News: The company’s Daydream Labs team experimented with social interactions in VR.
Google is exploring ways to stop trolling and harassment in virtual reality (VR) environments.
In a blog post, Google VR UX designer Robbie Tilton shared new details about how the search giant’s Daydream Labs team is working to nudge people towards positive social experiences in VR.
Tilton noted that when people join a multiplayer app or game, they might try to test the limits and see if they can reach their hand through another player's head or stand inside another avatar's body.
He pointed out that even if users’ intentions aren’t bad, they can still make people uncomfortable with their behaviors.
The Daydream Labs team recently encountered this issue when testing a VR shopping experiment they built for the HTC Vive.
The experience lets two people enter a virtual storefront and try on different hats, sunglasses, and accessories.
It did not take long for several individuals to try placing items on their friends, even blocking others’ vision with a hat placed directly in their line of sight. It led to people feeling uncomfortable and resulted in them removing their HTC Vive headset.
The team realised that, just like in actual reality, people in VR need a personal space bubble.
Tilton said: “If we can anticipate the actions of others, then we may be able to discourage negative social behaviour before it starts.
"For example, by designing personal space around each user, you can prevent other people from invading that personal space."
Earlier this year, Google formed its own virtual reality VR business arm and appointed Clay Bavor to run the new division.