Tuesday, December 16, 2008

pp. 3-7, Types of Gestures

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While the focus of the book on gestures, it seems important to discuss them in terms of the different classes of device that enable the gestures, instead of the other way around.

Two Main Categories of Gesture Sensing Hardware:
i. Touchscreen

It seems that there is a need to differentiate between:
- 2-point devices
- “true” multitouch devices
- Devices that recognize objects/orientation

ii. Freeform

In the process of defining this space, it seems that every researcher and talking head has come up with a new set of terms to define their slightly different philosophy: tangible media, context aware computing, gestural interfaces, ubicomp, physical computing, etc.

Freeform gestures seem like a worth attempt to bucket these “different fields” into a larger idea. It feels like to big a catch-all, so I would propose three categories of gestural interfaces:
- Smart Objects – everything from the towel Dispenser to your Cellphone
- Smart Systems – RFID, Kiosks that store your info to the WWW.
- Smart Environments – everything from Military Command Centers to CAVEs to John
Underkoffler’s new projects.

I know that the edges of these definitions are slippery, but it’s important to draw lines somewhere.

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