Reflections on blinking

The technology we currently use for our shared VR metaroom doesn’t let us know when people are blinking. So when we look at each other as avatars, we need to add our own procedural blinking. That helps a lot to make the avatars of other people look more natural.

Yesterday I implemented a mirroring capability, so that people in our metaroom can see their own avatar, as in a mirror reflection. Interestinglly, I realized that I should not have the mirror reflections blink, because when you look in a mirror in real life, you never ever see yourself blinking.

In fact, one subliminal clue as to “Is this me, or is this somebody else?” is whether the person you are looking at is blinking. If they are blinking, then they are somebody else. If they are not blinking, then you are looking at yourself in a mirror.

Mirror reflections have been around forever. So it’s odd to realize that before the advent of movies in the late 19th century, no human being in all of history had ever seen himself or herself blink.

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