hao-liHao Li is an assistant professor at USC who has been collaborating with Oculus Research on facial tracking while wearing a virtual reality headset. The group’s initial prototype and research paper “Facial Performance Sensing Head-Mounted Display” was presented at SIGGRAPH 2015.

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Hao says this prototype proved that it’s possible to extrapolate facial expressions hidden under a VR headset with a combination of strain sensors and machine learning algorithms. They are now moving forward on the next iteration of prototypes that should be more practical for consumer-ready prototypes. I previously covered Hao’s research in a 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 it’s possible that Oculus is working on integrating eye tracking into future consumer VR 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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