I just emailed a friend that SIGGRAPH is an amusement park for the brain. So much to soak up, see, hear — and then I have to get those files ready to take to the 3d printer demos for free samples.
My 3d printing options are a system that prints plastic, one that prints ceramics (that you can take elsewhere, get glazed and fired), and one that “prints” by cutting and fusing layers of cheap copy paper. Rapid prototyping, one of the hot phrases here. Though at this point rapid is relative — 40 minutes, or hours, days. But this is the beginning of those science fiction kitchens with Actualizers that will take away the need for shopping at stores. (But won’t we miss haggling over tomatoes? Thumbing the velvet?)
There’s an Emerging Technologies hall where systems at many levels of doneness are being demoed. There are plants (vegetal kind) that you can touch and produce moving graphics on a screen. I note that these plants tend to the sturdy tropical variety, no gentle little herbs. There was a display where you were invited to interact with a teddybear, except it was a teddybear that wouldn’t. Their remote was held together with electrical tape. A Texas college is staging Merchant of Venice with actors dressed in LED-studded black for Avatar-like motion capture. There’san exhibit where, if you’re lucky, you can get dressed in a virtual reality helmet, vest, and glove and interact with a robot positioned behind you.
I’ve just heard the keynote address by Jane McGonigal — who creates games and researches their effect on users. Definitely an evangelist. She talked about the virtual in virtual reality, that the word can mean latency — as in the oak tree is incipient in the acorn. So that a virtual world is a possibility that hasn’t yet been actualized — but may yet be. She designs games with the idea in mind that they’ll teach gamers skills that they can actualize in the real world. Skilled speaker, no written-speech mumbler, dressed in gold glitter platform heels.
Because some of us can’t get online at our hotel I’ll post this now — while waiting for a talk on Virtual Texturing. Nice perk of SIGGRAPH — free wifi all over the convention center.