We investigate how to reveal an initial mid-air gesture on interactive public displays. This initial gesture can serve as gesture registration for advanced operations. We propose three strategies to reveal the initial gesture: spatial division, temporal division, and integration. Spatial division permanently shows the gesture on a dedicated screen area. Temporal division interrupts the application to reveal the gesture. Integration embeds gesture hints directly in the application.

We propose a novel initial gesture called Teapot to illustrate our strategies. Our main findings from a laboratory and field study are: A large percentage of all users execute the gesture, especially with spatial division (56%). Users intuitively discover a gesture vocabulary by exploring variations of the Teapot gesture by themselves, as well as by imitating and extending other users’ variations.

The project was features in an article by New Scientist.

Results of this project were published at CHI 2013. The paper received an Honorable Mention Award: