Picture This!Cati Vaucelle, Hiroshi Ishii / 2007

Picture This!

Picture This! is a video editing tool progressing towards the child’s natural expression of play while telling stories with their toys.

We use technology to offer visual feedback regarding how the scene looks like from the point of view of an imaginary audience. If the toy has an immediately accessible visual perspective, a new world is opened to the child. The toy brings her into exploring visual and narrative perspectives of character props, expanding the discovery of her environment. The child storyteller enters the world of the movie maker. Cameras become part of a toy system showing how things look from a toy’s point of view. They can be integrated in Lego people, car drivers, and even coffee mugs! The video process, supported by gesture induced editing, benefits children in practicing social interrelationships and visual perspective taking.

We chose the interaction to function like a performance to not break the flow of traditional pretend play with character toys. Thus, our system incorporates the child’s gestures with the cameras and toy’s accessories as control functions to conduct film assembly. The motions that are detected by the system are anthropomorphized. The dolls need to jump in synchrony at completion and shake for attention, as if the doll wants to say: “film me, film me!”

We propose a new genre of Gesture Object Interfaces. It relies on the analysis of gestures coupled with objects to represent bits.

Picture This! web page