Analog Coding Exercise – Clockwise Clapping


“The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.”

A simple sentence to communicate – just have to say it. However, when limited to getting the sentence across only through using visual communication, it leads to creativity, and problem solving skills are tested.

It is understandable to use pre-existing visual communications such as semaphore flags or Morse code but that would mean to learn what each position of the flag means or what each dash and dot sequence meant, so there has to be an easier way?

Through collective speculation of what we could do, we came up with putting a number to each letter in the alphabet – pretty much the position in-which the alphabet is said: A is 1, B is 2, C is 3… Z is 26. We then took the number and made it a visual gesture – a clap of the hands: A is 1 clap, B is 2 claps… Z is 26 claps. However clapping 26 times to get to the letter Z was inefficient and bothersome, the receiver of the message could easily lose count of the claps so something had to be added.

A suggestion was made to add a sequence of gestures that would also separate the alphabet into smaller groups, 5 groups of letters – a clockwise series of claps, above, right, down, left and patting the chest/stomach (clockwise motion/sequence from sender of message).

Clapping above represents letters A, B, C, D and E
Clapping right represents letters F, G, H, I and J
Clapping down represents letters K, L, M, N and O
Clapping left represents letters P, Q, R, S and T
Patting chest/stomach represents letters U, V, W, X, Y and Z

Clockwise ClappingWith the grouping of letters alongside different gestures of clapping this allowed for a more efficient visual communication. With different groups of letters then we only need to clap to 5/6 to understand what letter is trying to be received.

The clockwise motion is meant for the sender of the message. It was understood that the receiver of the message would see it counter-clockwise so we came to an agreement to have the sender of the message dictate how the message was to be presented. This issue wasn’t a big problem as with the help of a key it was easy to decipher the letters being communicated.

For example with the word “hello”, the sequence of gestures/claps would be:

– 3 claps to the right (H)
– 5 claps above (E)
– 2 claps down (L)
– 2 claps down (L)
– 5 claps down (O)

With the gestures understood for the letters, we then needed to create gestures for spaces and a full stop. We found a space would be easily noticed by have the sender of the message stretch out their arms as if about to do a star jump, a full stop and thus completion of the sentence was more so seen from a sign of glee from the sender of the message but would also be seen as something that would be different from gestures previously used.

This exercise was completed successfully.

Created, produced and executed by MEDA102 students Rhiannen, Jo, Lauren, John ‘Zema’, Ralphie and James.

One response »

  1. I am not sure where you’re getting your info, but good topic. I needs to spend some time learning more or understanding more. Thanks for magnificent info I was looking for this information for my mission.|

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s