VRTogether project partner CWI participated in the 2020 ACM International Conference on Interactive Media Experiences (ACM IMX 2020), held virtually from June 17-19, 2020. On the first day of the conference, CWI’s team presented the social VR clinic, one of the VRTogether exploitation activities targeting the healthcare domain. The demo is entitled “A Social VR Clinic for Knee Arthritis Patients with Haptics” and was presented using a social virtual reality (VR) platform called Mozilla Hubs. This demo is co-authored by Tong Xue (CWI, BIT), Jie Li (CWI), Guo Chen (IBM Research, Beijing) and Pablo Cesar (CWI). The demo presentation was held in a virtual dome surrounded by virtual Barcelona cultural heritage.
The demo showcases a social VR clinic that allows patients to consult a nurse represented as a virtual avatar. It offers a “walk-in” virtual surgery room, enables patients to interact with animated virtual 3D artifacts, and trains the patient to use an injection tool while wearing a pair of mechanical VR gloves that provide haptic feedback (in collaboration with the Dutch SME SenseGlove). The demo shows the potential of social VR as a new tool to help patients receive remote personalized medical care. The virtual demo presentation showed a video of the prototype and two posters explaining the research process. The whole session was interactive and immersive with many questions raised from the audience. The conference organizing committee and the audience all found the demo well done and gave positive feedback towards the future work.
This demo was eventually awarded the Best Demo award at IMX 2020. IMX is the leading international conference for presentation and discussion of research into interactive media experiences. The conference brought together international researchers and practitioners from a wide range of disciplines, ranging from human-computer interaction, multimedia engineering and design to media studies, media psychology and sociology.
The social VR clinic demo is one of the VRTogether project exploitation activities explored by CWI. Apart from personalized healthcare, where we are as well exploring how 3D medical imaging can help in creating photorealistic models for remote treatment of patients, other domains include:
- Creative industries: interactive immersive museum experiences in social VR for both remote and on-site visitors, together with the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision
- Retail sector: collaborative design and prototyping in social VR for the retail sector, like bakeries and other food services
We will keep you updated with the future development of the social VR use cases.
This project has been funded by the European Commission as part of the H2020 program, under the grant agreement 762111.