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Designing a virtual lifestyle coach for elderly people : a user study on the effect of visual realism

Woertink, G.J. (2020) Designing a virtual lifestyle coach for elderly people : a user study on the effect of visual realism.

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Abstract:Embodied Conversational Agents (ECAs) can be used to motivate elderly to adopt a healthier lifestyle, it is relevant to optimise the ECAs for elderly by adapting their preferences. The aim of this research is to get insight in the effect of an ECA’s visual realism on elderly’s perception of the personality of the ECA as a lifestyle coach. Short interactions with three static agent images, differing in the amount of visual realism, were created and iterated during one-to-one co-design sessions with five elderly. Respondents (n = 64) who interacted with the resulting prototypes could rate the ECA’s characteristics – friendliness, reliability, empathy, expertise, communicative, seriousness – and select their preferred ECA. A part of the respondents (n = 10) were interviewed for detailed understandings supporting these impressions. Our results suggest that (1) people have a clear preference for a photorealistic agent image, (2) the agent’s visual realism affects the perception of the characteristics of the agent image and that (3) people do not seem to feel that they have talked to a person while interacting with the agent. In addition, the interviews showed that audio and animation, preferably as realistic as possible, could improve the experience of talking to a real person.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Roessingh, Enschede, Netherlands
Faculty:EEMCS: Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Subject:01 general works, 05 communication studies, 70 social sciences in general, 77 psychology
Programme:Creative Technology BSc (50447)
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