Bristol Interaction Group



Retail products are often experienced through transparent barriers such as shop windows, vending machines or display cabinets. Such surfaces offer opportunities for digital augmentation to enhance the experience at this point of contact.

To explore this domain and its challenges, we have developed and evaluated the WaveWindow. This is an interactive see-through display that allows users to interact with digital content that overlays physical items behind a semi-transparent screen. Navigating and selecting content is achieved by waving and knocking on the display. We performed a user study and the resulting user interactions were recorded and analysed, and a number of design recommendations are made for gestural interaction in public settings and their application in a retail setting.


Main design implications:

  • Making actions and outcomes observable supports vicarious learning and bystander participation.
  • Public display interactions should support evolving collaboration between strangers.
  • Multiple entry points have to be carefully designed to support switch-over.
  • Interactive see-through displays should engage Children even if the retail window is not selling children’s products.


Mark Perry, Kenton O’Hara, Stephen BecKett, Sriram Subramanian, WaveWindow: Supporting performative guestural interaction in a public setting. in ACM Interactive tabletops and Surfaces 2010, pp. 109–112. November 2010. ACM Press.