WorldPoint: Finger Pointing as a Rapid and Natural Trigger for In-The-Wild Mobile Interactions

Daehwa Kim, Vimal Mollyn, Chris Harrison

Pointing with one’s finger is a natural and rapid way to denote an area or object of interest. It is routinely used in human-human interaction to increase both the speed and accuracy of communication, but it is rarely utilized in human-computer interactions. In this work, we show how the recent advent of wide-angle, rear-facing smartphone cameras, along with hardware-accelerated machine learning, opens the door to real-time, infrastructure-free, finger-pointing interactions on today’s mobile phones. We envision users raising their hands to point in front of their phones as a “wake gesture”. This can then be coupled with a voice command to trigger advanced functionality. For example, while composing an email, a user can point at a document on a table and say “attach”. Our interaction technique requires no navigation away from the current app and is both faster and more privacy-preserving than the current method of taking a photo.

Published at ACM Conference on Interactive Surfaces and Spaces (ISS ’23).