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User evaluation: Synthetic talking faces for interactive services

Pandzic, I.S. and Ostermann, J. and Millen, D.


Abstract: Computer simulation of human faces has been an active research area for a long time, resulting in a multitude of facial models and several animation systems. Current interest for this technology is clearly shown by its inclusion in the MPEG-4 standard. However, it is less clear what the actual applications of facial animation (FA) will be. We have therefore undertaken experiments on 190 subjects in order to explore the benefits of FA. Part of the experiment was aimed at exploring the objective benefits, i.e., to see if FA can help users to perform certain tasks more accurately or efficiently. The other part of the experiment was aimed at more subjective benefits, like raising the level of appeal to the user, gaining more users’ interest, filling in the waiting times for server access so the users do not get bored. At the same time a preliminary study into comparison of different FA techniques was undertaken. We present the experiment design and the results. The results show that FA aids users in understanding spoken text in noisy conditions (error rates drop from 16% to 8%), that it can effectively fill the waiting times and make them more acceptable to the user


@article{12,
  journal = {The Visual Computer},
  author = {Pandzic, I.S. and Ostermann, J. and Millen, D.},
  title = {User evaluation: Synthetic talking faces for interactive services},
  publisher = {Springer},
  volume = {Vol. 7-8},
  pages = {330-340},
  month = nov,
  year = {1999}
}