|| The Future of Computer
Graphics: An enabling Technology?
July 26, 2002
Where will computer graphics take us, what can they do and what
will they allow us to do in the future? These were a few of the
issues on our minds and on the minds of the panelists.
Andrew Glassner, of Coyote Wind Studios, spoke of his predictions
of where the future will take us. In his near-future world, sensors
in the ground, or satellites watching from above will help us find
parking spaces, locate a particular book on a shelf and narrow down
the choice of greeting cards,to those meeting our general specifications.
With the use of special glasses with built-in visual displays, we
will be able to locate the objects we are looking for and have real-time
displays of our muscle toning progress when working out. Although,
in theory the idea is interesting, I find it hard to believe that
such advents in technology would be worthwhile. True, these systems
may become the norm of the future, but at the moment they seem little
more than a novelty. In light of the need for research in graphics,
for less trivial applications, the efforts needed to create these
display systems of the future seem almost wasteful.
Patricia Davies, of Purdue University, spoke of the role of sound
as sensory stimulus in the human-computer interface. It is her belief
that detectible auditory annoyance is context dependent. For example,
running a test on a person's reaction to the sound of a machine,
in a contained lab space, and in a natural environment, yields very
different results. In her opinion, a limited graphical display,
which maintains the ability to convey information in a pleasing
manner, is optimal. To create such a working environment, we must
better assess and provide for the needs of prospective users.
all the panelists, there seemed to be a consensus that more attention
should be paid to the human factor in human-computer interaction.
Be it for medical imaging advances, better rendering and visualization
techniques, or audio concerns, the notion of appropriate computer
design is fundamental. As Bill Buxton, one of the panelists, stressed,
humans must regain their position as the main factor considered
when designing a system. If not, the incredible advances, continually
being made, will fall short of living up to their potential.