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The everlasting convergence of digital innovation and user experience has upgraded the Immersive Reality (IR) technologies to a new multidimensional communication medium that provides new opportunities, activities, processes, and services. Researchers, designers and practitioners employ various approaches and ...

The everlasting convergence of digital innovation and user experience has upgraded the Immersive Reality (IR) technologies to a new multidimensional communication medium that provides new opportunities, activities, processes, and services. Researchers, designers and practitioners employ various approaches and methodologies that may regard the technology or the human more prominently in the creation process of high-fidelity IR simulations that aim to achieve a sustainable state of presence for the end-user. The big challenge is to build immersive spaces that consider collectively intangible aspects influenced by the individual differences and technology-related concepts; generating personalized experiences and ensuring the expected engagement and satisfaction.

Immersive Reality (IR) technologies provide an unprecedented potential of integrating the users’ physical reality with virtuality, when they execute tasks and actions towards accomplishing specific goals. This reality-virtuality continuum aims at enriching the users’ experience, view and understanding by offering the opportunity to (a) visualize different concepts in real time and interact intuitively with them in a simulation or “hybrid” world, and (b) make information and knowledge more accessible through experiential learning methods and techniques. During the years it is evident that embracing a standard viewpoint on given users’ activities in immersive spaces may not always facilitate ultimately the successful attainment of presence and engagement, or even worse, there is a high risk of overwhelming the users, creating confusion and frustration during interaction. Hence, it is of paramount importance to appreciate the added value of human-centered adaptation and personalization empowered by artificial intelligence techniques and/or game-based/gamification mechanics and methods that is also highly recognized in regard to more traditional environments of interaction, as is the Web. Related applications and systems use the human individual differences in their core models, track and analyze user behavior, preferences, feedback, and characteristics to make predictions or adjustments, delivering unique, personalized experiences regarding the content presentation and navigation increasing the users’ engagement, effectiveness and efficiency during tasks execution.

The main focus of this Research Topic lies in the cross-borders of the aforementioned disciplines for designing and developing solutions that adhere to:

(a) human-centered models and personalization mechanisms that will be able to regulate information processing factors, perception and engagement of users when interacting with substantial amount of information as well as to create best-fit immersive experiences to the benefit of the unique user;

(b.) persuasive strategies and technologies for behavior change that can automatically adapt the content and interaction process on the users’ goals and tasks;

(c.) game-based or gamified elements, such as scoring, badges, timed activities and rewards, helping improve motivation, concentration, learning and positive attitude of users while accomplishing their goals; and

(d.) artificial intelligence algorithms and interaction principles through the IR technologies that can handle the increasing complexity of data structures by facilitating access to the right data at the right time, intelligent support during exploration and analytics for predictive and proactive actions; while at the same time reducing cognitive-load errors or runtime experience problems.

This Research Topic aims at original work in the area of human-centered immersive spaces, IR technologies and simulations of interaction with a focus on human behavior at the individual or group level. It showcases empirical, basic and applied research on the human behavior and IR dynamics of the intuitive interaction between humans and technology, covering a broad spectrum of domains like Education, Journalism and Communication, Healthcare, Commerce, etc. Literature reviews that summarize the current state of research scientific works on a relevant topic will also be accepted.

Topics of Interest may include but are not limited to:

- Human Behavior Modeling and Artificial Intelligence for Personalization, Persuasion, and Gamification in Immersive Spaces
- Novel Human-centered IR Interaction Concepts and User Interfaces
- Human-centered Intelligent Algorithms for IR Content Recommendation and Delivery
- Persuasive Strategies and Technologies for Behavior Change in IR Technologies
- Gamification Concepts and Techniques in Human-centered IR Technologies
- Security, Privacy and Ethical Issues in AI-enabled Human-centred IR Technologies
- Simulation, Evaluation and Validation of Human-centred IR technologies and Immersive Spaces
- Assessment of Attention, Distraction, Engagement, Immersion, and Presence in Immersive Spaces
- Design and implementation of Human-centred IR technologies in domains like Education, Journalism, Healthcare, Commerce, etc.

Keywords: Immersive Reality, Immersive Spaces, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Personalization, User Experience, Gamification, Artificial Intelligence

Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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