FLASH issue on Augmented and Virtual Reality in the Time of COVID-19: Design, Innovation, and Evaluation of Immersive Applications

Guest Editors:

  • Maria C. R. Harrington
  • Carolina Cruz-Neira
  • Gregory Welch
  • Ben Noel
  • David Wells

Please direct questions to: maria.harrington@ucf.edu 
For general and miscellaneous enquires contact VirtualReality@brunel.ac.uk

COVID-19 is the greatest global challenge since World War II, radically transforming the world, splitting it in two by those with digital access to markets, and those without.  The normal day-to-day activities of living are being evaluated by what is valued with respect to perceived risk. Especially powerful are those with access to immersive applications to continue and improve health, education, culture, work, family, play, and security. How will immersive technologies be used for good, designed to move society towards health, prosperity, and peace worldwide?

Focus of this call:  

We seek papers that address a focus on human value and meaningful social connection with immersive technologies and applications, and in the context of the individual isolation associated with a worldwide pandemic. Those that contain original and transformative research on design, innovation, and evaluation in the following domains, with example basic and applied research questions:

  1. Immersive health care: How can we mitigate some of the problems COVID-19 has highlighted in health care, both from an operational level to strategic levels of public health and educational levels with trusted expert knowledge systems? Can immersive technologies bring isolated patients together with their loved ones.
  2. Immersive AR and VR and privacy: How will the use of immersive applications intersect with privacy and the protection of sensitive data in all domains? 
  3. Fine arts and high culture: How can the arts survive in a time of social distancing? Are modifications to copyrights and royalty payment systems required to enable wide distribution of content? Can immersive technologies enable shared cultural experiences between isolated individuals?
  4. Immersive informal learning: How to preserve and make accessible cultural trusts of knowledge in museums and libraries? Are there mechanisms to support increasing-decreasing access based on timeframe and geography? The role for standards, sharing, and distribution? Free to the public? 
  5. Immersive education for K-12 and universities: What is the future of virtual education and teaching? Both public and private economic intersection with designs of the digital platforms and user-learner needs? How can students experience the interpersonal connections they enjoy when personally together? What will children, parents, teachers, and organizations require from our tools to guarantee a society based on knowledge.
  6. Natural 3D user interfaces and interaction: Does artificial intelligence, combined with voice or gestures, offer new opportunities to improve the efficiency and trust in natural user interfaces and user experiences.
  7. Devices for immersive collaborative activities: How will the future office, classroom, gym, social network, and entertainment spaces, be transformed via immersive CAVES, walls, and apps? 
  8. Immersive entertainment: What will future amusement parks, collaborative games, travel and leisure, look and feel like at six feet apart?

Paper length and format:  

For this FLASH issue we seek high quality papers of approximately 8-12 pages, comprising societal, technological, or creative scientific impact. Standard journal content includes reports of comprehensive review papers, innovative design, position papers, or original empirical research.

Submission and review process:

Papers should be submitted online in Microsoft Word or LaTeX formats by July 15, 2020.

See https://www.springer.com/journal/10055/submission-guidelines for instructions.
Papers should be uploaded to http://www.editorialmanager.com/vire/.
Authors should select ‘SI: COVID-19' during the submission step 'Additional Information'.
Submissions will be peer reviewed in accordance with the journal’s normal process.

Important dates:

Paper submission deadline:             July 15, 2020
Anticipated notification of acceptance to authors: September 1, 2020
Revised papers received by:            October 1, 2020
Publication online first:                    November 2020