The 4th ACM SIGGRAPH Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques in Asia
Conference 12-15 December • Exhibition 13-15 December • Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre

Emerging Technologies

The Octagon

The Octagon is both an exhibit and an experiment in cooperation and user interface design. Eight computers provide eight 'artists' with a view into a shared virtual room. In the center of the room is a platform on which sculpture may be built. Each participant can add to the sculpture using a very intuitive interface. It 'feels' as though you just draw what you want and it appears in 3D. Most users need no instruction. Each user's 2D view is inherently ambiguous, yet artists do not seem to ask how their 2D gestures are translated. They discover the rules by experimentation and usually don't even realize that there are rules. The Octagon can be presented in various forms. The simplest is to set up eight computers in a ring so they surround a real space. But it is possible to put the computers anywhere. Activity can be shared across the room or across the world.
The long term goal of this project is to better understand how interaction can support cooperative work. We are also interested in the structure of the interactive process. Much research deals with the use of novel devices. Our concern is more with how the gestures of interaction should be organized and utilized. The major challenges in this work are to render the networking seamlessly so that each user always has a consistent view of the shared world, and to ensure the response to gestures have as natural a feel as possible.

Geoff Wyvill, University of Otago
Ross Phillips, University of Otago