Natural user interfaces, movement, and emotion (Google Talk)

A Purdue ENE student posted this video on Facebook, and after watching, I had to curate it here. The idea is so simple, and so brilliant – after seeing the video, all I can say is “duh! – it makes perfect sense!”

Here’s the brief summary:

  • we have the technology to interface with computers using movement – aka Natural User Interfaces (NUI) – like Xbox Kinect.
  • movement of the body is related to emotion – something yogis have known for a long time, and modern research is confirming. For example, an open, expansive, body posture will make you feel happy and powerful (see, for example, this research study). Also, body posture and movement have social implications – for example, moving in sync creates liking & trust.
  • Therefore, we should create interfaces that invite open, expansive, fluid body movements, in order to increase positive affect (put people in a good mood).
  • Possible applications: Gmail TaiChi – Using TaiChi movements to sort through your Inbox in the morning; OR: A serious game for learning math that requires open, expansive movement is likely to reduce math anxiety.
  • DUH! Brilliant!

Watch Katherine Isbister‘s Google Talk to grasp the details of this argument, and to see applications and interesting research projects:

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