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SIGGRAPH 2003 Emerging Technologies Fact Sheet

Conference: Sunday 27 July - Thursday 31 July 2003
Exhibition: Tuesday 29 July - Thursday 31 July 2003

San Diego Convention Center
San Diego, California USA

The SIGGRAPH 2003 Emerging Technologies showcase research that harness advanced computing power to achieve real-time interactivity. From corporate labs, educational institutions, and individuals, Emerging Technologies presents practical and speculative interactive installations in robotics, music, displays technologies, "intelligent" environments, haptics, sensors, wireless, the web, virtual and augmented reality, collaborative environments, art, and entertainment.

"The projects in the SIGGRAPH 2003 Emerging Technologies venue raise the bar for researchers working in real-time interactivity," said Joshua Strickon SIGGRAPH 2003 Emerging Technologies chair from Apple Computer, Inc. "These 21 installations go far beyond what is currently available and give us a look at what will be possible in the future."

SIGGRAPH 2003 EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES HIGHLIGHTS:

Food Simulator
Hiroo Iwata, University of Tsukuba
The Food Simulator is a haptic interface that displays biting force. It is designed to fit to the user's mouth, where it delivers the captured force of real food and auditory and chemical sensations associated with eating.

The Food Simulator integrates the auditory and chemical sensations of eating. The sound of biting is captured by a bone-vibration microphone and displayed by a bone-vibration speaker. It is synchronized with the biting action. Chemical sensations of taste are displayed using a micro injector installed in the end effecter (fork or spoon). The chemical sensation is synthesized from five elements of basic taste: sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and smell (displayed by a vaporizer).

Hyperscore
Mary Farbood, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Hyperscore is a graphical computer-assisted composition system intended for users of all musical backgrounds. It presents a unique interface that takes input in the form of freehand drawing. The strokes in the drawing are mapped to structural and gestural elements in music, allowing the user to describe compositions visually.

Hyperscore was developed in conjunction with a larger project, directed by Tod Machover, called Toy Symphony. The goal of Toy Symphony is to introduce children to creative music-making through the use of specially designed hardware and software. With this technology, children can engage in creative music activities normally accessible only after years of study. As part of Toy Symphony, Hyperscore has been used by children in a series of workshops in Europe to compose pieces for string orchestra.

More information on Hyperscore
Listen to Hyperscore pieces composed by children and performed by orchestras

Building Intelligent Environments With Smart-Its
Lars Erik Holmquis, Future Applications Lab, Viktoria Institute
The Smart-Its project develops technology to realize a vision of "computation everywhere," or ubiquitous computing, where computer technology is seamlessly integrated in everyday life, supporting users in everyday tasks. The researchers approach this vision by creating a class of very small computers, which are equipped with wireless communication and a number of different sensors. By attaching these to everyday objects, it is possible to create "smart" artifacts with very little overhead. Do you need a coffee-cup that knows if it is full or empty, a table that tracks the objects you put on it, or a wine bottle that can tell if it has been stored correctly? No problem -- just attach a Smart-It!

In the SIGGRAPH 2003 Emerging Technologies venue, the researchers will show how Smart-Its can be used to add communication and perception to everyday objects. One example is using Smart-Its to help assemble a piece of furniture. By attaching sensors to the unassembled components of a piece of flat-pack furniture, the user's progress can be determined. If the user makes an error, guidance can be provided along with continuously updated information about the next step in the assembly process.

SmartTouch: A New Skin Layer to Touch the Non-Touchable
Hiroyuki Kajimoto, The University of Tokyo
SmartTouch is a haptic augmented-reality system based on electrical stimulation to convert sensed information into skin sensation. It is composed of a thin electro-tactile display and sensors mounted on the skin, so the wearer can not only make physical contact with objects, but also touch surface information of any type.

Until now, there have been only two types of applications for tactile display: Braille displays for the visually impaired and haptic devices that deliver tactile textures to virtual worlds. SmartTouch emphasizes that if you combine sensors and tactile displays, tactile display will emerge into the real world. The ultimate goal of SmartTouch is to make the system negligibly thin, so that it can be worn as an unconscious but essential daily interface, just like eyeglasses. In the future, it may change our lives because it will totally change our daily tactile experience.

The Walk-Through Fog Screen Experience
Ismo Rakkolainen, Tampere University of Technology
The walk-through fog screen is a novel and intriguing method for forming a superior-quality, physically penetrable fog projection screen. The image floats in thin air, and when you touch or walk through it, you can't feel anything.

The fog screen enables many novel applications indoors. The technology can extend to limited outdoor usage. Interesting applications include walk-through, play-with advertisements in shops or malls; walk-through screens in museums, science centers, or theatres; special effects; or theme-park entrances. The fog screen can also be used in CAVE-like virtual rooms to create fog walls. The fog screen is non-breakable, which enables safe gaming, exercise, or training, and unsupervised public presentations. It also enables the audience to enter and exit rapidly through the walls into virtual environments, which may be even sequential.

More information on the Walk-Through Fog Screen Experience

The complete list of SIGGRAPH 2003 Emerging Technologies installations