an interface to manipulate complex data sets with the hands (2009)

g-stalt is a gestural interface for interacting with video. It is built upon the g-speak spatial operating environment (SOE) from Oblong Industries. The latest version of g-stalt is realized as a three-dimensional graphical space filled with videos. These videos can be viewed and rearranged along with their metadata, using a specialized gesture set. g- stalt is designed to be chirocentric, spatiotemporal, and telekinetic.

Human beings have manipulated the physical world for thousands of years through the gateway of a powerful interface—the human hand. Over the past half-century we have spent more and more of our time manipulating a new, less-physical world—the digital world of computers. In this world able-bodied humans still employ their hands as the fundamental interface although our new hands are augmented by electromechanical devices that translate their actions into digital space. The standard computer mouse in particular is one such device. It channels the three- dimensional hand into a zero-dimensional pointer and confines it within a two-dimensional plane. This “pointer- in-plane” configuration is the fundamental basis of the ubiquitous graphical user interface (GUI), which has been a powerful and far reaching innovation that brought spatiality to bear on the previously mostly abstract and symbolic domain of computing. The GUI has been sufficient for interacting with most computers, but now as pixels become cheaper and more human-to-human interaction takes place in the digital world there is a need to widen the interface bandwidth between human and machine.

We seek to restore the human hand to its full potential for interaction as an articulate, three-dimensional tool capable of complex gestural interaction. 


Jamie Zigelbaum, Alan Browning, Daniel Leithinger, Olivier Bau, Adam Kumpf, Kyle Buza, and Hiroshi Ishii.