This Article is From Jul 28, 2010

The latest 3-D Experience: New inventions at SIGGRAPH

Los Angeles: Forget what you know about current 3-D technology.

If the developers showcasing their inventions at the Special Interest Group on Graphics and Interactive Techniques (SIGGRAPH) have their way, the 3-D experience will soon change significantly and one won't need those silly looking glasses to view 3-D content.

SIGGRAPH is the annual conference and exhibition showcasing the latest in computer graphics and interactive techniques.

At the 37th International SIGGRAPH conference, the latest in 3-D technology and interactive holograms are on a display.

"It's audio stereoscopic, which means 3-D without special customised glasses. Its 360, which means that rather than a flat screen its round. The reason that people are sticking their hands around some of the displays you can see or others have game controllers, is that it's fully interactive," said MK Haley, Professor, Carnegie Mellon University.

Explaining it further, Haley added, "The people sticking their hands around it are using a proximity sensor so you can manipulate the objects in the display, spin them and manipulate them in ways with the proximity of your hand or with the game controller you can interact with the content in a full volumetric 3-D environment." 

The annual SIGGRAPH conference attracts professionals from six continents in search of the latest cutting edge technologies.

Some of that technology will be put to use by the Walt Disney with its highly anticipated film TRON: Legacy.

"The results we got in the theatres, they were amazing but it was really about getting people to use the tools the way they should be for the very first time. The next generation of films that we're going to see like Tron, coming out in December, and the other films from Industrial Light and Magic and the next thing that Weta is going to be working on, are all going to be refined versions of these techniques," said Paul Debevec, researcher, University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies.

"We're going to see 3-D that's completely naturalistically built into the artistic process, so it's really truly a story-telling element, not just a visual effect to make things prettier," Paul further added.

But SIGGRAPH isn't just about the latest in 3-D. Another popular showcase is 'Haptic Technology.'

"Imagine that in the future, we're not going to be actually using our devices the way we do now, where we don't have the touch pads. Imagine that you actually have less space or you don't even have a device in front of you, so you need to be able to type actually in the air," explains Preston Smith, SIGGRAPH Emerging Technologies Chair from Laureate Institute for Brain Research.

And for many attendees at SIGGRAPH, the air is also full of inspiration.

Kevin Quennesson, SIGGRAPH visitor says, "I always come here for inspiration, so creating inspiration most of the time. Initially I came to share my ideas. This time I came to see what's the state of the art in all different fields, and see how it can reflect in my work and how I can just push what I do, you know, outside the box."