Hao Li is an assistant professor at USC who has been collaborating with Oculus Research on facial tracking while wearing a virtual reality head-mounted display. They presented their initial prototype and research paper “Facial Performance Sensing Head-Mounted Display” at SIGGRAPH 2015. Hao says this prototype proved that it’s possible to extrapolate occluded facial expressions with a combination of strain sensors and machine learning algorithms. They are now moving forward on the next iteration prototypes that should be with more consumer-ready prototypes. I previously covered Hao’s research in my write-up on my interview with Martin Breidt. Hao says that eye gaze is really crucial to having a successful social interaction in VR, and so it’s very probable that Oculus is working on integrating eye tracking in future consumer headsets. Hao talks about some of the next steps in his facial tracking research, and he’s really optimistic about the metaverse given how his research is helping facilitate the future of telepresence and social VR applications.
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