Immersive technologies like eXtended Reality (XR) are the next step in videoconferencing. In this context, understanding the effect of delay on communication is crucial. This article presents the first study on the impact of delay on collaborative tasks using a realistic Social XR system. Specifically, we design an experiment and evaluate the impact of end-to-end delays of 300, 600, 900, 1,200, and 1,500 ms on the execution of a standardized task involving the collaboration of two remote users that meet in a virtual space and construct block-based shapes. To measure the impact of the delay in this communication scenario, objective and subjective data were collected. As objective data, we measured the time required to execute the tasks and computed conversational characteristics by analyzing the recorded audio signals. As subjective data, a questionnaire was prepared and completed by every user to evaluate different factors such as overall quality, perception of delay, annoyance using the system, level of presence, cybersickness, and other subjective factors associated with social interaction. The results show a clear influence of the delay on the perceived quality and a significant negative effect as the delay increases. Specifically, the results indicate that the acceptable threshold for end-to-end delay should not exceed 900 ms. This article additionally provides guidelines for developing standardized XR tasks for assessing interaction in Social XR environments.

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ACM Transactions on Multimedia Computing, Communications, and Applications
Ignite the Immersive Media Sector by Enabling New Narrative Visions
Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica, Amsterdam (CWI), The Netherlands

Cortés, C., Viola, I., Gutiérrez, J., Jansen, J., Subramanyam, S., Alexiou, E., … César Garcia, P. S. (2024). Delay threshold for social interaction in volumetric eXtended Reality communication. ACM Transactions on Multimedia Computing, Communications, and Applications, 20(7), 206:1–206:22. doi:10.1145/3651164