Overall Framework Definition

The vision of SHARESPACE is the creation a hybrid, multimodal-multisensory integrated platform for virtual humans (avatars of real individuals and autonomous virtual characters) which adapts to individual users and enables them to interact in an embodied shared space by learning, identifying, and reconstructing the core sensorimotor primitives of social interactions. Our mission is to build a system capable of capturing the social sensorimotor primitives with innovative, mobile sensors, and then reconstructing them using novel eXtended reality (XR) technology. Our long-term vision is to expand the natural repertoire of sensorimotor interactions as we currently know it, with XR technology enriching key social features of sensorimotor communication tailored to the participants’ personal characteristics, with future deployment in sectors such as health, sport and art (and being a core technology for the future hybrid societies of humans and autonomous agents). 

Realizing these objectives and vision requires cross-disciplinary collaboration and many different types of expertise. The SHARESPACE consortium covers more than twenty scientific and technological fields of expertise such as: motor cognition, motion capturing and real-time tracking, motor synchronization, cognitive architecture, animation, psychology of health and pain, psychology of motivation, sport performance science, anthropological ethics of artificial intelligence and artificial relational other, Ethics in Design, mixed reality, human and computer vision and computer communication. Bringing all these different fields together to work together in uncharted XR & VR research requires a strong overall framework definition shared by all partners, and that is what is done in this first work package.

By adopting a bottom-up and iterative approach that is revised regularly throughout the duration of the project, this work package focuses on bundling the knowledge and research requirements from every partner to create a unified SHARESPACE vision. The deliverables of this work package are:

  1. A Living Glossary: this glossary collected terms deemed relevant for SHARESPACE research in each partner’s own disciplinary field. It served as an exploration of the state-of-the-art surrounding XR and VR research and as a collection of all different expertise in the consortium.
  2. Definition of the research requirements for each scenario: Defining what the requirements are for the developments of each real-world scenario, and how the partners need to collaborate during the development phase is vital. This deliverable serves as a road map for the executed research, as it shows exactly how each step fits into the next.
  3. Definition of the SHARESPACE system architecture: The technology developed in this project is completely novel and aims to combine many different elements such as capturing movement data, animation of avatars, combining data from multiple users, and AI-cognitive architectures. All these elements need to be combined in on system architecture, which is defined in this deliverable.
  4. Ethical Framework of the project: SHARESPACE adopts a strong Ethics by Design approach, which entails ethical considerations of the research and developed products throughout the duration of the project. The ethical framework is defined in this deliverable.

SHARESPACE meeting in Napels in June 2023, Credit: Cyntha Wieringa