Pointing is a gesture used by humans to indicate a location, event, thing, or other person relative to themselves. Pointing is an action unique to humans and is a vital gesture used for communicating, especially among young children prior to learning speech as well as within sign language. Generally, there are three major characteristics that distinguish a point from other gestures which are the extension of the index finger towards whatever is being referenced, the flexing and folding of the remaining fingers back towards the palm, and the extension of the arm doing the pointing.
Pointing is considered rude, as it is associated with blame allocation. Further, quick and nonconsensual pointing at someone makes the person being pointed at on object of attention and scrutiny. Many cultures have these associations with pointing, but it is not universal.
Babies learn to point when they are around 12 to 18 months old. Babies point to express themselves, their desires, draw attention to something, and to share their experiences. Pointing is one of the non-verbal ways a child communicates.
A pointing device allows the user to move the cursor or mouse in a computer program. A pointing device can be used to point at or manipulate an object or text on the screen. Choosing a specific icon from a list of icons is a way a pointing device can be used.