Observing Virtual Avatars: The Impact of Avatars’ Fidelity on Identifying Interactions

Mathis, F., Vaniea, K. and Khamis, M. (2021) Observing Virtual Avatars: The Impact of Avatars’ Fidelity on Identifying Interactions. In: Mindtrek '21, 2-3 Jun 2021, pp. 154-164. ISBN 9781450385145 (doi: 10.1145/3464327.3464329)

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There are many cases where observing the interactions of a virtual avatar can be useful. However, it is unclear to what extent the avatar fidelity affects bystanders’ performance when observing gestures performed by avatars. We, therefore, conducted an online study (N=28) with different avatars performing touch, mid-air, and eye gaze gestures. Our avatars range from an abstract avatar to two more realistic ones. Our study shows that an abstract avatar provides bystanders with the same interaction information as more realistic avatars. This implies that it is sufficient to use abstract avatar designs when observing interaction behaviour in virtual environments and researchers do not necessarily need to go through time-consuming and expensive implementations of highly realistic avatars to answer their research questions, making Virtual Reality (VR) studies more accessible to the broader research community. Finally, we discuss studying VR security systems as a potential research application for which abstract avatars can be leveraged.

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Mathis, Mr Florian and Khamis, Dr Mohamed
Authors: Mathis, F., Vaniea, K., and Khamis, M.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Computing Science
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Authors
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher
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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
310627TAPS: Assessing, Mitigating and Raising Awareness of the Security and Privacy Risks of Thermal ImagingMohamed KhamisEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/V008870/1Computing Science
309501RSE EnterpriseMohamed KhamisThe Royal Society of Edinburgh (ROYSOCED)65040Computing Science