The long form narrative style is becoming an increasingly popular form of storytelling, and with that comes more characters arcs and branching stories. As a result, it can be difficult to jump back into a series and remember past events leading up to an episode. Story in Motion provides a gestural interface for viewers of the popular TV series, House of Cards, and can be expanded to other long form narratives. Our prototype uses the gesture-based Leap Motion technology and allows individuals to follow story lines of significant characters as well as socialize asynchronously through voice annotations.

The Prototype

Character Following

To bring up the character following function, the user grabs from the top of the screen and pulls down, revealing significant characters present in the current season. To select an item, the user simply raises or lowers their hand to highlight a character from the list (see images below).

As a character is hovered over, the corresponding clips they are involved in light up in the scene selector. The user can then grab and pull to the right to follow that character. This feature is also designed in a way that the viewer can select more than one character if desired.

Voice Annotations

The voice annotation feature allows viewers to record their own commentary and share it with others. This enables a social viewing experience even when not physically together nor watching at the same time. Furthermore, this helps avoid the issue of being distracted by a second screen, a feature that, if implemented poorly, can pull the viewer’s attention away from the show.

To enable voice annotations, the user grabs from the bottom of the screen and pulls up, which reveals all that user’s friend list. As a user raises and lowers their hand, the corresponding friend will be highlighted on the screen. As a friend item is grabbed and pulled to the right, their annotations can either be enabled or disabled.

For a user to record their own annotation, they move the Leap Motion cursor to the top right of the screen and hovers their hand in that position for 3 seconds. The user is then given 15 seconds to comment on the current scene as it's playing, providing either insight or entertaining commentary to a clip.


Story in Motion brings transparency to the complexity of a long form narrative. By following individual character arcs and listening to voice annotations, individuals can quickly jump back into a show regardless of its length. With Story in Motion, the long form narrative becomes a more accessible style of storytelling.