Avatars as Interactive Guides for Navigation Assistance in Three Dimensional Virtual Environments

Veronica TeichriebAlejandro C. Frery OrgambideJudith KelnerBárbara Diniz Soares PessoaMozart de S. C. Araújo Filho

The complexity of three dimensional (3D) environments has increased, causing disorientation problems during navigation. This work suggests a methodology based on the use of "intelligent" avatars as interactive guides inside the environment to alleviate this problem and to aid information retrieval in virtual environments. The intelligence is represented through physical features, behaviors and knowledge that compose the avatar's architecture. This approach makes the avatars intuitive and efficient guides. A 3D model of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, is presented as a prototype environment for the validation of the proposed methodology. In the museum the guides are represented as fishes that, according to the user's preferences, assume gender and age. They swim through the museum, following routes that take to the exhibitions indicated as of interest by the visitor.

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