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Remote talkers can communicate smoothly via their embodied avatars, which represent their interactive behaviors in the same virtual space. In order to enable virtual face-to-face communication, we have developed an embodied avatar-mediated communication system by using a human avatar called ldquoVirtualActorrdquo within the same communication space. The effectiveness of the system has been confirmed by communication experiments. We have already proposed the concept of a virtual communication avatar system in which remote talkers under the restricted conditions can operate their own avatar based on their hand motion, and have developed the prototype of this system using a glove sensor. In this study, communication systems using three pointing devices-a wireless mouse, trackball, and 3D mouse-are developed for primitive interaction using conscious hand motion input in a general PC environment. Instead of a simple trackball, a 3D trackball, which has one handle ball involving yaw rotation as well as pitch and roll rotation, is developed in order to manipulate the avatarpsilas head motion in a more intuitive manner. A communication experiment in which the 3D trackball, wireless mouse, trackball, and 3D mouse are compared is conducted for 15 pairs of talkers (30 in all); a sensory evaluation and analysis of embodied avatar manipulation demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed system.
Date of Conference: 1-3 Aug. 2008