TTC Labs - [XR] Providing Individual Choice in Group Experiences

[XR] Providing Individual Choice in Group Experiences

5th May 2023

This pattern is a co-created output a Design Jam which took place in Singapore on the subject of Data Transparency and Control in the Metaverse. During the Design Jam, six design teams created simple prototypes which helped deliver better transparency and control over data use in fictional XR services.

BuzzAR is a startup focused on connecting people and communities. Their Pop-Up Metaverse is an augmented reality installation that enables a person to create an avatar in their likeness.

In the fourth season of the Singapore Accelerator, an ongoing research collaboration between the TTC Labs team at Meta and the Singapore Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC), BuzzAR addressed ways in which people could provide individual consent while participating in group experiences – a consideration that is particularly important when designing products for public spaces.

Problem & Opportunity

BuzzAR explored the privacy implications for XR products situated in public spaces such as shopping malls and university campuses. In public settings, extra precautions must be taken to ensure that potentially sensitive data is not accidentally captured without consent. Another consideration is consent within group settings – that is, allowing groups of people to participate in an experience even if some of those people do not wish to share their personal data.

How might we...

...navigate the complexities of social dynamics when seeking consent for personal data within a group setting?

Data being used
  • Facial

Key Features of Prototype

In their prototype BuzzAR explored how people within a group could each provide or withhold their consent while interacting with Pop-Up Metaverse. Installed in public places such as shopping centers and arcades, Pop-Up Metaverse captures a person’s data and generates a personalized avatar when they stand in front of the BuzzAR display consisting of a monitor and camera.

Avatar Generation Box
As a precaution to ensure that body-based data is not accidentally captured without consent, a square bounding box clearly defines an ‘active area’ in the camera frame that people must position themselves within to initiate the experience. This reduces the risk that personal data will be accidently captured from bystanders who do not wish to participate in the experience.

Gestural Confirmation
Once a user or group of users have entered the ‘avatar generation box’ their metaverse avatars will be generated. Users can then indicate with a simple thumbs up or thumbs down gesture whether they would like to keep their avatar, in which case their body-based data will be stored, or not.

Design Pattern: Multi-Party Consent

BuzzAR used a variety of XR prototyping techniques to craft their prototype including sketches, props and video. Based on their prototype and those of the other participating companies, a series of privacy XR design patterns were developed to reflect the insights and learnings identified.

The Multi-Party Consent pattern uses BuzzAR’s solution.

The Multi-Party Consent pattern addresses individual consent within group settings with a simple thumbs up / thumbs down gesture control. This easy-to-understand interaction allows each person captured by the display to opt in or out of providing their data. In this solution, an individual withholding consent does not prevent other people in the group from partaking in the experience, nor does the product capture someone’s data prior to obtaining consent.