Non-verbal Communication in immersive Virtual Reality
Affective avatars for ZHAW employees
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In contrast to common video or telephone conference systems (e.g., MS Teams, Zoom), immersive virtual meetings provide for a digital space in which the participants can do more than just see and talk to each other. Additionally, they can move and engage in more complex forms of collaboration, e.g., manipulating virtual objects. One challenge of virtual meetings is the effectiveness of communication, which does not match physical co-presence. Effective communication relies on non-verbal signals expressed by means of body language such as gestures, facial expressions and tone of voice. However, today's avatars fall short of representing their physical counterpart as a whole. In particular, appropriate non-verbal behaviour for serious use cases -i.e. beyond gaming – and for complex communication tasks are not sufficiently supported. Hence, the objective of this project is the provision of affective virtual avatars able to convey non-verbal signals for more effective communicaton in VR meetings.