We all enjoy watching movies together. However, this is not always possible if we live apart. While we can remotely share our screens, the experience differs from being together. We present a social Virtual Reality (VR) system that captures, reconstructs, and transmits multiple users’ volumetric representations into a commercially produced 3D virtual movie, so they have the feeling of “being there” together. We conducted a 48-user experiment where we invited users to experience the virtual movie either using a Head Mounted Display (HMD) or using a 2D screen with a game controller. In addition, we invited 14 VR experts to experience both the HMD and the screen version of the movie and discussed their experiences in two focus groups. Our results showed that both end-users and VR experts found that the way they navigated and interacted inside a 3D virtual movie was novel. They also found that the photorealistic volumetric representations enhanced feelings of co-presence. Our study lays the groundwork for future interactive and immersive VR movie co-watching experiences.

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VRTogether - An end-to-end system for the production and delivery of photorealistic social immersive virtual reality experiences
2021 IEEE International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality (ISMAR)
Distributed and Interactive Systems

Li, J, Subramanyam, S, Jansen, A.J, Mei, Y, Reimat, I, Ławicka, K, & César Garcia, P.S. (2021). Evaluating the user experience of a photorealistic social VR Movie. In IEEE International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality (pp. 284–293). doi:10.1109/ISMAR52148.2021.00044