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Chapter 4. Justin Beaver Stories: A conversational and empathic virtual animal in mixed reality technology

Historias del Castor Justin. Un animal virtual conversacional y empático en tecnología de realidad mixta

Published onNov 04, 2022
Chapter 4. Justin Beaver Stories: A conversational and empathic virtual animal in mixed reality technology


In this appendix, this work describes a framework for the creation of a conversational character in a mixed reality empathetic experience. The framework allows for the synchronization of emotional animations of the virtual character in line with the character’s dialogue text, with the aim to improve the users’ empathetic experience. The dialogue is driven by a Natural Language Processing (NLP) pipeline, including automatic speech recognition, chat-bot, and text to speech generation micro-services. Within this framework, we present a holographic experience called “Justin Beaver Stories” using the Magic Leap one, Hololens or Nreal mixed reality goggles to project the virtual character into the user’s field of vision. This can be used to evaluate the impact of bringing a beaver to the user’s environment instead of bringing the user to the beaver’s natural environment. Interaction occurs by humanizing the beaver through human communications abilities, resulting in a conversational virtual beaver. The storyline describes the beaver’s lifestyle and problems, represented in a situation of distress. Positive experiences show the practical usability of the framework in the area of HCI.

Keywords: Conversational virtual character, mixed reality, emotional expressions, empathy, natural language processing, chat-bot, animal appearance

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Justin Beaver Stories Demo


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