Call: “Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Human-Computer Interaction” issue of Big Data and Cognitive Computing

[Important note: I have avoided posting Calls for Papers that involve the requirement that authors pay a fee for submission and/or publication but will now do so when the topic is particularly relevant to the presence community. In these cases, as with the Call below, I will add an explicit note near the top of the post specifying the fee. For more information about these fees, see AJE Scholar’s “Understanding Submission and Publication Fees” and Wikipedia’s entry on Article Processing Charges. –Matthew]

Call for Papers

“Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Human-Computer Interaction”
A special issue of Big Data and Cognitive Computing
(ISSN 2504-2289)

Deadline for abstract submissions: 31 July 2021
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2021.

NOTE: The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs), which at this writing is 1,553 USD.


Prof. Dr. Achim Ebert (Website)
Computer Graphics and Human Computer Interaction Lab, University of Kaiserslautern, Gottlieb-Daimler-Str., 67663 Kaiserslautern, Germany
Interests: human–computer interaction; information visualization and applications

Prof. Dr. Peter Dannenmann (Website)
Faculty of Engineering, RheinMain University of Applied Sciences, Am Brückweg 26, 65428 Rüsselsheim, Germany
Interests: human–computer interaction; information visualization and simulation

Prof. Dr. Gerrit van der Veer (Website)
Department of Computer Science, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, NU Buolding Level 10, De Boellaan 1111, 1081HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Interests: experience design; multimedia and multimodality; design for cultural heritage and fine arts


Dear Colleagues,

Extended Reality (i.e., Cross Reality, XR) is an umbrella term, which includes Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Mixed Reality (MR). All three technologies are related to each other, with VR and AR lying at opposite ends of the so-called Reality–Virtuality continuum (Milgram94). XR technologies offer the possibility of visualizing entities that are not perceptible in reality, such as structures and processes, using virtual overlays. This makes them interesting for a huge variety of application areas, for example, in assistance and training systems (Psotka95) (e.g., in the fields of production, logistics, and surgery), navigation systems (Krolewski11), virtual room design and furnishing (Kaleja17), and computer games (Fahn13). However, not only is the development of new XR technologies and applications a key issue, it is also of utmost relevance to ensure optimal utilization of the user’s cognitive resources and to be able to detect cognitive overloads at an early stage.

In this context, we must consider different input modalities for human perception. Visuals and sound modalities are the most important ones for human perception, and they are also prevailing in XR environments. These modalities allow representing a large fraction of a (real or artificial) world. They permit a good immersion of the user, e.g., have the user moving in the (real or artificial) world (wearing goggles) or have the user explore the world on some display device using input devices such as a mouse or position and orientation sensors integrated into the display device (such as in a smartphone or tablet).

However, when dealing with these input modalities, consistency of view and sound is an important topic. For a long time, sound has been considered a second-rate addition to VR. Today, we see the importance of including sound equal to visuals into VR or XR environments. Modern XR solutions require the rendering of a VR soundscape, including background as well as sound related to relevant actions such as speech and sound of phenomena that are relevant for experiencing visuals (Johansson19).

Some other modalities are only able to represent the world in direct contact (smell, taste, tactile information, temperature, gravity, pressure). Internal phenomena may well be directly caused by interaction with an external world (muscle tension, pain). In newer VR applications, some of these modalities are used, e.g., using wearable effectors for pressure, vibration, or temperature.

We notice that truly intuitive and usable virtual worlds are hard to design and implement taking into account the considerations described above. Researchers must solve multiple problems, e.g.:

  • Development of new improved XR hardware;
  • Development of new interaction paradigms;
  • Supporting efficient collaborations in virtual worlds;
  • Context awareness;
  • Modalities (tactile and haptic simulated reality are now realistic options);
  • Intuitive interaction and integrated haptic feedback;
  • Scalability: from 2D to AR to VR;
  • Ensuring real-time capabilities;
  • Acknowledging safety aspects (e.g., use of AR in real environments);
  • Transferring XR technologies to new application areas;
  • Soundscapes (VR and AR are not only in a visual world);
  • Support of impaired people;
  • Translating reality (e.g., visuals or tactiles to replace sound);
  • Evaluating XR settings.

In addition to these topics related to design and implementation of virtual worlds, user experience is another relevant field in XR: Experience is now generally considered the concept that joins perceived ease of use with all aspects of a human’s direct holistic reaction to any incoming stimulation. It may include some or all of the following:

  • A meaning that a person attributes to what is perceived;
  • The complex of emotions and feelings triggered;
  • A positive or negative valuation in terms of being attracted;
  • A tendency to act, including action of paying attention or focusing on the perceived phenomena; mental actions like information processing and decision taking; and physical actions like moving the head, closing the eyes, withdrawing the hand, walking, talking, etc. (Vyas11).

This Special Issue will provide an insight into the current state of the art of Extended Realities. It will describe current research on how to evaluate and guarantee their usability and provide a positive user experience. It will show recent works in the related fields as well as trends for future development.

Researchers are invited to submit recent unpublished work in the field of Extended Reality and Human Computer Interaction. The scope of contributions to this Special Issue includes but is not limited to the research problems listed above.


Fahn, CS., Wu ML., Liu WT. On the Use of Augmented Reality Technology for Creating Interactive Computer Games. In: Shumaker R. (eds.) Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality. Systems and Applications. VAMR 2013. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 8022. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. 2013.

Johansson, M. VR for Your Ears: Dynamic 3D Audio Is Coming Soon – A truly realistic experience in VR requires immersive audio. IEEE Spectrum, January 24, 2019

Kaleja, P., Kozlovská, M. Virtual Reality as Innovative Approach to the Interior Designing. Selected Scientific Papers – Journal of Civil Engineering 12. 2017.

Krolewski J., Gawrysiak P. The Mobile Personal Augmented Reality Navigation System. In: Czachórski T., Kozielski S., Stańczyk U. (eds) Man-Machine Interactions 2. Advances in Intelligent and Soft Computing, Vol 103. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2011.

Milgram, P. Takemura, H., Utsumi, A., and Kishino, F. Augmented reality: A class of displays on the reality-virtuality continuum. Telemanipulator and Telepresence Technologies, 1994.

Psotka, J. Immersive training systems: Virtual Reality and Education and training. Instr Sci 23, pp. 405–431, 1995.

Vyas, D. Designing for Awareness: An Experience-focused HCI Perspective. PhD University of Twente, 2011. Publisher: University of Twente, Enschede, Netherlands, ISBNs 978-90-365-3135-1


Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Big Data and Cognitive Computing is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI’s English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

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