Understanding and Designing with Users: From Recognizing Affect to Interacting with Virtual Humans
The number of technologies encountered by the average person on a day-to-day basis has increased considerably over the last decade. Hence, it is necessary to understand how users' interactions with technology can be improved. This understanding helps to increase the effectiveness of the technology itself, as well as improve users' experiences with technology. In this talk, I will highlight some of the results of my research which include: 1) building software that can automatically recognize users' affective states through their body expressions; 2) creating user interfaces that allow players to use their own body movements to customize the responses of virtual game characters; and 3) implementing virtual human technologies with an aim of training medical students in scenarios which are not always feasible with real people. I will conclude by discussing some of the issues and challenges that remain open in these research areas.