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SIGGRAPH: Overview of Emerging Technologies Exhibit
SIGGRAPH: Overview of Emerging Technologies Exhibit
July 30, 2006 | By Beth A. Dillon

July 30, 2006 | By Beth A. Dillon
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SIGGRAPH 06, the annual conference on emerging computer graphic techniques and technologies, integrates a multitude of exhibits, courses, panels, papers, and research posters, and we have a listing of some of the most interesting game-related exhibits in the area.

Among other exhibits, Emerging Technologies demonstrates the future of interactive techniques in scientific visualization, robotics, medicine, biotechnology, music, audio, entertainment, fountains, services for the disabled, graphics, displays, haptics, sensors, gaming, the web, artificial intelligence, visualization, collaborative environments, design, aerospace, the military, and the fusion of technology and art.

Game-related Emerging Technologies at the 2006 exhibit include:

- MOVE investigates the field of game art from a user perspective by situating it at the intersections of art, games, and interactive media. In this installation, computer vision and full-body interaction allow participants to experience six different types of actions usually performed by avatars in video games. Unlike most computer-vision or sensor-based games like Eye-toy or Dance Dance Revolution, in MOVE the player is the avatar. Players do not see representations of themselves or indirect results of their actions on a separate screen. Instead, they interact directly with the projected graphical constituents of the game. Because those graphical elements are non-representational, they do not allow for a projection in a fictional space. The combination of abstracted shapes and direct interaction reinforces the player's focus on the action itself instead of an ulterior goal.

- DigiWall from The Interactive Institute is a sonically enhanced climbing wall with illuminating foot and hand grips. Sensors embedded in the grips and seven audio speakers enable computer-mediated, interactive, musical, and physical games. DigiWall combines components of education and entertainment with a large-scale, highly physical computer interface to create a unique opportunity for physical activity and conditioning. The Sonic Studio at the Interactive Institute has designed a hand and foot grip for DigiWall that allows touch sensors and light to be integrated into the interactive climbing experience. The system also includes a sound-based game engine that integrates sensors and sound-rendering components into a large-scale computer interface.

- INVISIBLE: The Shadow Chaser from Nara Institute of Science and Technology is an interactive game that helps players sense unseen existences through indirect information such as their shadows, sounds, and weights. In this game, "invisible" goblins sneak around, but you can only see their shadows. Your mission is to chase their shadows and capture them with a special vacuum. This project presents an object's existence in the real world using multimodal perceptions, a concept that may be useful for supporting barrier-free services for handicapped people in public and entertainment spaces. The interactive system allows users to feel the presence of 3D virtual objects without stereoscopic visual information.

- AR Tennis from the University of Canterbury is a collaborative augmented-reality game for cellphones. On their cellphones, two players see a virtual tennis court overlaid on the real table between them. They move their phones to hit virtual balls across the net. In the same way that the first computer monitors allowed artists to view 3D computer graphics, this work gives artists and content developers a platform for creating collaborative experiences in the real world based on consumer cell phone hardware. AR Tennis incorporates four key technologies to provide an engaging experience: computer-vision-based camera tracking on a mobile phone, OpenGL ES 3D graphics rendering, adhoc Bluetooth wireless networking, and mobile-phone audio and haptic (vibration) feedback.

The Emerging Technologies exhibit will be held at SIGGRAPH 06 throughout the duration of the conference. Guided tours held in conjunction with the Art Gallery are available in six languages, including Japanese, Korean, German, French, Spanish, and Chinese: Mandarin. For an additional look at game related projects and other interactive projects, a video preview is available.


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