Capturing Body Language in Engineering Design – Tools and Technologies

DS 85-1: Proceedings of NordDesign 2016, Volume 1, Trondheim, Norway, 10th - 12th August 2016

Year: 2016
Editor: Boks, Casper; Sigurjonsson, Johannes; Steinert, Martin; Vis, Carlijn; Wulvik, Andreas
Author: Wulvik, Andreas; Erichsen, Jorgen; Steinert, Martin
Series: NordDESIGN
Institution: NTNU, Norway
Section: Human Interaction Prototyping
Page(s): 165-174
ISBN: 978-1-904670-80-3


This paper presents an attempt to make three contributions to engineering design literature on the topic of body language. Firstly, through a brief overview of existing work on the role of body language in engineering design, we propose the need for alternative tools and technologies to manual video coding. Manual video coding is time and resource consuming, and we believe that certain parts of data collection and analysis could be automated. Secondly, common tools for body language analysis not limited to engineering design is presented. These are manual video coding, vision-based motion capture, reflector-based motion capture, and inertial sensor-based motion capture. Each is presented together with a discussion of strengths and limitations, and potentially relevant use cases. Lastly, a pilot study regarding the application of a few, simple inertia-based sensors to recognise gesturing activity is shown. Wrist-mounted accelerometers were used to measure gesturing activity. This activity was compared to video material of the test subjects. Results from the pilot indicates that acceleration above a certain threshold could be linked to gesturing activity.

Keywords: gestures, sensors, engineering design, quantitative analysis, human interaction


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