Observing Virtual Avatars: The Impact of Avatars' Fidelity on Identifying Interactions

Florian Mathis, Kami Vaniea, Mohamed Khamis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract / Description of output

There are many cases where observing the interactions of a virtual avatar can be useful. However, it is unclear to what extent the avatar fidelity affects bystanders' performance when observing gestures performed by avatars. We, therefore, conducted an online study (N=28) with different avatars performing touch, mid-air, and eye gaze gestures. Our avatars range from an abstract avatar to two more realistic ones. Our study shows that an abstract avatar provides bystanders with the same interaction information as more realistic avatars. This implies that it is sufficient to use abstract avatar designs when observing interaction behaviour in virtual environments and researchers do not necessarily need to go through time-consuming and expensive implementations of highly realistic avatars to answer their research questions, making Virtual Reality (VR) studies more accessible to the broader research community. Finally, we discuss studying VR security systems as a potential research application for which abstract avatars can be leveraged.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAcademic Mindtrek 2021 - Proceedings of the 24th International Academic Mindtrek Conference
PublisherACM Association for Computing Machinery
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781450385145
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2021
Event24th International Academic Mindtrek Conference, Mindtrek 2021 - Virtual, Online, Finland
Duration: 1 Jun 20213 Jun 2021


Conference24th International Academic Mindtrek Conference, Mindtrek 2021
CityVirtual, Online

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Avatars
  • Input Methods
  • Virtual Environments
  • Virtual Reality


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