Humans communicate to a large degree through nonverbal behavior.
Nonverbal mimicry, i.e., the imitation of another’s behavior can
positively affect the social interactions. In virtual environments,
user behavior can be replicated to avatars, and agent behaviors can
be artificially constructed. By combining both, hybrid avatar-agent
technologies aim at actively mediating virtual communication to
foster interpersonal understanding and rapport.We present a naïve
prototype, the “Mimicry Injector”, that injects artificial mimicry
in real-time virtual interactions. In an evaluation study, two participants
were embodied in a Virtual Reality (VR) simulation, and
had to perform a negotiation task. Their virtual characters either a)
replicated only the original behavior or b) displayed the original
behavior plus induced mimicry. We found that most participants
did not detect the modification. However, the modification did not
have a significant impact on the perception of the communication.