You as a Puppet: Evaluation of Telepresence User Interface for Puppetry
We propose an immersive telepresence system for puppetry that transmits a human performer's body and facial movements into a puppet with audiovisual feedback to the performer. The cameras carried in place of puppet's eyes stream live video to the HMD worn by the performer, so that performers can see the images from the puppet's eyes with their own eyes and have a visual understanding of the puppet's ambience. In conventional methods to manipulate a puppet (a hand-puppet, a string-puppet, and a rod-puppet), there is a need to practice manipulating puppets, and there is difficulty carrying out interactions with the audience. Moreover, puppeteers must be positioned exactly where the puppet is. The proposed system addresses these issues by enabling a human performer to manipulate the puppet remotely using his or her body and facial movements. We conducted several user studies with both beginners and professional puppeteers. The results show that, unlike the conventional method, the proposed system facilitates the manipulation of puppets especially for beginners. Moreover, this system allows performers to enjoy puppetry and fascinate audiences.