As the annual Siggraph conference was held in Los Angeles this year, many of our team members took the short ride over to check it out. Siggraph conferences have national and international attendees and are based around cutting edge computer graphics and interactive techniques. This year’s conference included educations sessions, exhibit booths with industry leaders previewing related goods and services, emerging technologies exhibits, and a technology related art gallery.
There was a plethora of VR related equipment. It is clear that this year virtual reality has demonstrated its worth as a viable and profitable technology. This was exciting to see as VR is a part of what we do and we’ve been expanding our services rapidly in this area. I was able to test drive a few VR programs and headset and was struck by the immersive nature of VR. The most notable realization is that virtual reality, even though it gives you more information to process, has immense value because it blocks out surrounding information or environmental stimuli. This was especially marked in the bustling Los Angeles Conference Center. I personally felt it was a calming experience(but that depends on what is playing in the headset). A notable appearance on the virtual reality front was the emergence of a large amount of 3rd party virtual reality equipment. For example, there were hardware add ons to existing headsets. This demonstrates how quickly VR is expanding and the amount of people who are participating in making the technology better.
Other notable technologies : Motion tracking and facial motion tracking, 9K resolution panoramas, and the release of Vray to Nuke software.
The emerging technology floor was full of visually-pleasing, playful, and interesting new tech. The centerpiece of the area was Shogyo Mujo, a projection mapped skull that has also made appearances at Burning Man and other notable events. Some of our favorite new technology was the Deformation Lamp which created dynamic photos from static prints using shadow projection, Holographic Projection on a 2D surface, and Augmented Haptics. Augmented Haptics is similar to a rumble pack in a glove that is controlled by the height of your hands in relation to one another.
The art gallery was also nice, although it seemed less exciting than all the emerging technology adjacent to it. I was a little disappointed as I was expecting more interactive and digital art. It was a simple small collection of mainly 3D printed and precision cut projects that demonstrated that specific technology but lacked the larger commentary and intrigue that I was expecting.