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  Reports from SIGGRAPH 2001
The Future of Computer Graphics: An enabling Technology?

Jessica Fernandes
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.

Panelist 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.

Among 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.


Official SIGGRAPH 2002 Panels Descriptions


The annual conference is a chance to see friends you might only see at SIGGRAPH.


SIGGRAPH is the name of the show. ACM SIGGRAPH is the name of the organization.

Photos from SIGGRAPH 2002


This page is maintained by
Jan Hardenbergh
All photos you see in the 2002 reports are due to a generous loan of Cybershot digital cameras from SONY