Issue No. 01 - January/February (2005 vol. 25)
DOI Bookmark: http://doi.ieeecomputersociety.org/10.1109/MCG.2005.7
Heather Elliott-Famularo , Bowling Green State University
The SIGGRAPH 2004 Emerging Technologies exhibition (see http://www.siggraph.org/s2004/conference/etech/) was a competitive, juried collection of 30 interactive installations that encompassed a variety of technological prototypes and fine art works. Emerging Technologies is a hands-on exhibit where conference attendees were invited to experience the installations and talk directly with the creators. This CD-ROM contains short video documentaries of nine works that were exhibited at the SIGGRAPH 2004 conference and that have accompanying technical articles published in the January/February 2005 special issue of IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications.
The Emerging Technologies venue was a 23,500-square-foot space that was divided into three themed zones to help guide attendees and add to the conceptual experience. Purely technological prototypes were located in the E-Tech zone, fine art installations in the E-Art zone, and in between were the E-Merge exhibits, which showcased pieces merging art and technology. During a panel discussion, the Emerging Technologies contributors gave short presentations of their projects. There were also themed, guided tours of the venue throughout the five days of the conference.
The call for participation for Emerging Technologies 2004 asked for life-enhancing works, for exhibits that show the potential for expanding our lives or our realities in the future. As a result, in the video interviews on this CD-ROM, the authors talk specifically about the innovations, goals, life-enhancement opportunities, and future of the project. The footage was shot at the conference and gives a good overview of each project's interactivity.
The projects included in this CD-ROM span a wide array of technologies—from virtual and augmented reality to interactive displays, sensors, real-time graphics, and fine art.
Ängeslevä and Cooper introduce the "Last Clock," an art installation that displays the history and rhythm of a space through a live video feed in the form of an analog clock. The clock shows seconds, minutes, and hours.
Part of a performance artwork, "Swimming Across the Pacific" is a novel locomotion interface for swimming in a VR environment created by Fels et al. In the future, the structure will be installed in an airplane so that artists can virtually swim across the Pacific Ocean.
Merging art and science, Feris et al. present "Harnessing Real-World Depth Edges with MultiFlash Imaging." This multiflash camera captures geometric features of real-world scenes and can be used in nonphotorealistic rendering, medicine, and human–computer interaction.
Suzuki and Kobayashi offer "Untethered VR System with Air-Jet-Based Force Feedback." This VR system uses air pressure to provide force feedback, a stereo display, and optical position tracking to realize a completely untethered immersive environment for the user.
Next, Beardsley et al. present "Interactive Projection," a handheld, interactive projector using stabilization and single-handed interaction.
"Lumisight Table" from Kakehi et al. is an interactive tabletop display system that promotes nonverbal communication by enabling multiple viewpoints and convenient input on a single screen.
Sugimoto and his colleagues show "Time Follower's Vision," a remote vehicle control system that uses mixed reality to provide a better understanding of a distant physical space.
Iwata et al. present "CirculaFloor," a locomotion interface with movable tiles that employs a holonomic mechanism to achieve omnidirectional motion in a virtual environment.
Finally, Kamiyama et al. introduce "GelForce," a tactile sensor that measures in real time the distribution of 3D force vectors applied to an elastic body.
The opportunity of hearing formal, technical presentations and actually trying out interactive installations at the SIGGRAPH conference is unique. More than 27,000 people attended the five-day conference and many of them visited Emerging Technologies. Prior to the exhibit's opening, the contributors spent days setting up and calibrating their displays, creating complex technical systems that used projection, camera arrays, robotics, audio, and video. As interactivity, by definition, requires human contact, the ability to interact with the actual prototype and talk directly with its creators is invaluable in understanding the way a technology functions. Video, as a time-based medium, is the best method of understanding the nuances of the various approaches in human–computer interaction. Written description alone can't replicate an interactive encounter, and so here we have used video documentation as a means of describing the experience for those who could not attend.