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“Nice to see you virtually”: Thoughtful design and evaluation of virtual avatar of the other user in AR and VR based telexistence systems

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  • Minna Pakanen
  • Paula Alavesa, Oulu University, Finland
  • Niels van Berkel, Aalborg University, Denmark
  • Timo Koskela, University of Oulu, Finland
  • Timo Ojala, University of Oulu, Finland
This paper presents two studies investigating how physically remote telexistence users wish to see other users visualized as virtual avatars in a) augmented reality, and b) immersive virtual reality while conducting a collaborative task. To answer this research question, a telexistence system was designed and implemented with simple avatar designs. After that, visual examples of alternative avatar representations for both use cases were designed by thoughtfully altering the visual parameters of 36 virtual avatar examples. The avatar designs were first evaluated in a user study with 16 participants in conjunction with using an implemented telexistence system. As a follow-up an online survey with 43 respondents was used to record their preferences regarding virtual avatar appearance. The results suggest that users prefer the other user to be represented in a photorealistic full-body human avatar in both augmented reality and virtual reality due to its humanlike representation and affordances for interaction. In augmented reality, the choice for a hologram full body avatar was also popular due to its see-through appearance, which prevents a mix-up with a real person in the physical space.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100457
JournalEntertainment Computing
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors

    Research areas

  • Virtual avatar, Telexistence, Virtual reality, Augmented reality, User study, Survey

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