PhD Seminar by Mar Gonzalez-Franco – Challenges for Virtual Reality

For Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality to become a primary form for interaction with digital content, beyond the form factor, we need to understand what types of things we can do in VR that would be impossible with other technologies. That is, what does spatial computing bring to the table. For once, the spatialization of our senses. We can enhance audio or proprioception in complete new ways. We can grab and touch objects with new controllers, like never before. Even in then empty space between our hands. But how fast do we adapt to the new sensory experiences?

Avatars are also unique to VR. They represent other humans but can also substitute our own bodies. And we perceive our world through our bodies. Hence avatars also change our perception of our surroundings. In this presentation we will explore the uniqueness of VR, from perception to avatars and how they can ultimately change our behavior and interactions with the digital content. We will also explore the challenges that remain to be solved.


Researcher, EPIC (Extended Perception Interaction and Cognition) team, Microsoft Research

Dr Mar Gonzalez-Franco is a Researcher in the EPIC (Extended Perception Interaction and Cognition) team at Microsoft Research. In her research Mar focuses on exploring human behavior and perception to help build better technologies on the wild. As part of her prolific scientific output, her work has also transferred to and informed features and products used in daily basis by many around the world, such as Together mode in Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Soundscape and Mesh Avatars.

Mar holds a BSc in Computer Science (URL, Barcelona) and MSc in Biomedical Engineering (Universitat de Barcelona and Tsinghua University). She earned her PhD in Immersive Virtual Reality and Clinical Psychology under the supervision of Prof. Mel Slater at the EVENT-Lab, affiliated as a visiting student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MediaLab. She completed her postdoctoral studies at University College London. She has received multiple awards, including best demos and papers and the 2022 IEEE VGTC Virtual Reality New Significant Researcher Award.

Join this seminar on Zoom
URL: https://bit.ly/Challenges-for-VR
Meeting ID: 883 4863 6505
Passcode: 526981

  • All PolyU PhD students are welcome.
  • This seminar, hosted on Zoom Meeting, allows only authenticated users (i.e. Zoom logged-in users).
  • Event registration is required (click HERE). Registrants will receive a reading list prior to this seminar.