Aug 172013
 August 17, 2013  Posted by at 3:23 am Not So Stupid Questions, Uncategorized  Add comments

[To celebrate my first year of programming I will ask a ‘stupid’ questions daily on my blog for a year, to make sure I learn at least 365 new things during my second year as a developer]


Humans use gestures which is a movement of a part of a body in a certain pattern to express and idea or meaning. Gesture recognition is the science of computers applying algorithms to try to interpret human body language.
Gestures are in their simplicity just a set of movements that have been defined as a gesture. If data that has been registered about position, scale factors, velocity, rotation, angle and more fits the predefined logic a gesture is consider as executed.

We tend to differentiate between two main groups of gestures, offline and online gestures. This has nothing to do with internet access and are terms frequently associated with touch interaction, but these make sense with motion tracking as well.

Offline gestures are gestures that are processed after you as a user have interacted with the object

Online gestures are gestures that have a direct effect on the object

If you select a menu by a Keytap gesture and then scale the screen with a scaling gesture you have first performed an offline gesture then an online gesture.

Here is an example of a tap and double tap gesture algorithm from Hammer.js a JavaScript touch framework:

gesture algorithm hammer.js

  One Response to “Stupid Question 230: What is a gesture in computer science?”

  1. Hi,
    interesting theory. I don’t exactly disagree. I feel human gesticulation is rather communication of feeling (of the subject/object) in question. In a similar way humans dance to music in many different ways, they dance with hands (limbs, face, etc) to their own words. In short, with intonation pattern matting with gestures, it could be the closest way to algorithmically convey feeling to AI systems.


    catwithasax on

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