Hand Grasp and Motion for Intent Expression in Mid-Air Virtual Pottery

by | May 19, 2015

Authors: Vinayak and Karthik Ramani
In Proceedings of Graphics Interface 2015 (GI '15). Canadian Information Processing Society, Toronto, Ont., Canada, Canada

We describe the design and evaluation of a geometric interaction technique for bare-hand mid-air virtual pottery. We model the shaping of a pot as a gradual and progressive convergence of the pot-profile to the shape of the user’s hand represented as a point-cloud (PCL). Our pottery-inspired application served as a platform for systematically revealing how users use their hands to express the intent of deformation during a pot shaping process. Through our approach, we address two specific problems: (a) determining start and end of deformation without explicit clutching and declutching, and (b) identifying user’s intent by characterizing grasp and motion of the hand on the pot. We evaluated our approach’s performance in terms of intent classification, users’ behavior, and users’ perception of controllability. We found that the expressive capability of hand articulation can be effectively harnessed for controllable shaping by organizing the deformation process in broad classes of intended operations such as pulling, pushing and fairing. After minimal practice with the pottery application, users could figure out their own strategy for reaching, grasping and deforming the pot. Further, the use of PCL as mid-air input allows for using common physical objects as tools for pot deformation. Users particularly enjoyed this aspect of our method for shaping pots.






Vinayak received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University in December 2015. The central theme of his research is the expression of design intent towards supporting early phase idea generation for product form exploration. During his Ph.D. at the C-Design Lab, he investigated symbolic and geometric interpretations of hand gestures, hand grasp, and arm movements for mid-air shape conceptualization. He extended these ideas to the tangible interactions for quick design ideation using hand-held mobile devices. Currently, he is a post-doctoral scholar in the School of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University where he continues working at the C-Design Lab. His current research involves building systems for collaborative design using mobile technology.   Personal Webpage: https://sites.google.com/site/fvinayak1/