NICH Natural Interaction in the Cultural Heritage domain: a preparatory study on cross-cultural natural gestures

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
The Eurographics Association
Gesture-based interaction constitutes a new paradigm in human-machine interaction. The possibility to control a technical system with gestures on surfaces or in mid air makes it possible to design user interfaces that go beyond the WIMP paradigm (Windows Icons Menus and Pointers), the dominating interaction paradigm since the 1970's. After mainly having been of interest in the human-computer interaction and VR research communities, gesture-based interaction is now quickly becoming part of main-stream applications, thanks to low cost solutions such as Microsoft Kinect and Leap Motion Controller. Gesture-based interaction has proved useful for cultural heritage applications in, for example, a museum or a heritage site since this type of interaction removes the need for physical input devices that might be complicated to use or difficult to maintain. However, the application of gesture-based interaction in the heritage domain is still in an experimental phase. When asking a visitor to interact using gestures, we need to take into consideration what are natural gestures for him/her based on, for example nationality, and culture. Some VR projects using gesture-based interaction (Etruscanning, Giotto's "Rule Approval", Livia's Villa) and also some experiments for objects manipulation have been made by VHLab of CNR ITABC in the last three years. The team became aware about the potentialities and the limits of the actual technologies, the cognitive and perceptive reactions of the users, the need to organize cultural contents in a different way because cultural transmission is strongly influenced by this new paradigm of interaction. The good reaction of the public of museums shows how promising this perspective is and encourages us to go further, starting an extensive mapping of "natural" communication gestures to interact within VR applications. The paper investigates what is perceived as "natural" gestures in different co- ntries and cultures for controlling a computer application. It presents the ideas behind and preliminary data from an ongoing study that aims at exploring what is considered proper gestures for cultural heritage applications in three different countries: Sweden, Italy and Egypt.

, booktitle = {
Digital Heritage International Congress
}, editor = {
}, title = {{
NICH Natural Interaction in the Cultural Heritage domain: a preparatory study on cross-cultural natural gestures
}}, author = {
Pescarin, Sofia
Pietroni, Eva
Wallergård, Mattias
Omar, Karim
Rescic, Leonardo
Rufa, Claudio
}, year = {
}, publisher = {
The Eurographics Association
}, ISBN = {}, DOI = {
} }