Body, Movement, Gestures & Tactility in Interaction with Mobile Devices 



In the search for novel and more expressive interaction techniques for mobile devices, bodily aspects such as movement, gesture, and touch based interfaces are prominent. For instance, touch-screen gestures have found widespread application in mobile device interfaces while bodily gestures involving device movement are successfully applied in gaming scenarios. Research systems increasingly explore other modalities, like pressure, free-hand and on body interaction in mobile settings. This has become possible through on-going developments that have made sensing and actuating technologies cheaper and more easily integrated in mobile and handheld devices. The turn towards experiential, embodied, and enacted perspectives on cognition and action has also contributed to a shift in what aspects of interaction to focus upon in interaction design. This has led HCI-researchers to explore not only how the whole human body can be taken into account in design, but also to explore new domains of application for instance in leisure, entertainment and public urban environments.


Modern high-end smartphones incorporate a number of hardware features that facilitate the development of bodily and gestural interaction. Rich finger-based gestural interfaces have already been implemented on Apple’s iPhone and iPad. Google has implemented a gesture-based search feature for the Android operating system. However, much current research on mobile devices is moving away from on-screen-interaction. Through advances in built-in accelerometers, gyroscopes, and depth-camera technologies, bodily engaging interaction are growing increasingly. Movement and gesture interaction can also be designed to occur around-devices where gestures are performed in close proximity of the device. Such interaction relies on novel sensor technologies such as IR distance sensors, ultrasound and magnetometers. We will also likely input on the human body, such as the skin on the forearm or the finger, or even the face.

These technical developments allow us to go beyond traditional hand-eye interaction with mobile devices, and move towards engaging an increased number of human senses in interaction with mobile devices, but we also need to develop ways of meaningfully merge technical aspects with the design-oriented questions that this poses. This includes research questions such as what are relevant design qualities and properties to focus upon in bodily and gestural interaction in mobile and public settings, what application domains are relevant, how are bodily and gestural interaction incorporated in social settings, as well as how to study and evaluate bodily interaction?

Workshop Goals and Research Topics

This workshop seeks to provide a venue that brings together participants from a wide range of backgrounds from technically as well as from design-oriented research fields in order to encourage multidisciplinary discussions and possibilities for new research issues and collaborations. Relevant topics include but are not limited to:

  1. Applications of gestural, movement and touch-based interfaces

  2. Example applications and application scenarios for technologies for bodily engagement

  3. Gesture and movement recognition algorithms

  4. Around-device interaction and tracking technologies

  5. Movement and gesture-based interaction with a device and the environment

  6. Theories and conceptualizations of body and interaction

  7. Novel interaction techniques, hardware and concepts, such as on-skin gestural interaction

  8. Models and frameworks in design of body and interaction

  9. Introduction of competencies from novel fields such as dance and sports

  10. Artistic and creative interfaces and methodologies for the study of gesture-based interfaces

Our aim with the workshop is to spark ideas and foster critical interdisciplinary discussion of new technical and design-oriented approaches for bodily interaction, as well as identifying fundamental research issues in this emerging field. Following the workshop we will investigate interest and possibilities for a special issue for the themes of the workshop.

Workshop Format

This full day workshop will accept up to 12 high-quality submissions. The day will be divided in two main sections. The first half of the day will consist of presentations of papers and video submissions. The second half of the day will consist of design-oriented exercises with the purpose of spurring discussions and fostering reflections among the participants.

See Submission Format for further details on accepted submission formats. 

Please Note: at lease one of the authors of selected contributions will need to register for both the workshop and MobileHCI 2011.

Important Dates

  1. April 22nd, 2011 May 6th, 2011: extended submission deadline for contributions

  2. May 30th, 2011: reviews and acceptance notifications

  3. June 13th, 2011: final version deadline

  4. August 30th, 2011: workshop date

Contact Details

A full list of the workshop’s organizers can be found here.

If you have immediate questions, please contact Sven Kratz.