Tribute to Patrice Dalle (1948–2014)

A picture of Patrice Dalle Patrice Dalle was a talented researcher and a great activist for the defense of Sign Language in France. He inspired deaf as well as hearing people in many parts of the world. Patrice was a man with vision and courage who opened the way to improving Deaf children’s education. He was the driving engine in the creation of the bilingual school in Toulouse.

This is a tribute to Partice Dalle and his great achievements.

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Press release about signing avatars

Some details about our work in a press article published by Saarland University.

Read the whole article in German here:

Read the whole article in English

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New publication in Cognitive Science

We are both happy an proud to announce the official publication of the following article in the International Journal of Cognitive Science.
“The influence of speaker gaze on listener comprehension: Contrasting visual versus intentional accounts”
The paper describes a study conducted by Maria Staudte and Matthew Crocker in the field of psycho-linguistics. We contributed in providing the avatar technology.


Previous research has shown that listeners follow speaker gaze to mentioned objects in a shared environment to ground referring expressions, both for human and robot speakers. What is less clear is whether the benefit of speaker gaze is due to the inference of referential intentions (Staudte and Crocker, 2011) or simply the (reflexive) shifts in visual attention. That is, is gaze special in how it affects simultaneous utterance comprehension? In four eye-tracking studies we directly contrast speech-aligned speaker gaze of a virtual agent with a non-gaze visual cue (arrow). Our findings show that both cues similarly direct listeners’ attention and that listeners can benefit in utterance comprehension from both cues. Only when they are similarly precise, however, does this equality extend to incongruent cueing sequences: that is, even when the cue sequence does not match the concurrent sequence of spoken referents can listeners benefit from gaze as well as arrows. The results suggest that listeners are able to learn a counter-predictive mapping of both cues to the sequence of referents. Thus, gaze and arrows can in principle be applied with equal flexibility and efficiency during language comprehension.

The whole article is available on this page until Sept, 20th:

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eNTERFACE ’14 in Bilbao

In June, Alexis and Fabrizio traveled to spain to work together with other researchers and students. They took part at an international  summer workshop on multimodal interfaces – the eNTERFACE’14 in Bilbao.

There, with the help of David and Roberto, they created a game using the Kinect 2 broadcaster: The fireball duel simulator(


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MakeHuman + Faceshift + Blender!

Our facial animation code ( is going to make it into the Make Human standard codebase.

Link | Posted on by


We are hosting a Project at eNTERFACE’14

Here is a unique opportunity to do research all together. It’s in Bilbao, Spain and it’s in June.

The project we proposed at the 10th international summer workshop on multimodal interfaces has been accepted. It is titled “A character animation authoring platform for the 99%“. In this project, we would like to explore the capabilities of the new Kinect device (v.2), combined with the Leap motion for capturing hand animation and improving our existing character animation authoring framework. Secondly, we would like to explore new interaction metaphors enabling Novices and Deaf users to author animations.

Researchers, PhD, MS, or undergraduate students are now invited to submit an application for participation at eNTERFACE’14. All those interested in participating at the workshop should send their application by emailing the organizing committee at enterface. The application should contain:

  • A short CV
  • An ordered list of preferred project(s) to work on. Look at the Projects page for project options. The full project descriptions include a list of opened positions for each project
  • A list of interests/skills to offer for these projects. In case there are too many applicants for one project, there may be a selection by the project leader
  • The possible dates of participation. Generally it is expected that participants will take part in the workshop as a whole and attend it for the whole 4 weeks. Of course we understand that, especially in case of senior researchers that this may not be achieved.
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New demo video, updated November 2013, is on-line

We just added a YouTube video showing the latest advancement in the construction of our “Intuitive Sign Language Animation Authoring Environment for the Deaf”. Enjoy.

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