A Nice Gesture by Jeroen Arendsen

Various personal interests and public info, gesture, signs, language, social robotics, healthcare, innovation, music, publications, etc.

Category: Public Speaking

Item over Zora en andere robots in de zorg bij CampusTV Utrecht

Naar aanleiding van een grote proef met de Zora robot (eigenlijk NAO met wat extra programmering door een Belgisch bedrijfje) was er een item op CampusTV van de Hogeschool Utrecht over robots in de zorg.

Ik was uitgenodigd als expert om commentaar te geven over robots in de zorg.



Zie Campustalk 07 Winter 2015-2016 https://youtu.be/qd8txYpq9GM (actie vanaf 3:30). Het verhaal van de verzamel-expert is trouwens ook leuk (aan het eind).


Gesture Based Presentation System


Control a Beamed Powerpoint Presentation with Gestures

These students appear to have created a gesture based application that we also considered about four years ago. I know IBM and Philips were interested in this sort of application. So, well done guys! And excellent presentation too. I think they managed to make the best of it, given a difficult application.

Why is a presentation system a difficult application? Well if someone is presenting he will usually gesture during talking. These gestures are directed at the audience and not at the presentation software. So, the first task of such a system is to discriminate between those gestures: what is for me and what is for the audience. Furthermore, a presenter may also be fidgeting during his talk which shouldn’t be interpreted as a gesture. Unfortunately, it is unclear whether these students treated these issues.

The things they did do seem to be designed well enough. I think I like the calibration they designed: It creates a connection between the user’s physical environment and the camera he must address. It grounds the interaction. The subsequent examples of the functionality they have built in is less impressive. The forward-back commands are okay, but the drawing and highlighting are not very valuable in my opinion. People in the audience can see that you are pointing at something so there is perhaps little need to do more. But maybe these are first steps which need a bit more maturity in their interaction design to become useful.

On the whole, excellent work.

Gesture Golden Oldie

This instructional Coronet film from the 1940’s in the US exemplifies how I think most public speaking consultants still feel about postures and gesturing.

Naturalness, control, and precision. Is that what it is all about? Yes, we have come a long way since Quintillian, or have we? Perhaps a renaisscance of oratory is what we really need?

Gesture Golden Oldie

This instructional Coronet film from the 1940’s in the US exemplifies how I think most public speaking consultants still feel about postures and gesturing. Naturalness, control, and precision. Is that what it is all about? Yes, we have come a long way since Quintillian, or have we? Perhaps a renaissance of oratory is what we really need?

Rita Verdonk Pouts her Lips

The lip-pout (see the Nonverbal Dictionary) is a near universal sign of sulkiness. In the Netherlands our minister Rita Verdonk was stripped from her responsibility for immigration (a topic on which she is a notorious hawk) after the elections brought about a leftish majority for a general pardon. During the press conference she displayed a nice example of pouting. Although I think it is mixed with lip-compression which is more anger-related. Perhaps she has trouble deciding whether she is angry or disappointed?

(sources: GeenStijlNonverbal Dictionary)

Many of the nonverbal cues in the dictionary of David B. Givens are explained in neurological terms, and tied to emotional states. That gives them a halo of uncontrollability and universality. I am not too sure about that. I think we can definitely pout or purse or lips whenever we want to as an intentional display of feelings (that we may or may not actually have). In that case it is a gesture. Whether we can stop our lips from pouting when we are disappointed is another matter, but I would be surprised if we couldn’t. In that sense, not pouting or sulking when we are disappointed can be a gesture as well. If Rita would not pout it would be a gesture of statesmanship. A sign that she can function as a minister, disregarding her personal opinions on matters and carrying out democratic policies. But then again, she may actually wish to display this angry pouting hoping to generate sympathy. Perhaps she is working the crowds for the next elections?

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