Basser Seminar Series

Virtual Characters in a Physical World

Michael Kruppa
DFKI (German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence), Saarbrücken, Germany

Wednesday 12 January 2005 2pm

Basser Conference Room (G92) Madsen Building


Interest in the field of mobile learning is growing rapidly. But with dozens of devices on the market, what is really suitable for learning? What’s possible and what isn’t? What awaits us in the future of mobile informal learning?

This presentation will seek to answer some of these questions. Two current projects will be introduced which combine the fields of informal mobile learning with lifelike characters: PEACH (Personal Experiences with Active Cultural Hertiage) and VRI (the Virtual Room Inhabitant). Both projects deal with virtual characters capable of moving within real, physical space.

PEACH is a museum guide project with localized information services. It applies life-like characters to an informal mobile learning scenario. In this project the characters can “jump” from stationary information systems onto a PDA to accompany the user. Within the VRI, the character is able to move freely along all surfaces within a room.

Both projects make use of external user models to adapt to the users preferences and previous knowledge. The underlying idea is to develop characters which establish a long-term relationship with their users and, through this rapport, improve overall acceptance by the users.

Finally, the presentation will spotlight multiuser interaction with public displays in learning environments by means of another ongoing study.