PIGGRASH 2005 part 3

I have developed a theory about the exhibition floor at SIGGRAPH: The quality of exhibition booths is inversely proportional to the density of book publisher booths. Because the number of publishers stays relatively constant from year to year (publishing is a slowly growing industry), a lower density means more non-publisher booths overall. For example, last year the publisher density was higher, because the overall exhibition was smaller.

Isilon Systems make clustered storage starting in the 1.92 TB range.
At least three booths were shouting about being able to create Flash files in a few seconds.
e frontier (formerly Curious Labs) has released Poser 6. It boasts a “more efficient and feature-rich UI”.
Hm, I didn’t hear anyone shouting about realistic fur and hair. Some people had cloth simluations. Square-Enix didn’t have a booth at all.
The low point (for me) of the exhibition was the presence of a “gaming bunker”. Beats me why people need a place to play computer games in the middle of everything else.
Emerging Technologies:
Toshio Iwai is working with Yamaha to develop an LED matrix musical instrument. This would be exciting, had I not seen a local IDM artist using a similar custom built device only a few weeks ago. The most infuriating thing about Iwai’s music technology is the relentlessly saccharine sweetness of the computer tones. Such an instrument could, of course, be made to produce more sophisticated sounds, but Iwai’s music will still remain immature. Tenori-on
moo-pong is a handheld device that makes horrible noise. You look through the scope to see images that have been captured with some device. I don’t know?
The Briggita Zics installation of MIRROR_SPACE was incomprehensible.
Victoria Fang’s The Living Room was a fun interactive mystery. Three rolling displays have to be positioned correctly on the floor (using RFID sensors) to activate video sequences. This is a rare installation that successfully combines a sophisticated interface with cinematic content in a compelling way.
Thursday morning I went to the DART :
The Designer’s Augmented Reality Toolkit
Birds of a Feather meeting. The ARToolkit is primarily designed for marker tracking — those little black and white squares or circles that look like weird bar codes — but the DART folks are more involved with InterSense trackers. They’ve made an “easy to use” Xtra for Director, with the goal of making it easier to produce augmented reality content, which is otherwise a cumbersome task, i.e. requires decent programmers to implement. Director users also need a minimum of programming skills, but it is a little more forgiving.
To Summarize
While not completely stale, the offerings of this year’s SIGGRAPH were a continued echo of previous conferences. Next year’s show is in Boston, so unless something momentous happens it will be two years until my next pilgrimage.

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