OCAD University Open Research Repository

Bonding Over Distances: Building Social Presence Using Mixed Reality for Transnational Families

Zhou, Shuting (2023) Bonding Over Distances: Building Social Presence Using Mixed Reality for Transnational Families. Masters thesis, OCAD University.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Zhou, Shuting

Sparked by the frustrations experienced in transnational family communication and inspired by an interest in exploring the potentials of a mixed reality (MR) future landscape, this study investigates the primary research question: how can we use mixed reality to build social presence for transnational family communication?
This study reviews literature and contextual works from relevant fields, including presence and social presence, mixed reality, transnational relationships (inter-family and human-space relationships), and technology for social presence for transnational families. Then, the researcher situates this study at the intersection of the before mentioned categories.
Utilizing the Research through Design methodology and paired user testing methods, this study describes 4 iterative MR prototypes for building social presence for transnational families, highlighting each prototype’s relation to a secondary research question, exploration goals, features, performance evaluation, and takeaways for the next iteration. Then, it documents and analyzes data collected from in-depth user testing sessions with 6 transnational family pairs totaling 12 participants, each with one member living locally (in Toronto), and the other overseas. The quantitative and qualitative data were collected from different components of the user testing, including observation notes from paired-up live connection sessions for collaborative tasks, interviews, and online surveys.
This study contributes to theory at the overlapping fields of social presence, mixed reality research, transnational family relationship, and human-space relationship. The mixed reality prototypes, design frameworks, and evaluation criteria for designing mixed reality spaces to build social presence for transnational families also provide significance to design practice.

Date: 17 April 2023
Uncontrolled Keywords: presence, social presence, mixed reality, virtual reality, social VR, 3D virtual space, transnational studies, transnational family communication, photogrammetry, 360° photography, mediated communication, Research through Design, iterative prototyping, paired-up user testing
Divisions: Graduate Studies > Digital Futures
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 05 May 2023 13:49
Last Modified: 05 May 2023 13:49
URI: https://openresearch.ocadu.ca/id/eprint/4064

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