EU Sharespace project for XR technology

by paradoxig

How could humans use digital avatars in the near future? How can we engage in social situations that include both human and automated avatars? And what technology do we need to explore these ‘hybrid’ spaces together? This is what Sharespace is all about – a European R&D consortium consisting of 14 partners from eight different countries including the Ars Electronica Futurelab.

The main goal of the project is to bring extended reality (XR) to a radically, ethically sound, new level of presence and sociality by furthering the possibilities of interaction in a virtual space using avatars. In total, two university hospitals, three universities, five research institutes, and four companies participate in the three-year long research project running from January 2023 until December 2025.

Shared Hybrid Spaces: collaboration between humans & avatars
The backbone of the Sharespace project is the development of so-called Shared Hybrid Spaces (SHS). These are spaces that are shared by humans and avatars where both are engaged in embodied collaborative tasks. This is made possible by transparently capturing social sensorimotor primitives through mobile connected innovative sensors, and then reconstructing them using novel XR technology. During this research project the developed technology will be applied in three real-world scenarios (sport, health & art), and will be presented during high-profile events such as the Olympic Games 2024 and the Ars Electronica Festival 2024 & 2025.

SHARESPACE will support community-building and exploitation with concrete initiatives

The vision of SHARESPACE is the creation of future Social Hybrid Spaces (SHS) shared by humans and avatars engaged in embodied collaborative tasks, where social sensorimotor primitives are transparently captured through mobile connected innovative sensors, and then reconstructed using novel extended reality (XR) technology. Our ambition is to create a hybrid, multimodal-multisensory integrated platform 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. Through our cognitive architecture, virtual avatars will facilitate joint-action, distance-based learning, and social cohesion in the hybrid societies of the future, by reconstructing core social sensorimotor primitives into virtual ones. 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, learning, entertainment, sport and at the workplace. In short, the project aims to bring XR to a radically, ethically sound, new level of presence and sociality by furthering the possibilities of interaction in a virtual space using avatars

SHARESPACE will enable people in remote locations to interact in a shared sensorimotor space to prepare future inclusive hybrid societies.

The vision presented above invites us to rethink how natural embodied social interactions can be transferred to the digital world, thus offering high-gain opportunities to develop new, inclusive and ethical multimodal communication media.

Three real-world use cases will be developed during the Sharespace project.

Social Low Back Pain Exergame
Sharespace sees personalized medicine as a great field to apply their technology. In this specific use-case, Sharespace aims to allow patients suffering from low back pain to follow physical treatment from the comfort of their homes. Since physical therapy lessons offered at the hospital have the downsides of being at a fixed time, can be far away from the patients home, and have limited capacity, this virtual application might be a solution.

The technology developed by Sharespace allows patients to follow physical therapy in a Shared Hybrid Space out of the comfort of their own homes. In the SHS, other patients and a therapist represented by avatars are present, that can closely follow if the patient executes the necessary exercises correctly.

Located at the Ars Electronica Center in Linz is the Deep Space 8K. This specific space, unique in the world, allows for immersive 3D experiences due to high quality wall and floor projections. Deep Space 8K will serve as the context for developing three artistic interventions using the Sharespace technology. Artists will be invited to create multi-user, hybrid, interactive art performances using the Social Hybrid Space concept, thereby enabling people to have virtual experiences interacting with avatars.

The artistic interventions will be presented at the yearly Ars Electronica Festival in the years 2024 & 2025 with the goal to share the possibilities of this new technology and can serve as helpful first step for other artist who are interested in the XR field.

Family Peloton Cycling
The third use-case of the Sharespace project is to showcase the different possibilities the developed technology has in the field of sport. In this specific case, the brand-new XR technology allows amateur cycling fanatics to learn how to cycle together in a peloton in a safe environment, which makes it highly suitable for children. By mounting their bikes on Wahoo KickRs in their own homes, people can control the position and speed of their visual avatars, therefore acquiring the peloton cycling skill.

R&D Partners

Coordinator of the project: German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence – DFKI conducts research on “human-centric AI” in the major groundbreaking areas of AI research and applications with a focus on socially relevant topics and scientific excellence. (

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Ars Electronica Futurelab is a recognized transdisciplinary non-university R&D institute that performs research in the areas of media art, information aesthetics, interaction design, tangible technology experiences, robotics, and virtual environments.

CRdC Nuove Tecnologie per le Attività Produttive Scarl – CRdC Tecnologie Scarl is a consortium company based in the Campania region in Italy, operating on a nonprofit basis, focusing on scientific and technological research.

Cyens Center of Excellence – CYENS Centre of Excellence is the Research and Innovation Centre of Excellence in Cyprus focusing on Interactive media, Smart systems and Emerging technologies aiming to empower knowledge and technology transfer in the region.

De Montfort University – De Montfort University oversees the integration of the Ethics by Design framework within the Sharespace project

Golaem S.A. – Golaem is a french software company, leader in crowd simulation for Media & Entertainment thanks to its powerful technologies to model, animate and control plenty of expressive autonomous characters in a user-friendly way.

Hospital Vall d’Hebron – VHIR is a public sector institution that promotes and develops research, innovation, and bio-health teaching at Vall d’Hebron University Hospital in Barcelona.

Institut national de recherce en sciences et technologies du numérique – Inria is the French national research institute for digital science and technology. World-class research, technological innovation and entrepreneurial risk are its DNA.

Lightspace Technologies SIA – Lightspace Technologies, a deep tech startup from Latvia – a pioneer of next-generation near-eye display technology. The first to release an AR head-mounted display truly solving vergence-accommodation conflict.

Ricoh Europe – Ricoh combines globally recognized expertise across industries, technologies and domains with our wide range of hardware, software and services, we deliver fit-for-purpose solutions that achieve your business goals.

Universitat Jaume I De Castellon – LabPsitec is a research lab at Universitat Jaume I in Spain with over 25 years of expertise in the design and evaluation of digital solutions in the field of Psychology.

University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) – As one of the leading clinics in Europe, UKE is based on the interconnection of medicine, research, and teaching. The emphasis in UKE’s research are the neurosciences, cardio-vascular research, care research, oncology, as well as infections and inflammations.

University of Montpellier hosts EuroMov Digital Health in Motion, a joint research unit with IMT Mines Ales. EuroMov conducts research and innovation activities at the crossover between Movement, Health and Data sciences, with the goal to uncover movement signatures of Health.

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