For most individuals, a human face is the very first “user interface” we experience in life. As online technologies advance, we see newer and newer iterations of User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) tools and methods, all in pursuit of simple, intuitive usage of online applications. We believe that our animated characters not only provide one of the most intuitive UIs available, but that their capacity to listen and convey empathy makes for experiences that are not only easier – they’re truly more supportive.
One key to empathetic characters that engender trust and engagement is the quality of the animation. Our characters aren’t simply graphics with moving lips and swaying shoulders. We create libraries of gestures and facial expressions, as well as lip synching, breathing, and other natural movement to communicate with users without distracting them. This level of care and detail with our animations mean they can convey understanding, empathy, enthusiasm, and support to your customers or patients.
Our real-time animation engine makes it possible for our avatars to provide detailed information and to make and deploy adjustments to conversation logic quickly. It also allows us to maximize the camera angle and lighting for the device size and orientation, ensuring that the experience is a helpful one and not a distraction or an obstacle.
The Uncanny Valley
While we put great care into making our animations relatable and empathetic, we’re careful to not make them too realistic. You know when you’re watching a computer generated character that looks too close to human that it’s creepy? You’re not alone. The “Uncanny Valley” is a phenomenon where humans perceive non-human characters that too closely resemble people as, well, creepy. So our animators take care to create characters whose features are just exaggerated and stylized enough that users forget that they’re talking to a computer, but they don’t feel too uneasy to even get started.