A Novel Collaborative Virtual Reality Game for Children with ASD to Foster Social Interaction

  • Huan ZhaoEmail author
  • Amy Swanson
  • Amy Weitlauf
  • Zachary Warren
  • Nilanjan Sarkar
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9739)


Children with Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) often suffer from deficits in communication and social interaction, which lead to various social challenges in interacting with peers in collaborative tasks. The application of Collaborative Virtual Environment (CVE) technology in ASD intervention brings advantages in providing a safe, flexible, and collaborative environment. This paper proposes and describes the development of a novel distributed CVE system for playing a series of collaborative games using hand movement that is tracked in real-time via cameras. These games aim to positively impact the social interaction of users. A usability study indicated potential of this system in fostering collaboration and communication skills among children with and without ASD.


Collaborative virtual environment ASD intervention Social interaction and communication 



This work was supported in part by the National Institutes of Health under Grant 1R01MH091102-01A1. Some virtual objects and pictures in the CVE system were obtained from free online repositories, such as Unity assert store.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Huan Zhao
    • 1
    Email author
  • Amy Swanson
    • 2
  • Amy Weitlauf
    • 2
  • Zachary Warren
    • 2
  • Nilanjan Sarkar
    • 1
  1. 1.Electrical Engineering and Computer Science DepartmentVanderbilt UniversityNashivilleUSA
  2. 2.Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders (TRIAD)Vanderbilt UniversityNashivilleUSA

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