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The Mind in Virtual Meetings: Comparing VR and Video Conferencing Environments Through Experiential Impact Assessment and EEG Analysis

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Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing & Ambient Intelligence (UCAmI 2023) (UCAmI 2023)

Abstract

The advent of digital communication technologies has notably fostered remote collaboration. While platforms like Zoom are prevalent, emerging Virtual Reality (VR) technologies like Meta Quest 2 introduce new dimensions for virtual collaboration. This study investigates whether VR-based group meetings are more conducive to participant engagement, motivation, and non-hindrance of collaboration than traditional video conferencing platforms such as Zoom. This study is novel in employing Electroencephalogram (EEG) technology and questionnaires to assess the human factors of engagement, valence, arousal, motivation, flow, system usability, emotional state, and social presence. In this study, participants were engaged in a collaborative turn-based drawing activity in two distinct environments - a traditional video conferencing setting using Zoom and a VR-based setting using Horizon Workrooms. Both environments were configured to maintain equivalent functionality and settings. EEG data was collected using an EMOTIV EPOC + 14 channel wireless EEG headset. Findings reveal that the activity in VR was more intrinsically motivating than the activity in Zoom, independent of the participants’ previous VR experience. Additionally, participants reported greater enjoyment (higher valence) and excitement (higher arousal) in the VR setting, with significant results from questionnaires. A strong correlation was found between EEG and questionnaire assessed arousal. Contrary to expectations, no significant differences were observed in usability, co-presence, focus, stress, and effort between the two platforms. These results provide insights into the potential of VR as a tool for fostering engagement and motivation in remote group activities and call for further investigation into the underlying mechanisms.

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Correspondence to Eric Kirchgessner .

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Kirchgessner, E., Sothers, M., Aravena, V., Baloian, N., Zurita, G. (2023). The Mind in Virtual Meetings: Comparing VR and Video Conferencing Environments Through Experiential Impact Assessment and EEG Analysis. In: Bravo, J., Urzáiz, G. (eds) Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing & Ambient Intelligence (UCAmI 2023). UCAmI 2023. Lecture Notes in Networks and Systems, vol 835. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-48306-6_26

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