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Creating more realistic virtual reality avatars

 

Narrator:       This is Science Today. Researchers at a computer graphics lab at the University of California, Merced, are working to create more realistic human motions for virtual reality avatars. Justin Matthews, a doctoral student in cognitive and information sciences, says they're teaming up with computer scientists and engineers. 

Matthews:     This research specifically tackles the question of what do people do when they're pointing at objects and they're trying to teach someone about a specific object, how do they reference that object, not only with their hands while pointing, but also with their head or eyes while speaking about the object.

Narrator:       Matthews explains that some of the applications could be used in learning and teaching.

Matthews:     Maybe something like telemedicine where you're teaching an individual to do a certain task, but you're not physically present in their environment, so you might be controlling an avatar that's in a remote location that you're not there, but you're somewhere else and you can actively control this avatar, either live through your own movements or having a computer model those movements for you.

Narrator:       For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.