Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, wearing a mask to cover one's mouth is recommended in public spaces to prevent the spread of the virus. Wearing masks hinders our ability to express ourselves, as it is hard to read facial expressions much less lips behind a mask. We present Unmasked, an expressive interface using lip tracking to enhance communication while wearing a mask. Unmasked uses three different methods - either accelerometers, LEDs with a camera tracking, or streaming video - to make speaking while wearing a mask more expressive. Unmasked aims to improve communication during conversations while wearing a mask. This device will help people express themselves while wearing a mask by tracking their mouth movements and displaying their facial expressions on an LCD mounted on the front of the mask. By enhancing communication while wearing a mask, this prototype makes social distancing less disruptive and more bearable, metaphorically closing some of the distance between us.
Publication Source (Journal or Book title)
UIST 2020 - Adjunct Publication of the 33rd Annual ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology
Nam, H., Hernandez, I., & Harmon, B. (2020). Unmasked. UIST 2020 - Adjunct Publication of the 33rd Annual ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology, 111-113. https://doi.org/10.1145/3379350.3416137