Designing for Social Interactions in a Virtual Art Gallery

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The dawn of a new digital world has emerged with new ways to communicate and collaborate with other people across the globe. Metaverses and Mirror Worlds have broadened our perspectives on the ways we can utilize 3D virtual environments. A Mirror World is a 3D virtual space that depicts a real-life place or environment that people may want to see physically or would like to manipulate to create something new. A perfect example of this would be an art gallery which provides people an outlet to express themselves through various art forms and be able to socialize and have that human interaction that is needed during times when physical presence may be difficult.

This project strives to improve user social interactions and make spatial control easier and more fluid in a virtual art gallery, while also incorporating the existing metaphor of permission and user privileges used in synchronous collaborative environments. We worked to create ways for people to be invited into group chats based on proximity, allowing users to give their consent as to who they want to talk to and who they will allow to share control within the space. We also implemented a way to view the space as a 3D map that highlights pieces of artwork around the space for people to teleport to and view at ease. To demonstrate this shared viewing and navigation experience we also focused on incorporating audio and spatial interaction features within the art gallery prototype of X3D and glTF models, images and audio, and HTML user interface.