Immersive Interactive Technologies for Positive Change: A Scoping Review and Design Considerations

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Scholarly level: 
Graduate student (PhD)
Final version published as: 

Kitson A, Prpa M and Riecke BE (2018) Immersive Interactive Technologies for Positive Change: A Scoping Review and Design Considerations. Front. Psychol. 9:1354. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01354

Date created: 
Scoping review
Immersive technology
Positive technology
Transformative technology
Virtual reality
Augmented reality

Practices such as mindfulness, introspection, and self-reflection are known to have positive short and long-term effects on health and well-being. However, in today's modern, fast-paced, technological world tempted by distractions these practices are often hard to access and relate to a broader audience. Consequently, technologies have emerged that mediate personal experiences, which is reflected in the high number of available applications designed to elicit positive changes. These technologies elicit positive changes by bringing users' attention to the self—from technologies that show representation of quantified personal data, to technologies that provide experiences that guide the user closer in understanding the self. However, while many designs available today are either built to support or are informed by these aforementioned practices, the question remains: how can we most effectively employ different design elements and interaction strategies to support positive change? Moreover, what types of input and output modalities contribute to eliciting positive states? To address these questions, we present here a state of the art scoping review of immersive interactive technologies that serve in a role of a mediator for positive change in users. We performed a literature search using ACM Digital Library, Web of Science, IEEE Xplore, and Design and Applied Arts Index (beginning of literature—January 1, 2018). We retrieved English-language articles for review, and we searched for published and unpublished studies. Risk of bias was assessed with Downs and Black 26-item QAT scale. We included 34 articles as relevant to the literature, and the analysis of the articles resulted in 38 instances of 33 immersive, interactive experiences relating to positive human functioning. Our contribution is three-fold: First we provide a scoping review of immersive interactive technologies for positive change; Second, we propose both a framework for future designs of positive interactive technologies and design consideration informed by the comparative analysis of the designs; Third, we provide design considerations for immersive, interactive technologies to elicit positive states and support positive change.

Document type: 
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)