The expressive power of gestures: capturing scent in a spatial shape

Caroline Hummels, C.J. Overbeeke

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review


Our engagement with consumer products diminishes gradually over the last decades, which causes considerable usability problems. To dissolve these problems, the designer’s emphasis should shift from creating beautiful products in appearance to beautiful interactions with products. Consequently, the designer needs new tools like gestural sketching. To develop a gestural design tool, we tested the suitability of gestures to capture expressive ideas and the capability of outsiders to recognise this expression. Scents were used to make this expression measurable. Twenty-two creators made four dynamic sculptures expressing these scents. Half of those sculptures were made through gesturing and half through traditional sketching. Subjects were asked to match the scents and the sculptures. Results show that there is no significant difference between sketching and gesturing. Dependent on the scent, an interpreter was able to capture the expression when looking at the gestures. These findings support the potential of a gestural design tool.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGesture-Based Communication in Human-Computer Interaction, GW 1999
EditorsA. Braffort, R. Gherbi, S. Gibet, D. Teil, J. Richardson
Place of PublicationBerlin
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)978-3-540-66935-7
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Gesture Workshop, GW 1999 - Gif-sur-Yvette, France
Duration: 17 Mar 199919 Mar 1999

Publication series

NameLecture notes in computer science
NameLecture notes in artificial intelligence


ConferenceInternational Gesture Workshop, GW 1999


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