Researchers have developed a system that translates an Oculus Rift users' facial expressions onto an avatar in virtual reality.

The research project out of University of Southern California involves bolting a 3D camera to the front of an Oculus Rift DK2 to capture minute facial movements on the lower half of the face. To catch facial expressions around the eyes (where the mask is), the researchers mounted eight strain gauges inside the liner of the headset and created software that integrated data taken from the depth-sensing camera, strain gauges, and the Rift to create a cohesive expressive avatar.