This PhD thesis aims at finding a new interaction model based on gestures that should be possibly natural and economic for the user, from the point of view either of the physical effort or the cognitive load for learning and remembering gestures. To this purpose, the category of tangible gestures, i.e., gestures performed in relation to real objects, will be explored in depth. Tangible gesture interaction aims at exploiting the advantages of combining the interaction with objects (tangible interaction), and gestural interaction.
In order to advance in this field, a framework that describes and classifies tangible gestures is conceived: the Tangible Gesture Interaction Framework. The framework analyzes both physical and semantic forms of tangible gestures. Moreover technological approaches for the recognition of tangible gestures are discussed in this framework.
This framework and its related guidelines will be tested developing three different systems that use tangible gestures as interaction mean. These systems follow the approach of Tangible EMbodied Personal Objects (TEMPO) that proposes personal devices to enhance the interaction within a smart environment. The three prototypes aim at exploring tangible gesture interaction in three different smart environments: a watch is used to interact in a home; a pen aims at augmenting the productivity in the office; finally, tangible gestures performed on the steering wheel are explored in order to improve the driving experience. In respect to the prototypes proposed during the first year, the introduction of the human-car interaction scenario has allowed to cover all the most common environments where people live. Tangible gesture interaction could accompany the user during its everyday life, starting from the common activities in the home, driving by car until the office, where he or she can carry out complex tasks in a collaborative environment.
The overall framework of this PhD thesis is represented in the schema in figure.