In this work, we explore how advances in augmented reality technologies are creating a new design space for long-distance telepresence communication through virtual avatars. Studies have shown that the relative size of a speaker has a significant impact on many aspects of human communication including perceived dominance and persuasiveness. Our system synchronizes the body pose of a remote user with a realistic, virtual human avatar visible to a local user wearing an augmented reality head-mounted display. We conducted a two-by-two (relative system size: equivalent vs. small; leader vs.follower), between participants study (N= 40) to investigate the effect of avatar size on the interactions between remote and local user. We found the equal-sized avatars to be significantly more influential than the small-sized avatars and that the small avatars commanded significantly less attention than the equal-sized avatars. Additionally, we found the assigned leadership role to significantly impact participant subjective satisfaction of the task outcome.

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Publications

M. E. Walker, D. Szafir and I. Rae, "The Influence of Size in Augmented Reality Telepresence Avatars," 2019 IEEE Conference on Virtual Reality and 3D User Interfaces (VR), Osaka, Japan, 2019, pp. 538-546. doi: 10.1109/VR.2019.8798152 (Osaka, Japan – March 23-27, 2019).