Some of the new computer graphics technology that will be on display at Siggraph Asia starting next week won't just bend your mind, it'll snap it right in half.
It's entirely possible that you've never heard of Siggraph. It's a fairly specialized conference held by the Special Interest Group on GRAPHics and Interactive Techniques. What that means is that it's all about cool ways of messing with computers and electronics, and the dedicated Emerging Technologies space is stuffed full of some of the weirdest computer interfaces that we've ever experienced.
According to some scientists, the robotic and A.I.-driven apocalypse known as the Singularity will not be humanity's undoing. But such prognostications won't stop the researchers at Disney Research from trying hasten its arrival via more realistic robot faces.
You know what's boring? Surfaces. Why does an orange always have to feel like an orange? Couldn't it change it up every so often and feel like a peach or something? And why should all that neat stuff underneath touchscreens always feel like such a … touchscreen?
At this year's CES, we were absolutely floored by the demo we got of Tobii's eye-tracking interface. Since then, Tobii has been working on making the hardware smaller, and at Siggraph this week we got some eyes-on time with a version of its gaze-tracker that fits into a pair of gasses.
At SIGGRAPH 2012, there's an entire room dedicated to Emerging Technologies. "Emerging" might be a bit hasty: most of the stuff on display here is so new and bizarre that nobody has any idea what to do with it. If anything, this only adds to the awesomeness, and one of the weirdest things on display (by far) was this system from Disney research for tactile interaction with cyborg plants.
Here at SIGGRAPH 2012, we got our first look at the Edge3 Technologies 3D tracking and gesture recognition system. It's sort of like Kinect or Leap, except definitely better than the former and arguably better than the latter. We were impressed, and we'll tell you why it could enable new interfaces for the next-generation of devices.