How We Gesture

How We Gesture Towards Machines
An Exploratory Study of User Perceptions of Gestural Interaction


This paper explores if people perceive and perform touchless gestures differently when communicating with technology vs. with humans. Qualitative reports from a lab study of 10 participants revealed that people perceive differences in the speed of performing gestures, sense of enjoyment, feedback from the communication target. Preliminary analysis of 1200 gesture trials of motion capture data showed that hand shapes were less taut when communicating to technology. These differences provide implications for the design of gestural user interfaces that use symbolic gestures borrowed from human multimodal communication.

The Team

How We Gesture is a research project collaboration between the Media Computing Group and RWTH Natural Media & Engineering project at HumTec. The project is led by Sukeshini A. Grandhi and Chat Wacharamanotham with the collaboration and support of Gina Joue, Jan Borchers, and Irene Mittelberg. It is funded in part by the Excellence Initiative of the German Federal and State Governments and the German B-IT Foundation.



  • Sukeshini A. Grandhi, Chat Wacharamanotham, Gina Joue, Jan Borchers and Irene Mittelberg. How We Gesture Towards Machines: an Exploratory Study of User Perceptions of Gestural Interaction.  In CHI '13: Extended Abstracts of 2013 ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing, pages 1209–1214, ACM, New York, NY, USA, April 2013.
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