Virtual Visitation: Conceptualization and Metrics for Digital Twinning of Large Interactive Social Events

Riemer, Kai
Seymour, Mike
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The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated a move towards digital engagement in many parts of life. At the same time, it has halted large public gatherings such as music, sports or arts events. In this paper we discuss opportunities for such large-scale social events to create digital experiences that mirror, mimic or enhance traditional experiences, with new forms of digital twinning. Originating from the world of manufacturing, and popularized by the Industry 4.0 initiative, digital twins refer to the creation of digital representations of physical entities. In the context of large social events digital twins denote digital spaces inhabitable by visitors with their own digital twins in the form of avatars. In this paper we investigate how event coordinators can account for different kinds of social engagements in digital twinning spaces. We develop a framework for user interactions along two dimensions: interactions with the space itself, and social interactions between virtual visitors (avatars). Accounting for virtual visitations is more challenging but offers unique opportunities compared to traditional attendance. We present four new metrics, Views, Visits, Engagement, and Involvement, and we discuss considerations for implementing advanced digital social events.
Human-Computer Interaction in the Digital Economy, cyber-physical systems, digital twins, metrics, presence
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