Virtual pets are an alternative to real pets, providing a substitute for people with allergies or preparing people for adopting a real pet. Recent advancements in mixed reality pave the way for virtual pets to provide a more natural and seamless experience for users. However, one key challenge is embedding environmental awareness into the virtual pet (e.g., identifying the food bowl's location) so that they can behave naturally in the real world. We propose a novel approach to synthesize virtual pet behaviors by considering scene semantics, enabling a virtual pet to behave naturally in mixed reality. Given a scene captured from the real world, our approach synthesizes a sequence of pet behaviors (e.g., resting after eating). Then, we assign each behavior in the sequence to a location in the real scene. We conducted user studies to evaluate our approach, which showed the efficacy of our approach in synthesizing natural virtual pet behaviors.
The ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (https://chi2021.acm.org/)