“Participants interacting with highly expressive avatars felt more social presence and attraction and exhibited better task performance than those interacting with low-expressive avatars”
This is the statement from the results of the research study by Wu Yuanjie, Wang Yu, Jung Sungchul, Hoermann Simon, Lindeman Robert W. This is very much in-line with our experience at Glue with our 3D avatars.
But why do expressive avatars boost your virtual collaboration? The main benefit of expressive avatars is that they provide a high level of non-verbal communication which makes virtual meetings as great as face-to-face.
Here are the main components of how to make it happen:
1. Eye & mouth movements. Eye-movement tracking, together with audio synchronized mouth movement, allows an avatar to act in the same manner as the person behind it.
2. Tracking of hands. A VR user can use their hands to express their idea. This is essential for non-verbal communication as you add body language to your interactions, same as in the real life.
3. Avatar customization. You can customize your avatar appearance and make it look like you with clothes, accessories or religious attributes.
This is also why the research recommends developers of the virtual platforms pay attention to the avatars and master these 3 points to make communication natural and realistic. One should not settle for anything less.
Source: Using a Fully Expressive Avatar to Collaborate in Virtual Reality: Evaluation of Task Performance, Presence, and Attraction