Academy & Industry Research Collaboration Center (AIRCC)

Volume 11, Number 22, December 2021

Emotions in Virtual Reality


Darlene Barker and Haim Levkowitz, University of Massachusetts Lowell, USA


One of the first senses we learn about at birth is touch, and the one sense that can deepen our experience of many situations is touch. In this paper we propose the use of emotions including touch within virtual reality (VR) to create a simulated closeness that currently can only be achieved with in-person interactions and communications. With the simulation of nonverbal cues, we can enhance a conversation or interaction in VR. Using haptic devices to deliver the simulation of touch between users via sensors and machine learning for emotion recognition based on data collected; all working towards simulated closeness in communication despite distance or being in VR. We present a direction for further research on how to simulate inperson communication within VR with the use of emotion recognition and touch to achieve a close-to-real interaction.


Virtual reality, emotion recognition, deep learning, in-personal communication simulation, nonverbal communication.