Gesture vs Digital Interfaces

The use of gestures1137893-933010_75568_front for us as humans is a big part of how we communicate with other people. Hand gestures help articulate what we are talking about, Mussolini was the most famous for his grand gestures when addressing large crowds. Facial gestures convey emotions without having to say what we are feeling. Since digital devices have become a part of that communication there is a desire to be able to use gestures to control them. Ideas about these devices turn into science fiction which very slowly turn into reality. However the gestures to control at the start would have to be very simple hand movements and require some sort of device in the users hand to send signals to the display before the computer/device could actually recognize the specific gestures by the user.


In the article by Seth Perlow he talks about the fantasies of human-computer interactions through the gestural interfaces in iPhones and in Wii games. On page 250, in the third paragraph he mentions that, “We can trace digital fantasies of the gesture-haptic by placing contemporary gestural devices beside early memories of video game use, in which we would lean or move the controller in a desired direction as if to augment input from button pushing alone.” This automatically reminded me of playing an older version of Call of Duty with my neighbors where one of them would sit on the edge of his seat and frantically move the controller up and down as if to get more kills; and the other would just sit there calmly with the controller by his hip winning every round. This is interesting in our hope to really be able to control the objects in the game with gestures when all that is truly required is pushing the buttons. Like the way the iPhone feels like a gesture interface when in reality it just requires the touch of the the screen and pushing of buttons.


He further talks about that the user can not actually feel the object in the game, the racket or golf poll, in their hand. The hand in which the controller rest feels very light and can tell that it is not holding a racket. In this sense the fantasies of gestural haptic interfaces is not exactly at the full potential.


Similar to later on the next page when he talks about the way the Wii sports can mimic the actual movement of the bowling ball, golf swing or tennis racket but that the actual motion of the controller is different then the reality. That it does not teach the user the proper way the sport is played. I find that what he says is very true. Before I had bought the x-box the argument was if the Wii was better since it required the user to have more physical interaction. From personal experience with the device playing the tennis game as Perlow mentions the swing of the racket can be mimicked with a simple flick of the wrist, where as in the real sport the tennis player has to use the swing of the whole arm.



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