TitleToward "Pseudo-Haptic Avatars": Modifying the Visual Animation of Self-Avatar Can Simulate the Perception of Weight Lifting
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsGómez Jáuregui D, Argelaguet F, Olivier A-H, Marchal M, Multon F, Lécuyer A
JournalIEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics
KeywordsAvatar Interaction, Pseudo-Haptics

In this paper we study how the visual animation of a self-avatar could be artificially modified in real-time in order to generate different haptic perceptions. In our experimental set up participants could watch their self-avatar in a virtual environment in mirror mode. They could map their gestures on the self-animated avatar in real-time using a Kinect. The experimental task consisted in a weight lifting with virtual dumbbells that participants could manipulate by means of a tangible stick. We introduce three kinds of modification of the visual animation of the self-avatar: 1) an amplification (or reduction) of the user motion (change in C/D ratio), 2) a change in the dynamic profile of the motion (temporal animation), or 3) a change in the posture of the avatar (angle of inclination). Thus, to simulate the lifting of a ”heavy” dumbbell, the avatar animation was distorted in real-time using: an amplification of the user motion, a slower dynamics, and a larger angle of inclination of the avatar. We evaluated the potential of each technique using an ordering task with four different virtual weights. Our results show that the ordering task could be well achieved with every technique. The C/D ratio-based technique was found the most efficient. But participants globally appreciated all the different visual effects, and best results could be observed in the combination configuration. Our results pave the way to the exploitation of such novel techniques in various VR applications such as for sport training, exercise games, or industrial training scenarios in single or collaborative mode.