Recently, the field of Human-Computer Interaction has begun to embrace the crucial role of our bodies across our cognitive and social processes. The movement of embodied interaction has been followed by a somatic and material turn that strives to design technology for richer multi-sensory somatic experiences. Despite the booming developments in tangible and wearable technologies, there is strikingly limited research exploring the potential of our own physical and virtual bodies to become the material for the design of interaction, in the same ways that tangible materials are. In this position paper, we propose a series of approaches for designing technology for social interaction, that integrate human bodies as interaction materials to elicit a multisensory embodied experience. We illustrate this approach with examples of several virtual reality experiences that we have designed for supporting social connection.

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CM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI), 2023
Distributed and Interactive Systems

Stepanova, E., Desnoyers-Stewart, J., Riecke, B., Huisman, G., & El Ali, A. (2023). Human bodies as interaction materials for somatic, social, and multisensory
Virtual Reality experiences. In Proceedings of the Body x Materials Workshop, at
the ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI).