Publication: Where Are You Pointing? The Accuracy of Deictic Pointing in CVEs

Deictic reference - pointing at things during conversation - is ubiquitous in human communication, and should also be an important tool in distributed collaborative virtual environments (CVEs). Pointing gestures can be complex and subtle, however, and pointing is much more difficult in the virtual world. In order to improve the richness of interaction in CVEs, it is important to provide better support for pointing and deictic reference, and a first step in this support is to determine how well people can interpret the direction that another person is pointing. To investigate this question, we carried out two studies. The first identified several ways that people point towards distant targets, and established that not all pointing requires high accuracy. This suggested that natural CVE pointing could potentially be successful; but no knowledge is available about whether even moderate accuracy is possible in CVEs. Therefore, our second study looked more closely at how accurately people can produce and interpret the direction of pointing gestures in CVEs. We found that although people are more accurate in the real world, the differences are smaller than expected; our results show that deixis can be successful in CVEs for many pointing situations, and provide a foundation for more comprehensive support of deictic pointing.

Downloads

PDF

Participants

Nelson Wong
University of Saskatchewan
Carl Gutwin
University of Saskatchewan

Projects

Pointing in Collaborative Virtual Environments
Pointing is ubiquitous and important in human communication, and should also be important in collaborative virtual environments (CVEs).

Citation

Wong, N., Gutwin, C. 2010. Where Are You Pointing? The Accuracy of Deictic Pointing in CVEs. In Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2010), Atlanta, GA, USA. 1029-1038. DOI=10.1145/1753326.1753480.

BibTeX

@inproceedings {177-p1029-wong,
author= {Nelson Wong and Carl Gutwin},
title= {Where Are You Pointing? The Accuracy of Deictic Pointing in CVEs},
booktitle= {Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2010)},
year= {2010},
address= {Atlanta, GA, USA},
pages= {1029-1038}
}