ZatLab: Programming a Framework for Gesture Recognition and Performance Interaction

ZatLab: Programming a Framework for Gesture Recognition and Performance Interaction

André Baltazar (Catholic University of Portugal, Portugal) and Luís Gustavo Martins (Catholic University of Portugal, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-7304-5.ch011
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Computer programming is not an easy task, and as with all difficult tasks, it can be faced as tedious, impossible to do, or as a challenge. Therefore, learning to program with a purpose enables that “challenge mindset” and encourages the student to apply himself in overcoming his handicaps and exploring different theories and methods to achieve his goal. This chapter describes the process of programming a framework with the purpose of achieving real time human gesture recognition. Just this is already a good challenge, but the ultimate goal is to enable new ways of Human-Computer Interaction through expressive gestures and to allow a performer the possibility of controlling (with his gestures), in real time, creative artistic events. The chapter starts with a review on human gesture recognition. Then it presents the framework architecture, its main modules, and algorithms. It closes with the description of two artistic applications using the ZatLab framework.
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As Godoy (Godøy & Leman, 2009) refers, there is no clear definition of what a gesture is: “Given the different contexts in which gestures appear, and their close relationship to movement and meaning, one may be tempted to say that the notion of gesture is too broad, ill-defined, and perhaps too vague.” This framework is focused on gesture recognition, so there is intrinsically a demand for the explanation and definition of the terms that are not well clarified.

This section is dedicated to the understanding and definition of a gesture and how it can be captured and recognized. It will also discuss the previous works published on this research field and present a review and technologically comparison of the different Motion Capture (MoCap) systems available nowadays. This section will provide valuable input for the development of the proposed framework.

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