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

CHICAGO—(BUSINESS WIRE)—June 27, 2008— 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.; Cole Krumbholz, MITRE Corporation

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 the 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 users 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.

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.

Latte Art Machine

Oleksiy Pikalo, OnLatte

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

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