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Fact Sheet SIGGRAPH 98
Digital Pavilions Fact Sheet

19-24 July 1998
Orange County Convention Center
Orlando, Florida

The Digital Pavilions installations sought to demonstrate better living through networks and computer graphics, inspiring the technological and artistic cultures within SIGGRAPH to reconsider our impact on new media, to dream what may be possible for a "personal reality," and to rediscover our interconnectedness in a global community. What's in this future forever changed by instant contact across the globe and increasingly high-bandwidth?

From natural language processing to gesture recognition, we will soon be able to interact with computerized systems as naturally as we can interact with our neighboring humans. Families separated by hundreds or thousands of miles can easily converse and visually share experiences using hand-held graphical devices you might find on sale in consumer electronics stores this holiday season.

Through the Digital Pavilions immersive reality "living room of the future," traveling to far-off destinations like the wilds of Alaska or attending the SIGGRAPH 99 conference in Los Angeles became possible for the SIGGRAPH 98 audience in Orlando! And forget armchair quarterbacking. Now you can sit as close to the sidelines as you like, directing your own sportscast via an interactive interface to ESPN's Winter-X Games coverage.

The Digital Pavilions installations at SIGGRAPH 98 envisioned the convergence of leading-edge technologies that demonstrate near-future ways to communicate, collaborate, and share.

Digital Pavilions Highlights

MicroDisplay Camera Phone

The MicroDisplay Camera Phone illustrates the potential of convergence in telecommunications, computer, and information technology. It invited Digital Pavilions visitors to participate in a world where it is possible to transfer images such as faxes, photographs, Web imagery, or text across distances unlimited by wires or cables. While speaking normally into the MicroDisplay cellular telephone, you also view a live video feed communicated to the phone's tiny viewscreen display by a built-in camera that is oriented to gather images within your field of view. Using hand-held devices such as the MicroDisplay phone, families and executives of the near future may share real-time visual experiences as part of their ordinary interaction.


France Telecom's research and development project, MAGNET, explores streaming, interactive multimedia applications with the goal of producing scalable platforms in telecommunications environments. Using the VRML97 and MPEG4 standards, MAGNET represents a near-future technology that will be widely accessible to the Internet consumer audience, to business intranets and extranets, and to content creators. The MAGNET installation demonstrated an interactive multimedia scene in an advertising context such as one might find in the future Internet or long-distance markets. This application allows both local and remote (server-side) updates of the scene and features 3D, 2D, audio, and video encoded and streamed media in 33K client bandwidth, including scene geometry, media content, and parameters for continuous animation.

GestureVR: Gesture Interface to Spatial Reality

A freely moving, gloveless hand is used as the sole input device in this demonstration of a natural gesture interface to spatial simulations, including a 3D representation of Yosemite Valley and ID Software's popular video game "Doom." The novel hand gesture recognition interface technology developed at Bell Labs offers precise control of the viewer's navigation in 3D space or for grasping and moving objects on the screen. The interface makes control of complex actions in 3D space very intuitive and simple. The system's quick response time, high precision, and robustness provide a very natural feel to the user.

Islands of Adventure in Cyberspace

Islands of Adventure in Cyberspace is a series of imaginary experiences based on a real place-to-be: the Universal Studios Islands of Adventure theme park in Orlando, Florida. The project simulates what a typical World Wide Web entertainment experience might be like when our homes are routinely equipped with high-performance 3D graphics- and sound-capable information systems.

Jennifer James, Celebrity Auto Spokesperson

Jennifer James is a consumer-friendly, intelligent interactive virtual 3D character cast as an ex-NASCAR driver. Jennifer greets visitors as they access a pavilion at a virtual auto show and engages them in a dynamically customized five- to 10-minute dialog and presentation of available vehicles. Using natural social dialog, she elicits and offers information, with the goal of matching visitors to vehicles suited to their lifestyle and preferences. During this process, she works to establish -- via her dialog, facial expressions, and animated gestures -- a relationship on behalf of her sponsor with each visitor. This new generation of interactive characters will provide consumers with a familiar and compelling sales experience.

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