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, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 561–580 | Cite as

Evaluation of in-air hand gestures interaction for older people

  • Micael Carreira
  • Karine Lan Hing Ting
  • Petra Csobanka
  • Daniel GonçalvesEmail author
Long Paper


In-air gestural interfaces are gaining popularity due to the increasing availability and low cost of gesture recognition hardware. However, the current literature mainly focuses either on the young adult user group or, when focusing on older people, most studies limit the focus to physical activity or gaming contexts. The suitability of in-air gestural interactions for seniors to control graphical user interfaces in general remains largely unknown. Moreover, since gestural interfaces are considered easy and natural to use, they may represent an advantageous interaction modality for older people. In this study, the authors evaluate the usability of in-air hand gestures for seniors to interact with generic graphical user interfaces. A user study was conducted with 40 participants, where two types of tasks were evaluated: navigation and selection. For each task, two alternative gestures were evaluated: Swipe and Grab and Drag for navigation tasks; Point and Hold and Point and Push for selection tasks. Both qualitative and quantitative feedbacks were gathered, and then, each alternative gesture was systematically compared. Almost all participants (97 %) completed the navigation and selection tasks with at least one gesture, finding this type of interaction enjoyable to use. From the results and observations, the authors propose a set of design implications that future developers can take into account when developing hand gestural interactions for older people.


In-air hand gestures Kinect sensor Older adults Natural user interface 



This work was supported by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT): individual Grant SFRH/BD/72735/2010; project PAELife AAL/0014/2009; and project PEst-OE/EEI/LA0021/2013. The authors would like to thank the ActivAgeing Living Lab of Troyes University of Technology for hosting the French user tests in their facilities. Thank you also to Bay Zoltán Nonprofit Ltd. for Applied Research for hosting the Hungarian user tests.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Micael Carreira
    • 1
  • Karine Lan Hing Ting
    • 2
  • Petra Csobanka
    • 3
  • Daniel Gonçalves
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.INESC-IDLisboaPortugal
  2. 2.Troyes University of Technology, UMR 6281, ICD/Tech-CICOTroyesFrance
  3. 3.Bay Zoltán Nonprofit Ltd. for Applied ResearchBudapestHungary
  4. 4.INESC-IDLisbonPortugal

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