virtual workshop space in order to envision a future research agenda for social VR in terms of proxemics, social cues, and VE designs. This virtual workshop invites submissions in one of the following formats:

  • 2 pages position papers using the new CHI single-column publication format (references excluded)

  • A3 posters using appropriate images and text

  • Videos with subtitles or with you presenting

  • Sketches, drawings, photos, visuals or animations


You can make your submission in one of the above-mentioned formats, covering but not limited to the following topics:

  • Personal Space in Social VR. How interpersonal distance is perceived in social VR when people can move in VEs beyond reality (e.g., flying or teleporting)? What may be the differences in users’ personal space perception when they are using a desktop compared to wearing an HMD? What is the ideal interpersonal distance in VR collaboration?

  • Social Cues. What are the missing social cues in existing social VR platforms? How do users start a conversation in a VE? What are the most necessary social cues to ensure natural and immersive collaboration, eye contact, hand gestures, head movements?

  • VE Designs. How to design the VEs to better facilitate virtual collaboration? How to design the VEs to prevent harmful virtual behavior? How to design VEs to ensure that it is aesthetically appealing and functionally sound (not distracting, and helping users focus on the virtual tasks)?

  • Social VR Technologies. What is the current status of technology (e.g. capturing, reconstruction, rendering)? What are the technological requirements for improving social VR experiences in terms of quality of interaction, privacy protection etc.?​

  • Evaluation Protocols for Social VR Experiences. How to adequately evaluate different aspects of communication in social VR both subjectively (e.g., self-reports) and objectively (e.g., physiological sensors)? How to develop Quality of Experience (QoE) metrics for social VR?

  • ​Interaction Techniques for SocialVR. Should the interaction techniques replicate the real-world ones through the aid of multi-sensory simulation? Or should the interaction techniques extend beyond reality?

Submissions will be reviewed and selected by the workshop organizers. At least one author of the accepted submission must attend the workshop. All participants must register for both the workshop and for at least one day of the conference.







14:50-15:10    Login and warm-up

15:10-15:40     Keynote: Dr. Mar Gonzalez-Franco

15:40-15:50    Q&A 

15:50-16:00    Break

16:00-16:30     Position paper pitches (2 min/person)

16:30-16:45     Break 


16:45-16:55     Form the pre-defined discussion groups

16:55-17:25     Group Discussion on the assigned topic

17:25-17:40     Break

17:40-18:00     Summarize the discussion results 

18:00-18:10     Break

18:10-18:25     Group presentation (5 min/group)

18:25-18:30     Summarize the overall experience


Open Challenges on Social VR

by Dr. Mar Gonzalez-Franco



We are moving from having the content inside the screen to having the user inside the content. This paradigm shift has opened new avenues for collaboration and social VR: from new forms of representation (on occasions via avatars) to new forms of content sharing, new ways to move around the digital content, new authoring tools, and challenges on accessibility as well as hybrid interactions.



Dr. Mar Gonzalez-Franco is a Principal Researcher in the EPIC (Extended Perception Interaction and Cognition) team at Microsoft Research. In her work, Mar focuses on exploring human behavior and perception to help build better technologies in the wild. As part of her scientific output, her work has also transferred to products used on a daily basis by many around the world, such as Together mode in Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Soundscape.


Mar holds a BSc in Computer Science (URL, Barcelona) and MSc in Biomedical Engineering (Universitat de Barcelona and Tsinghua University). She earned her Ph.D. in Immersive Virtual Reality and Clinical Psychology under the supervision of Prof. Mel Slater at the EVENT-Lab, affiliated as a visiting student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MediaLab. She completed her postdoctoral studies at University College London.