The Human Interaction Laboratory aims to develop tools that enable qualitatively new, richer and more engaging forms of human exchange, not recreate or rechannel existing forms of interaction.
The laboratory combines state-of-the-art technologies including full-body and multi-person motion capture, virtual and augmented reality systems and advanced aural and visual display technologies. These will be used to advance research in three key areas:
- Capture: automatic analysis of communicative signals such as gesture, expression, gaze and orientation;
- Modelling: analysing the mechanisms of mutual-engagement and mutual-intelligibility in communication;
- Transformation: reconstruction and projection of augmented cues and resources for human interaction.
For example, capturing what each participant in a conversation is looking at, tracking when their focus of attention is shared (or not) and providing simple cues to levels of mutual-understanding; or capturing gestures used to explain a route and augmenting them to leave ‘traces’ that aid clarification, comprehension and recall.
The aim is to provide people with an expanded range of modalities and mechanisms for communication that support new forms of inter-subjectivity and new forms of language. Application areas include lecture and tutorial interactions, mixed expertise healthcare teams, data sonification, technical support and help lines, collaborative improvisation and performance and multi-user games.
View a current project, UnsocialVR. This is a research project that explores new ways of communication in virtual reality environments, and how we can fake attention, as we do on the phone, in social VR.
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