About the Author:
Gareth Walkom is from Basingstoke in the UK and now lives in Ghent, Belgium. He is a proud person who stutters, and since 2015, he has been combining his experience of having a speech disorder with his knowledge and understanding of virtual reality.
Gareth studied for a bachelor’s degree in Digital Media Technology, followed by a master’s degree in Medical Product Design, both at Nottingham Trent University. In his degrees, Gareth created a virtual reality application to observe stuttering behaviors, experimenting with exposure therapy and eye behaviors, highlighting the potential of virtual reality as a tool.
Realizing how much the speech disorder community needed this tool, Gareth took the leap and founded withVR on the 22nd October 2020 (International Stuttering Awareness Day).
Stuttering has many misconceptions. For a disorder that has such a large population, you’d think that the rest of the world would have more awareness on the topic of stuttering. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. As people who stutter, we regularly encounter negative reactions from our listeners due to what the listener can see in our stuttering. What the listener is often unaware of is the emotions, thoughts, and person that’s beneath the skin.
In this video, I showcase how eye tracking, head tracking, facial tracking, and 3D computer animations can be used to portray this.
Sometimes, there’s more than what you see.
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