Yaser Sheikh

Title: What is a Codec Avatar?


Long-distance communication is a revolution that has slowly unfolded over the past 150 years, sparked by the invention of the telegraph, followed by telephonic communication, and most recently by the broad usage of video calling. The advent of 3D displays, such as VR headsets and AR glasses, presents the opportunity for the next step in this revolution: telepresence. In this talk, I will present a view of the problem space of achieving telepresence that is indistinguishable from real interactions, across sensing, perception, rendering, and display. I will present our approach through this problem space that centers around the development of codec avatars: a digital representation of people designed for the purpose of remotely sharing spaces with each other.


Yaser Sheikh is the founding director of the Meta Reality Lab in Pittsburgh, devoted to achieving social interactions in augmented and virtual reality that are indistinguishable from real interactions. He is a consulting professor at the Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, where he directed the Perceptual Computing Lab producing OpenPose and the Panoptic Studio. His research broadly focuses on machine perception and rendering of social behavior, spanning sub-disciplines in computer vision, computer graphics, and machine learning.

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