Conference Emerging Technologies Site Index Main


Emerging Technologies: Millennium Motel Projects

Building Virtual Worlds
Randy Pausch
Carnegie Mellon University
Entertainment Technology Center
"Building Virtual Worlds" is an undergraduate course at CMU; teams of undergraduates use the Alice authoring system to build VR worlds on a two-week production schedule. Their worlds can be experienced via an HMD or a WWW browser. This area demonstrates some of the worlds built by CMU students plus the Alice 3D animation tool and Teddy 3D modeling tool (by Takeo Igarashi, University of Tokyo). More information and a free set of 3D authoring tools (model, paint, and animate) are available at
City of News
Flavia Sparacino
MIT Media Lab
20 Ames Street, E15-384a
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139 USA
An immersive, interactive, and dynamically growing 3D Web browser. This browser fetches and displays URLs, forming skyscrapers and alleys of text and images which participants can visit as if they were exploring an urban landscape of information. The system starts with a wireframe floor map of a chosen city or area, and, as the participant follows paths, it dynamically builds a virtual 3D Web world of information. It creates mental associations between information and geo- graphy as if people were living in a customized memory palace.
Phil Frei
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
20 Ames Street, E15-468C
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139 USA
Recent trends of embedding digital technology in toys have led to greater possibilities for manipulation and interaction. Curlybot is a two-wheeled toy with embedded electronics that can record and play back motion. It remembers its change in position and replays its movements with all the intricacies of the original gesture.
Digital Cloning System
Barnabas Takacs
Virtual Celebrity Productions LLC
3679 Motor Avenue, Suite 200
Los Angeles, California 90034 USA
A 3D, realistic "human" digital character that appears on screen with the look and feel of a live actor. A state-of-the-art facial tracking and animation system tracks the motion of an actor on a live set (without a cumbersome motion capture suit) and drives the movement of a 3D digital character.
Rebecca Allen
University of California, Los Angeles
1200 Dickson Art Center
Los Angeles, California 90095 USA
A PC-based, real-time 3D software system that explores the role of human presence in a world of artificial life. A unique interface system utilizes voice input and a haptic device for tactile feedback. Novel forms of communication between human participants and artificial life forms include symbolic and expressive sounds, gestures, and movements.
Ensphered Vision
Hiroo Iwata
Institute of Engineering Mechanics
University of Tsukuba
305-8573 Japan
In this image display system, a large screen is used as an alternative to HMDs. The sphere is an ideal shape for a screen that encompasses the human visual field because it maintains a constant distance between the eyes and the screen as the viewer's head rotates. Ensphered Vision uses a single projector and a convex mirror to display seamless images.
Jay Lee
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
20 Ames Street, E15-425
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02142 USA
HandSCAPE is an orientation-aware digital measuring tape. While a traditional measuring tape only measures linear distance, the addition of orientation sensors allows a vector measurement of both length and direction, and the tape can serve as an input device to computer drawing and modeling applications.
Head-Mounted Projector
Masahiko Inami
Tachi Laboratory
MEIP, School of Engineering
The University of Tokyo
7-3-1 Hongo Bunkyo-ku
Tokyo 113-8656 JAPAN
A head-mounted projector using the X'tal Vision (Crystal Vision) technology that was demonstrated in Enhanced Realities at SIGGRAPH 98 allows users to observe stereoscopic images. These include a transparent human body, a paper-type display, and a visuo-haptic integrated display.
Hologram/Head-Mounted Display
Takahisa Ando
Laboratories of Image Information Science and Technology
Daiichi-Kasai Senri-Chuo
Building 3F
1-1-8, Shinsenri-Nishimachi
Toyonaka,Osaka 565-0083 JAPAN
This experimental see-through HMD (head-mounted display) uses holographic optical elements (HOE) instead of the half mirror that is usually used in conventional HMDs. Because it is grated, the system can produce images by diffraction, and it behaves like a heads-up display. It delivers the left and right images into both eyes, so users experience binocular parallax (stereoscopic) images.
HyperMask: Virtual Reactive Faces for Storytelling
Kim Binsted
Sony Computer Science Laboratories
3-14-13 Higashi-Gotanda
Tokyo 141 JAPAN
HyperMask projects an animated face onto a physical mask that is worn by an actor. As the mask moves within a prescribed area (the stage), its position and orientation are detected by a camera, and the computed projected image moves accordingly. If the orientation of the mask changes, the projected image changes with respect to the viewpoint of the audience.
Life Spacies
Christa Sommerer
ATR Media Integration and Communications Research Lab
2-2 Hikaridai, Seika-cho,
Kyoto 61902 JAPAN
An interaction and communication environment where remotely located visitors in a global environment (the Internet) and onsite visitors (in the local environment) interact with each other through artificial creatures.
The Luminous Room: Some of It, Anyway
John Underkoffler
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
20 Ames Street, E15-425
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139 USA
When the CRT breaks open and the pixels inside leak out to stain everything, one of the results can be a Luminous Room. When graphical display is not only free to occur on any surface in the room but can also react to what's happening at those surfaces and within the space, certain kinds of usefulness may ensue.
metaField Maze
Bill Keays
MIT Media Lab
20 Ames Street, E15-447
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139 USA
In this familiar maze game, a marble rolls on a flat surface, its direction determined by two knobs that control the level on perpendicular axes. The surface is crisscrossed with a network of passages separated by shallow barriers and is accented here and there with the dreaded holes that swallow the marble and end the game.
Microworlds, Sirens, and Argonauts
Agueda Simó
University of Southern California
Division of Animation and Digital Arts
School of Cinema-Television
850 West 34th street
Los Angeles, California 90089-2211 USA
A fantastic journey through multiscale microscopic worlds that grow and transform as users interact with them, revealing new patterns, structures, and sounds. It introduces the concept of "living narrative landscapes:" virtual spaces that allow users to successfully construct their own navigational maps and build their own representational models that can coexist with the narrative of the environments.
Hiroshi Ishii
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
20 Ames Street, E15-485
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139 USA
musicBottles introduces a tangible interface that deploys bottles as containers and controls for digital information. The system consists of a specially designed table and three corked bottles that "contain" the sounds of the violin, the cello, and the piano in ƒdouard Lalo's Piano Trio in C Minor, Op. 7.
Brad Paley
Digital Image Design Incorporated New York USA
A community play space.
R O U T E 6 6
Daniel Szecket
Magritte's Cow
A live, interactive, MIDI-driven, 3D world outside the Motel. An ever-changing environment that can be transformed by visitors using MIDI interfaces linked to SideEffects Houdini software and driven by Intergraph workstations.
Shared Space: Collaborative Augmented Reality
Mark Billinghurst
Human Interface Technology Lab
University of Washington
215 Fluke Hall Box 352142
Seattle, Washington 98195 USA
Shared Space merges real and virtual worlds in a way that can radically enhance face-to-face and remote collaboration. By wearing a lightweight, see-through head-mounted display, face-to-face and remote users create interactive art together using virtual animated characters and props in a real tabletop environment.
Surface Drawing
Steven Schkolne
California Institute of Technology
MS 256-80
Pasadena, California 91125 USA
In this medium, which enables creation of a wide variety of intricate, organic 3D shapes, objects are created by moving the hand through space. The path of the hand forms surface pieces that seamlessly merge when they touch. Users can also erase, add details, and manipulate objects with a simple two-handed interface.
Touchable 3D Display
Hideki Kakeya
Communications Research Laboratory
4-2-1 Nukui-Kitamachi
Koganei, Tokyo 184-0003 JAPAN
In this reality-enhanced 3D display, Fresnel lenses are set so that parallax adds a sense of depth to a "real" image. Three-dimensional images appear very close to viewers (an effect that is difficult to achieve with conventional 3D displays), so viewers feel that their bodies are included in the 3D space. They interact with the images as if they were a part of the virtual environment.
TV Guides
Don Ritter
204 15th Street, 3rd Floor
Brooklyn, New York 11215 USA
Viewers confront a living room environment that contains a video display playing live-broadcast programs. When viewers move within the installation, the audio and video fade out, and the cross hairs recede into a black screen followed by text that requests viewers to remain still. The television imagery and sound resume only after all viewers within the installation have remained motionless for at least five seconds.
Fernanda Viegas
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
A communication object that opens a visual and auditory portal through space by visualizing the sounds flowing between two places. VisiPhone's graphical rendering of the audio brings greater continuity and expressiveness to this connection. It portrays the existence of the connection even in moments of silence, and it expresses the dynamics and inflections of conversation.
Visual Conductor
Jakub Segen
Bell Labs
A "live" conductor directs a complex electronic orchestra with natural expressions of hands and baton. No sensors or wires impede the conductor's movements, which are sensed with video cameras. The system detects beat events and gestures related to rhythm patterns and dynamics, and uses this information to control the tempo and volume.
(void*): A Cast of Characters
Bruce Blumberg
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
In this novel gathering place that unites the physical and the digital, the interactions focus on movement, groups, and body language. This allows the audience and a cast of controllable plus autonomous characters to interact with each other.
Water Display
Yuki Sugihara
University of Tokyo
Tachi Laboratory
7-3-1, Hongo Bunkyo-ku
Tokyo 113-8653 JAPAN
This hemispheric, see-through display reveals images, sounds, and movement in a head-mounted system. Its hemispheric virtual immersion gives users a transparent sensation of being covered with water without getting wet.
Zowie Powered Smart Toys
Mary Francis Miller
Zowie Intertainment Inc.
1900 O'Farrell Street, Suite 250
San Mateo, California 94403 USA
Zowie Intertainment is a new high-tech toy and entertainment company that creates innovative play experiences for both kids and adults. Smart Toys combine the best of two worlds: traditional toys plus the power of computers and electronic chips. Experts predict that almost every toy will be powered by technology in the very near future. Today's techno-savvy kids crave increasingly sophisticated play experiences.

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