"Picture the Audience" Exploring Private AR Face Filters for Online Public Speaking


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Fluid Interfaces

This work was presented  at  the ACM CHI 2023 conference. 
By Joanne Leong, Florian Perteneder, Muhender Raj Rajvee, and Pattie Maes. 

The fear of public speaking (FOPS) is considered to be the most common lifetime social fear. To tackle anxiety, one common piece of advice is to picture the audience in a new light, using your mind’s eye.  With Augmented Reality (AR) face filters, it becomes possible to literally change how one sees oneself or others.  

In this project, we explore the potential for privately applied AR filters to reduce public speaking anxiety in online video-calling. Private in this case, means that the AR effects are only visible to the speaker applying them.  

To investigate this space, we conducted an online survey with 100 respondents to gather a diverse set of initial impressions and possible boundaries surrounding this controversial concept. Following this, we built a prototype of a private AR web-based video-calling application, and pilot-tested it with 16 participants to gain more in-depth insights. 

Our main findings comprise key user perspectives and opportunities for the private application of augmented reality filters in the context of public speaking scenarios:

  • An overview of the general public's perception of the acceptability of different AR filter types, as applied to one's self and others. 
  • Early evidence that AR face filter can be helpful for combating public-speaking anxiety (based on a user study with 16 people with FOPS, who tested our custom application in a simulated online speaking scenario 
  • An outline of different strategies that we observed people taking with AR face filters to manipulate their perception of the audience, themselves or the situation to modify their public-speaking anxiety