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30 April 2007

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Brian Ban
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SIGGRAPH Innovations Impact Daily Life

(Chicago, IL) - SIGGRAPH 2007 Emerging Technologies presents creative, innovative technologies and applications in many fields, including: displays, robotics, input devices, interaction techniques, computer vision, sensors, audio, speech, biometrics, wearable computing, information, data and scientific visualization, bio-technology, graphics, collaborative environments, and design. These innovations will be presented during the 34th International Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques, 5-9 August 2007 at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, California, USA.

SIGGRAPH 2007 Emerging Technologies received 75 submissions from six countries including France, Hungary, Japan, Korea, and Sweden. Only the most technically proficient and thought-provoking installations were selected by an elite group of industry experts. Of the 23 accepted pieces more than seven feature display technologies and five feature haptic technologies for interaction with attendees. In addition, there will be at least eight additional curated technologies.

"The SIGGRAPH 2007 Emerging Technologies program provides a unique look into the future capabilities of computer animation technologies in very practical, everyday environments," stated John Sibert, Emerging Technologies Co-Chair from The George Washington University. "This year's selection of technologies explores how advanced computer technology significantly impacts human interaction."

Following are highlights of this popular venue:

String Walker
Contact: Hiroo Iwata, University of Tsukuba

String Walker is a locomotion interface that uses eight strings actuated by motor-pulley mechanisms mounted on a turntable. String Walker enables users to maintain their positions while walking in various directions in virtual environments. Proprioceptive feedback for walking is not provided in most virtual environments.

Potential Future Use:
Research on locomotion interfaces is still in a preliminary state, but some virtual-environment applications, such as training or visual simulation, require good locomotion sensation. Over the next decade, effective locomotion devices will be developed for these applications.

Gravity Grabber: Wearable Haptic Display to Present Virtual Mass Sensation
Contact: Kouta Minamizawa, The University of Tokyo

The Gravity Grabber is a new form of ubiquitous haptic interaction that delivers weight sensations of virtual objects. Gravity Grabber is derived from the novel insight that fingerpad deformation provides a reliable sensation of weight even when proprioceptive sensation is absent. The goal of this project is to meet the increasing demand for realistic haptic feedback with a simple haptic display that can present realistic sensations of objects.

Potential Future Use:
As motors and batteries evolve, this device could be downsized and unwired for use in daily life, for example as a grasping controller in entertainment systems or as a force-feedback device for operating a virtual reality environment. Because it is small enough to be worn on a finger, it can be used in combination with conventional mouse-based interfaces. And it provides ubiquitous teleoperation, since the wearable and wireless device can be used to manipulate a robot from any location.

The Sound of Touch
Contact: David Merrill, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab

The Sound of Touch enables people to manipulate sound samples in a way that is much more immediate and intuitive than current digital tools. The system's technology and interface designs adopt characteristics of acoustic instruments, making samples that are recorded on-the-spot malleable and flexible through continuous gestural interaction with physical textures and resonant objects.

Potential Future Use:
Because it makes sonic exploration so intuitive, a generation of musicians could adopt this system as their preferred synthesis technique in the next 10 years. Ultimately, the system could become a commercial product that would enable people to paint with sound wherever and whenever they want - either for professional sound-design projects or just for play.

TransPen & MimeoPad: A Playful Interface For Transferring a Graphic Image to Paper by Digital Rubbing
Contact: Woohun Lee, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology

With these novel drawing tools, children and adults can use rubbing motions to transfer a digital image directly to paper and produce a drawing with a personal touch and natural texture, just as in traditional rubbing.

Potential Future Use:
In approximately three years, people will be able to copy graphic images from a tablet PC onto paper with TransPen's digital rubbing technique. Users will enjoy the advantages of pen-based computing more intuitively. It will also be possible to commercialize TransPen & MimeoPad as children's drawing tools. Children will enjoy using TransPen to copy drawings (for example, popular cartoon characters) from RFID-embedded boards.

CoGAME: Manipulation by Projection
Contact: Kazuhiro Hosoi, The University of Tokyo

CoGAME is an example of an application enhanced by the "manipulation-by-projection" technique. This cooperative game allows players to visually and intuitively control a robot with projectors. Players interchangeably move and connect their projected images to create a path that leads the robot to its goal.

Potential Future Use:
The CoGAME interface could be used in a wide range of applications in a robot-rich future. For example, a user could project a furniture layout onto a real office environment, and CoGAME-controlled robots could move and place the furniture by following the projected image.

An Interactive 360-Degree Light Field Display
Contact: Andrew Jones, USC Institute for Creative Technologies

This display renders the light field of an object - with correct geometric, accommodation and vergence cues in a horizontal plane - by rendering and projecting imagery at 5,000 frames per second onto a spinning anisotropic reflector. Motion-tracked vertical parallax is then employed to allow for unrestricted 3D movement with correct geometric cues.

Potential Future Use:
As this technology matures, it will be capable of full-color, high-refresh-rate imagery in another three years and will be commercially available for high-end visualization at about that time. If price-points continue to fall for graphics and display technologies as they have been for the past 10 years, this approach will be viable at the consumer level within this decade.

More details on SIGGRAPH 2007 Emerging Technologies

SIGGRAPH 2007 will bring an estimated 25,000 computer graphics and interactive technology professionals from six continents to San Diego, California, USA for the industry's most respected technical and creative programs focusing on research, science, art, animation, gaming, interactivity, education, and the web from 5-9 August at the San Diego Convention Center. SIGGRAPH 2007 includes a three-day exhibition of products and services from the computer graphics and interactive marketplace from 7-9 August 2007. More than 250 international exhibiting companies are expected. Registration for the conference and exhibition is open to the public.
More details


The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) SIGGRAPH sponsors SIGGRAPH 2007. ACM is an educational and scientific society uniting the world's computing educators, researchers, and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field's challenges. ACM strengthens the profession's collective voice through strong leadership, promotion of the highest standards, and recognition of technical excellence. ACM supports the professional growth of its members by providing opportunities for life-long learning, career development, and professional networking.