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Response to [Body-Centric and Shadow-Based … ] Chapter 1 by Shoemaker


In his dissertation, Shoemaker explores what models and the according interaction techniques can be designed to facilitate our using the large display. His answers arrive at the trends of leveraging our body in designing new interface in human-computer interaction. Drawn from England’s definition of whole body interaction (and various other literatures), the author wants to make use of “the full spectrum of input available from the body” in designing interactions. Specifically, he firstly looks for an “an appropriate model” for large wall display systems. Based on that, he designs novel interaction techniques accordingly, including ways to facilitate the implementations. What is more, he also considers measuring low-level performance of the system.


  1. Whole Body Interaction – “the integrated capture and processing of human signals from physical, physiological, cognitive and emotional sources to generate feedback to those sources for interaction in a digital environment.”
  2. What is body-centered interaction like? “From a user’s viewpoint body-centered interaction is exemplified by techniques that leverage natural natural capabilities and properties that have evolved over millennia. From a designer’s viewpoint, body-centered interaction suggests natural design choices, and helps keep the user central to the design process.”
  3. Problems with WIMP. “First, the user generally works in isolation…  Second, interaction with the system generally only involves a very small portion of the user’s body, and a fraction of the body’s highly evolved capabilities”
  4. “Helping define the next stage in the evolution of the computer interface is the driving force behind this dissertation.”
  5. What are interactions in the physical world like? “In the physical world, people are not so constrained by input and output devices as they are in the virtual world… Furthermore, the physical world offers a much richer set of input devices than does the virtual world.”
  6. Two “beyond”. “… we must look beyond the limiting history of traditional computing interfaces, and also beyond interaction with physical surfaces overly constrained by physical reality, …”
  7. About Body-Centric Interaction. “… we conclude that making use of the full spectrum of input available from the body, what he calls the ‘integrated capture and processing of human signals’, provides a basis for the design of a new form of computing interaction.”


  1. One feature of this work is the motivation towards facilitating large wall displays. And there comes the body-centric and shadow-based approach – more naturally driven and inspired by the nature of large wall displays and the usual way human body interact with it.
  2. Where are the opportunities?
    • Other motivations (other than large wall displays)?
    • Is the model good enough?
    • If not, new models foster new interaction techniques.
    • More issues other than low-level performance?

About Xiang 'Anthony' Chen

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