SIGGRAPH to Unveil Enhanced 'Rome Reborn'
and Other Technology in Los Angeles


(Chicago, IL) - SIGGRAPH 2008 New Tech Demos (formerly Emerging Technologies) present creative, innovative technologies and applications in many fields including displays, robotics, input devices, and interaction techniques. These New Tech Demos will be unveiled this August during SIGGRAPH 2008 in Los Angeles, California, USA. 

To broaden the scope and increase the quality of the attendees' interactive experiences at SIGGRAPH, a combination of curated demonstrations and juried interactive installations will be presented. Only the most innovative 35 of the more than 180 juried submissions were selected and will be on display and available for interaction with attendees. There will be an additional 9 curated pieces. 

"Many of these cutting-edge technologies exemplify how our past informs our future and how it affects the upcoming opportunities and challenges of computer graphics and interactive techniques," stated Mk Haley, SIGGRAPH 2008 Conference Director of Encounters with Disney-ABC Digital Media. "The technologies and installations in New Tech Demos encourage people to engage with the future, as well as celebrate our past, as we invigorate, explore, and define our potential." 

Following are highlights of this popular venue: 

Rome Reborn
Bernard Frischer,Dean Abernathy, University of Virginia; Gabriele Guidi, Politecnico di Milano; Joel Meyers, Past Perfect Productions; Cassie Thibodeau, Antonio Salvemini, mental images GmbH; Pascal Müller, Procedural Inc. 

The largest virtual historical reconstruction, cultural heritage, and digital archeology project undertaken to date. Approximately 7,000 reborn buildings recapture Rome at the peak of its glory, in 320 AD, at the time of Constantine the Great. 

Potential Future Use:
Rome Reborn revolutionizes the way we explore, discover, research, and publish in archeology. It offers new approaches for exhibiting historical findings in museums. It opens new channels for collaboration within a community of research scientists, and for the public at large. And it could transform the way history is taught in our schools. 

MDS (Mobile-Dexterous-Social) Robot for Human-Robot Teamwork
Cynthia Breazeal, Mikey Siegel, Matt Berlin, Jesse Gray, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Rod Grupen, Patrick Deegan, University of Massachusetts Amherst;John McBean, Kailas Nerendran, Xitome Design; Jeff Weber, Meka Robotics LLC 

Featuring an amazingly life-like humanoid robot with a novel combination of mobility, dexterity, human-centric communication, and interaction abilities. 

Potential Future Use:
In the near future, personal robots will assist people as capable partners in tasks that require cognitive, physical, and social competence. By integrating mobile manipulation with human-centric interaction abilities, this project aims to develop partner robots that enhance health, education, and home environments. 

Copycat Arm
Kiyoshi Hoshino, Tomida Motomasa, University of Tsukuba 

Copycat Arm is a robot system that imitates human motions without time delay, by visually estimating the human hand and arm postures at high accuracy with a processing time of 100 fps or more. 

Potential Future Use:
A robot communicating with sign language can be developed by teaching it different motions and their meanings. An information input device in which the contents on the screen change depending on the motions of the user's hand can be realized, eliminating the use of a mouse and a keyboard. For inputting three-dimensional models such as clay art, the user has to move his/her hand or arm in the desired manner and form a particular shape. Further, the virtual objects in computer games can be operated using different hand and finger motions such as kneading, twisting, or crushing. 

 

Copycat Arm
© Kiyoshi Hoshino, University of Tsukuba

Matsumoto-jo: A Virtual 16th Century Japanese Castle
Jonathan Amakawa, Studio Amakawa 

This new technology provides an interactive virtual exploration of feudal Japan via a reconstruction of a 16th Century Japanese castle. It utilizes video game media in new, novel ways in order to present the rich complexity of historical subject matter. 

Potential Future Use:
At its essence Matsumoto-jo is a new media work of art that utilizes interactive 3D and video game media to present a convergence of art, architecture, artifacts, history and culture. This medium represents an important development for museums and cultural institutions in presenting complex and multidisciplinary content. 

 
Matsumoto-jo: A Virtual 16th Century Japanese Castle
© Jonathan Amakawa, Studio Amakawa

Latte Art Machine
Oleksiy Pikalo, OnLatte 

Presents a new method of displaying images on the surface of premium espresso-based drinks. This stand-alone machine uses inkjet technology to compose stunning latte art designs by infusing the foam layer of the beverage with the tiny droplets of colorant. 

Potential Future Use:
Our latte art machine explores the new medium by combining the existing inkjet technology with the freedom of artistic expression. 

 
Latte Art Machine
© Oleksiy Pikalo, OnLatte

Maglev Haptics! Butterfly Haptic's New User-Interface Technology
Ralph Hollis, Peter Berkelman, Bert Unger, Dan O'Halloran, Matt Pucevich, Joey Liang, Mark Dzmura, Kei Usui, Carnegie Mellon University; Beth Hollis, Butterfly Haptics 

Magnetic levitation haptic devices allow users to interact with computed environments by manipulating a handle that is levitated by magnetic means. Users can translate and rotate the handle while feeling forces and torques from the virtual environment. The motors, encoders, linkages, gears, belts, cables, and bearings of traditional haptic devices are simply dispensed with in favor of a direct electrodynamic connection to the handle by the user. 

Potential Future Use:
Haptic interaction with 3D virtual environments mediated through magnetic levitation provides unprecedented fidelity. In addition to many research applications, this approach can be used in computer-aided design, medical and dental training, visualization and interaction with multi-dimensional data, microsurgery, control of remote robot manipulators and vehicles, arcade games, and character animation. 

Airborne Ultrasound Tactile Display
Takayuki Hosh, Takayuki Iwamoto, Hiroyuki Shinoda, Mari Tatezono, The University of Tokyo 

Airborne Ultrasound Tactile Display will substantially improve the usability of 3D CADs or stereoscopic displays by superimposing a high-fidelity pressure field onto the graphic objects presented in 3D free space, and enable the users to physically handle these objects with their bare hands. 

Potential Future Use:
The hand tracking system used in this prototype is a simple system comprised of a single camera. However, if the Airborne Ultrasound Tactile Display is combined with more sophisticated hand tracking systems, it would be a more practical haptic interaction system. It can also be expected that by superimposing acoustic radiation pressure onto the 3D graphic objects presented with stereoscopic displays, it effectively enhances the reality of the 3D virtual objects. 

 
Airborne Ultrasound Tactile Display
© Takayuki Iwamoto, The University of Tokyo

More information on SIGGRAPH 2008 New Tech Demos 

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About SIGGRAPH
SIGGRAPH 2008 will bring an estimated 30,000 computer graphics and interactive technology professionals from six continents to Los Angeles, California, USA for the industry's most respected technical and creative programs focusing on research, science, art, animation, gaming, interactivity, education, and the web from Monday, 11 August through Friday, 15 August 2008 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Celebrating its 35th year, SIGGRAPH 2008 includes a three-day exhibition of products and services from the computer graphics and interactive marketplace from 12-14 August 2008. More than 250 international exhibiting companies are expected. Registration for the conference and exhibition is open to the public. More details

About ACM
ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, is the world's largest educational and scientific computing society, uniting educators, researchers and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field's challenges. ACM strengthens the computing profession's collective voice through strong leadership, promotion of the highest standards, and recognition of technical excellence. ACM supports the professional growth of its members by providing opportunities for life-long learning, career development, and professional networking. 



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