Considering Wake Gestures for Smart Assistant Use

Patryk Pomykalski, Mikołaj P. Woźniak, Paweł W. Woźniak, Krzysztof Grudzień, Shengdong Zhao, Andrzej Romanowski

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperAcademic


Smart speakers have become an almost ubiquitous technology as they enable users to access conversational agents easily. Yet, the agents can only be activated using specific voice commands, i.e. a wake word. This, in turn, requires the device to constantly listen to and process sound, which represents a privacy issue for some users. Further, using the trigger word for the agent in a conversation with another human may lead to accidental triggers. Here, we propose using gestural triggers for conversational agents. We conducted gesture elicitation to identify five candidate gestures. We then conducted a user study to investigate the acceptability and effort required to perform the gestures. Initial results indicate that the snap gesture shows the most potential. Our work contributes initial insights on using smart speakers with ubiquitous sensing.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 25 Apr 2020
EventCHI '20: CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Honolulu, HI , United States
Duration: 25 Apr 202030 Apr 2020


ConferenceCHI '20: CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityHonolulu, HI


  • gesture
  • gesture elicitation
  • smart assistant
  • smart speaker
  • gestural input


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