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Approachability: How People Interpret Automatic Door Movement as Gesture

Wendy Ju , Leila Takayama

Automatic doors exemplify the challenges of designing emotionally welcoming interactive systems. We attempt to broaden the automatic door’s repertoire of signals by examining how people respond to a variety of “door gestures” designed to offer different levels of approachability. In a pilot study, participants (N=48) who walked past a physical gesturing door were asked to fill out a questionnaire about that experience. In our follow-up study, participants (N=51) viewed 12 video clips depicting a person walking toward and past an automatic door that moved with different speeds and trajectories. In both studies, our Likert-scale measures and open-ended responses indicate that participants viewing the door behavior prototypes show significant uniformity in the interpretation of the door’s behavior, and that they attribute these motions as gestures with human-like characteristics such as cognition and intent.


gestures, movement, emotion, welcome