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Andrea Bönsch

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Andrea Bönsch

University of Aachen, Germany

"Virtual Humans in the Realm of Social Virtual Reality"


Virtual humans (VHs) are often required as embodied and advanced human interfaces for intuitive interaction in the realm of social virtual reality (VR). Examples are (1) VHs functioning as guides who impart knowledge to users during a scene exploration or (2) VHs serving as training partners who provide users a safe, non-judgmental, reproducible however adaptable opportunity to train certain skills. To this end, conversational and intelligent VHs for immersive VR applications are required who simulate realistic human behavior.

The Virtual Reality and Immersive Visualization Group at RWTH Aachen University currently conducts research on two aspects of the user-agent-interaction required in the aforementioned VR scenarios: First, we use advanced virtual acoustic approaches for the auralization of the spoken word of a VH. In combination with correct lip synchronization, coverbal gestures and mimics, we analyze which auralization technique increases the perceived social presence and thus the realism of the respective VH. Second, as social locomotion is an elementary non-verbal behavior, we intend to design locomotion algorithms for VHs who accompany users during their navigation through a scene. To this end and based on the Equilibrium Theory, we especially focus on the aspect of interpersonal distance.

  1. Fakultät für Psychologie, Pädagogik und Sportwissenschaft
  2. Institut für Psychologie