Using virtual agents to cue observer attention: assessment of the impact of agent animation

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

This paper describes an experiment developed to study the performance of virtual agent motion cues within digital interfaces. Increasingly, agents are used in virtual environments as part of the branding process and to guide user interaction. However, the level of agent detail required to establish and enhance efficient allocation of attention remains unclear. Although complex agent motion is now possible, it is costly to implement and so should only be routinely implemented if a clear benefit can be shown. Previous methods of assessing the effect of gaze-cueing as a solution to scene complexity have relied principally on manual responses. The current study used an eye-movement recorder to directly assess the immediate overt allocation of attention by capturing the participant’s eye-fixations following presentation of a cueing stimulus. We found that fully animated agents speed up user interaction with the interface. When user attention was directed using a fully animated agent cue, users responded 35% faster when compared with stepped 2-image agent cues, and 42% faster when compared with a static 1-image cue. These results inform techniques aimed at engaging users’ attention in complex scenes such as computer games or digital transactions in social contexts by demonstrating the benefits of gaze cueing directly on the users eye movements, not just their manual responses.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCONTENT 2010
Subtitle of host publicationthe Second International Conference on Creative Content Technologies November 21-26, 2010 - Lisbon, Portugal
EditorsAli Beklen, Jorge Ejarque, Wolfgang Gentzsch, Teemu Kanstren, Arne Koschel, Yong Woo Lee, Li Li, Michal Zemlicka
PublisherInternational Academy, Research, and Industry Association (IARIA)
Pages7-12
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9781612080017, 9781612081106
StatePublished - 21 Nov 2010
Event2nd International Conference on Creative Content Technologies - Lisbon, Portugal

Conference

Conference2nd International Conference on Creative Content Technologies
Abbreviated titleCONTENT 2010
CountryPortugal
CityLisbon
Period21/11/1026/11/10
Internet address

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Cues
Eye Movements
Video Games

Cite this

Martinez, S., Sloan, R. J. S., Szymkowiak, A., & Scott-Brown, K. C. (2010). Using virtual agents to cue observer attention: assessment of the impact of agent animation. In A. Beklen, J. Ejarque, W. Gentzsch, T. Kanstren, A. Koschel, Y. W. Lee, L. Li, ... M. Zemlicka (Eds.), CONTENT 2010: the Second International Conference on Creative Content Technologies November 21-26, 2010 - Lisbon, Portugal (pp. 7-12). International Academy, Research, and Industry Association (IARIA).

Martinez, Santiago; Sloan, Robin J. S.; Szymkowiak, Andrea; Scott-Brown, Kenneth C. / Using virtual agents to cue observer attention : assessment of the impact of agent animation.

CONTENT 2010: the Second International Conference on Creative Content Technologies November 21-26, 2010 - Lisbon, Portugal. ed. / Ali Beklen; Jorge Ejarque; Wolfgang Gentzsch; Teemu Kanstren; Arne Koschel; Yong Woo Lee; Li Li; Michal Zemlicka. International Academy, Research, and Industry Association (IARIA), 2010. p. 7-12.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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Martinez, S, Sloan, RJS, Szymkowiak, A & Scott-Brown, KC 2010, Using virtual agents to cue observer attention: assessment of the impact of agent animation. in A Beklen, J Ejarque, W Gentzsch, T Kanstren, A Koschel, YW Lee, L Li & M Zemlicka (eds), CONTENT 2010: the Second International Conference on Creative Content Technologies November 21-26, 2010 - Lisbon, Portugal. International Academy, Research, and Industry Association (IARIA), pp. 7-12, 2nd International Conference on Creative Content Technologies, Lisbon, Portugal, 21-26 November.

Using virtual agents to cue observer attention : assessment of the impact of agent animation. / Martinez, Santiago; Sloan, Robin J. S.; Szymkowiak, Andrea; Scott-Brown, Kenneth C.

CONTENT 2010: the Second International Conference on Creative Content Technologies November 21-26, 2010 - Lisbon, Portugal. ed. / Ali Beklen; Jorge Ejarque; Wolfgang Gentzsch; Teemu Kanstren; Arne Koschel; Yong Woo Lee; Li Li; Michal Zemlicka. International Academy, Research, and Industry Association (IARIA), 2010. p. 7-12.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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T1 - Using virtual agents to cue observer attention

T2 - assessment of the impact of agent animation

AU - Martinez,Santiago

AU - Sloan,Robin J. S.

AU - Szymkowiak,Andrea

AU - Scott-Brown,Kenneth C.

PY - 2010/11/21

Y1 - 2010/11/21

N2 - This paper describes an experiment developed to study the performance of virtual agent motion cues within digital interfaces. Increasingly, agents are used in virtual environments as part of the branding process and to guide user interaction. However, the level of agent detail required to establish and enhance efficient allocation of attention remains unclear. Although complex agent motion is now possible, it is costly to implement and so should only be routinely implemented if a clear benefit can be shown. Previous methods of assessing the effect of gaze-cueing as a solution to scene complexity have relied principally on manual responses. The current study used an eye-movement recorder to directly assess the immediate overt allocation of attention by capturing the participant’s eye-fixations following presentation of a cueing stimulus. We found that fully animated agents speed up user interaction with the interface. When user attention was directed using a fully animated agent cue, users responded 35% faster when compared with stepped 2-image agent cues, and 42% faster when compared with a static 1-image cue. These results inform techniques aimed at engaging users’ attention in complex scenes such as computer games or digital transactions in social contexts by demonstrating the benefits of gaze cueing directly on the users eye movements, not just their manual responses.

AB - This paper describes an experiment developed to study the performance of virtual agent motion cues within digital interfaces. Increasingly, agents are used in virtual environments as part of the branding process and to guide user interaction. However, the level of agent detail required to establish and enhance efficient allocation of attention remains unclear. Although complex agent motion is now possible, it is costly to implement and so should only be routinely implemented if a clear benefit can be shown. Previous methods of assessing the effect of gaze-cueing as a solution to scene complexity have relied principally on manual responses. The current study used an eye-movement recorder to directly assess the immediate overt allocation of attention by capturing the participant’s eye-fixations following presentation of a cueing stimulus. We found that fully animated agents speed up user interaction with the interface. When user attention was directed using a fully animated agent cue, users responded 35% faster when compared with stepped 2-image agent cues, and 42% faster when compared with a static 1-image cue. These results inform techniques aimed at engaging users’ attention in complex scenes such as computer games or digital transactions in social contexts by demonstrating the benefits of gaze cueing directly on the users eye movements, not just their manual responses.

M3 - Conference contribution

SN - 9781612080017

SN - 9781612081106

SP - 7

EP - 12

BT - CONTENT 2010

PB - International Academy, Research, and Industry Association (IARIA)

ER -

Martinez S, Sloan RJS, Szymkowiak A, Scott-Brown KC. Using virtual agents to cue observer attention: assessment of the impact of agent animation. In Beklen A, Ejarque J, Gentzsch W, Kanstren T, Koschel A, Lee YW, Li L, Zemlicka M, editors, CONTENT 2010: the Second International Conference on Creative Content Technologies November 21-26, 2010 - Lisbon, Portugal. International Academy, Research, and Industry Association (IARIA). 2010. p. 7-12.