Special Session 1

Title

Immersive Interactive Environments

Organizers

Florian Metzger, Tanja Kojić, Matthias Hirth, Steven Schmidt, and Georg Regal

Motivation and objectives

For many years, users mainly consumed multimedia content passively, e.g., by watching videos or listening to audio content. Therefore, even today most sophisticated user models for audio-visual (A/V) material only consider technical parameters that influence the quality of the content or the playback behavior.
The rapid development of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) solutions over the And the pandemic reinforced the push for people to find ways to interact and play with each other online from their homes. Extended Reality (XR) is combining both, real and virtual, environments with humans and systems all over the virtuality-reality continuum including all technologies together into one united solution. Multimedia systems are rapidly changing, and users are becoming more and more active participants in these systems, instead of passive consumers.
This active participation is most evident when it comes to video games of any kind, be it either console, PC or mobile, online or cloud, or VR and AR. In these, the users’ interactions directly control the A/V stimuli created by the system.
The user involvement imposes new challenges to system designers and consequently also on the user models describing those systems The impact of engagement on user-perceived quality and consequences of novelty effects are not yet well investigated. Furthermore, new relevant QoE aspects evolved, while issues like cybersickness have to be avoided. Additionally, technical parameters such as end-to-end delay or methods to control interactive systems are paramount. However, the interactivity of applications is not only a phenomenon in the entertainment area. More and more commercial applications of XR become mature in the context of education, telemedicine, or construction processes. To overcome the challenges arising for the interactivity of games, as well as interactive VR and Web-based applications, existing QoE test methodologies need to be refined, and entirely new techniques need to be developed.
Therefore, this special session plans to focus on state-of-the-art research of (subjective as well as objective) user-centric quality metrics and evaluation methods for immersive interactive applications. This includes everything from use cases, such as gaming and entertainment, to serious gaming in learning, sports, health, therapy, and psychology. Further topics include different types of interactivity, from 360  videos to multimodal interactive XR systems; different immersive and interaction analytics, design and visualization; and different methods and assessment of user experience (UX) and quality of experience (QoE).