Emotional Beasts: Visually Expressing Emotions through Avatars in VR

Bernal, Guillermo, and Pattie Maes. "Emotional Beasts: Visually Expressing Emotions through Avatars in VR." Proceedings of the 2017 CHI Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems. ACM, 2017.


 With the advances in Virtual Reality (VR) and physiological sensing technology, even more immersive computer-mediated communication through life-like characteristics is now possible. In response to the current lack of culture, expression and emotions in VR avatars, we propose a two-fold solution. First, integration of bio-signal sensors into the HMD and techniques to detect aspects of the emotional state of the user. Second, the use of this data to generate expressive avatars which we refer to as Emotional Beasts. The creation of Emotional Beasts will allow us to experiment with the manipulation of a user's self-expression in VR space and as well as the perception of others in it, providing some valuable tools to evoke a desired emotional reaction. As this medium moves forward, this and other tools are what will help the field of virtual reality expand from a medium of surface-level experience to one of deep, emotionally compelling human-to-human connection.

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