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Design Research

The advances in pervasive computing expanded the possibilities of interactions between people and technology. People are surrounded by devices that can respond to body movement and gestures.
Gesture-based interactions challenge designers to understand people’s preferences when interacting with technology-enabled environments.  This research explored science fiction to Learning about gestures that are intuitive, natural, meaningful, and free of technical limitations.

What motivated this research was the desire to understand the gestures that people intuitively choose to perform when interacting with technology-enabled environments and to describe the attributes that characterize those gestures; Also, the desire to understand the reasoning behind the choice of gestures, identifying opportunities for replacing traditional inputs with gestures that resonate with users; Lastly, there was the desire to speculate about the future of technologies and gestural interactions.
Research Methods

This research is exploratory and user-centered which favored the application of three qualitative methods of data collection combined through a process of triangulation: a) The first method was the Movie analysis; b) The second was the Experience simulation workshop; c) And the third method was the Validation questionnaire;
Movie Analysis

The goal of the movie analysis was to understand the visions of future technologies depicted in fiction movies and to identify gestural inputs represented in these movies; In total, almost 54 minutes of audio-visual material were analyzed. The sample included motion pictures, concept videos, and commercial videos.
Workshop with users

The second method was the experience simulation workshop in which the objective was to understand the creation of gestures by simulating an experience similar to the ones explored in the fiction movies. In total, 9 participants divided in 3 groups of 3 people, enrolled in the workshop sessions.
The workshop was divided into several activities: a) First, the gesture generation, where participants created gestures for a list of 20 pre-defined tasks; b) Second, the Enactment of gestures, where participants simulated the gestures they created; and c) And third, the Review of gestures, where participants reviewed the gestures created and evaluated the workshop experience.
Validation Questionnaire

The third method was the validation questionnaire and it served to confirm the findings from the experience simulation workshop. Experts in the field of human-computer interaction or interaction design watched the videos of the workshop and answered to a questionnaire. The questions evaluated the gestures in terms of feasibility, intuitiveness, ease of use, learnability, efficiency.
Comparing to Science Fiction

Here are few examples of gestures that participants generated during the workshop and that is similar to gestures seen in fiction movies.
Insights from Research

The insights from this research suggest that there are important user-centered aspects to be considered in gesture-based interactions. These aspects can provide insights about opportunities for designing gestural interactions. Another insight is that, through science fiction, is possible to speculate about the future of gesture-based interaction technologies.
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