August 9, 2007

Emerging Technologies Showcased at SIGGRAPH 2007

The Emerging Technologies program highlights some of the most unique, creative, and ground-breaking technologies and applications in the industry. On display at SIGGRAPH 2007 are innovations in the areas of displays, robotics, input devices, interaction techniques, computer vision, wearable computing, data and scientific visualization, bio-technology, graphics, collaborative environments, and design.

Overseeing the SIGGRAPH 2007 Emerging Technologies segment are co-chairs Kathy Ryall, principal technical staff at Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories (MERL) Technology Lab, and John Sibert, professor at The George Washington University’s Department of Computer Science.

The Emerging Technologies team of industry experts selected 23 technical, thought-provoking installations from 75 submissions that hailed from six countries, including France, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Korea, and Sweden. Of the accepted pieces, seven feature display technologies, five incorporate haptic technologies to enable interactivity, and at least eight boast additional curated technologies.

“From an academic perspective, SIGGRAPH is a critical venue for paper publication. I believe SIGGRAPH has one of, if not the, lowest acceptance rates of any computing conference—the work presented here is of journal quality,” Ryall says. Additionally, the SIGGRAPH conference provides a unique opportunity due to its hands-on nature. Many of its programs—most notably Emerging Technologies, Guerilla Studio, and the Exhibition—showcase cutting-edge technologies and provide the chance to experiment firsthand with them —oftentimes sparking a new avenue of research or exploration.”

“The SIGGRAPH 2007 Emerging Technologies program provides a unique look into the future capabilities of computer animation technologies in very practical, everyday environments,” Sibert mentions. “This year’s selection of technologies explores how advanced computer technology significantly impacts human interaction.”

This year’s Emerging Technologies section focuses on digital innovations that promise to change the way we work, live, and play in the near future (10 years maximum). The 2007 program also contains a record amount of curated content, which highlights such areas as sensor and video technology, robotics, and display technology.

The 2007 Emerging Technologies team received 75 submissions, of which 23 were accepted. Thirteen were accepted from Japan, five from the United States, and one each from Korea, France, Italy, Sweden, and Hungary. 

To qualify for Emerging Technologies, submissions should stand out in one or more dimensions: as a cutting-edge technology that breaks new frontiers, a “killer” application that everyone will want, or an engaging user experience for attendees (also known as the “wow factor”).

Each year, the Emerging Technologies content seems to grow stronger and stronger, and this year is no exception, say Ryall and Sibert. They want attendees to enjoy their experience, but their larger goal is for Emerging Technologies to inspire and excite people in their work and their lives.