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Mind-Blowing Interfaces On Display At SIGGRAPH 2009 173

An anonymous reader writes "Tech Review has a roundup of some cool, experimental new interfaces being shown at SIGGRAPH 2009, underway in New Orleans this week. They include an amazing 'touchable holograph' display, developed by a team in Japan, which uses an ultrasound device to simulate the sense of touch as the user grasps objects shown in 3D. The other ideas on display are Augmented Reality for Ordinary Toys, Hyper-Realistic Virtual Reality, 3D Teleconferencing and Scratchable Input Devices. If this is the future of computers, sign me up." The conference has also seen the release of OpenGL 3.2 by the Khronos Group.
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Mind-Blowing Interfaces On Display At SIGGRAPH 2009

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  • by peter303 ( 12292 ) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @12:20PM (#28959039)
    I made it SIGGRAPH last year, but not this year. Its GEEK heaven. SIGGRAPH makes me aware how inadequate current video technology is. Do not be deceived by current large screen HD TVs - technology can do so much better.

    In a nutshell, perfect video technology would be "indistinguishable from looking outside of a window on a sunny day". Thats what human visual systems are designed for. I've seen some experimental systems at SIGGRAPH that start to approach this quality. I hope it doesnt take 40 years to commercialize this like HDTV. I would love to see a theater movie where it felt like I was looking through a window at another world.

    Resolution is probably the best aspect of current video. Beyond about 2,000 scan lines and 4K horizontal pixels, you reallly cant see more, unless it is a very large screen.

    Contrast is perhaps in worst shape. The most impressive videos are those that have contrast ranges over a million, preferably over a billion. Super dark shadows and bright light source appear real then. The best monitors at Best Buy have contrast ranges in hundred thousands, but many are under a thousand. Different contrasts are very noticeable viewing screens side-by side. Sony has an experimental Organic-LED screen with a million contrast that starts to look realistic.

    Current video only fills about half of the human perceptual color space. I've seen six-primary-color systems at SIGGRAPH that approach 80%-90% of the color space. They are very impressive when looking at nature and artwork. Compare a work of art and its best conventional video display and the color inadequacies will be immediately apparent.

    Least is important is 3D in my opinion. It does make things look more real when you look through a window.

    A big issue with enhanced video is that its not just the display device, but the whole video system. You need a camera, a signal representation, coomunication bandwidth, and recording devices that support all the enhanced features. You really cant shoe-horn it in existing systems.
  • by Ephemeriis ( 315124 ) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @12:35PM (#28959295)

    I couldn't really tell from the video, and the article didn't specify. Are the touchable holograms 3D, or are they just 2D images floating in mid-air? I suspect the latter. Still impressive, though.

    It's a 3D rendered object, being projected onto a concave mirror. This gives the illusion of a 3D object floating in space because as you move your head, the perspective of the image changes as well.

    They then use a couple WiiMotes to track your hand and use that data to interact with the image. So you can actually manipulate the image with your hand.

    They also use some kind of ultrasound thing to give the impression of tactile feedback on your hand. So when you touch the image, you feel something on your hand.

  • by mzs ( 595629 ) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @04:31PM (#28962627)


    Also I have seen a smaller version of that Samsung LED set at a BestBuy and I was underwhelmed. I brought "A New Hope" on DVD (the bonus disc version that was largely unmodified) and I played it on a BR player connected to the set. The effect of the LEDs during the initial text scroll and star destroyer scene was unwatchable to me in the Magnolia room even though it was much brighter than my room at home. What happened is that rectangular regions would go black then gray once there were enough stars or noise inside them. It was very distracting and I figured-out in the menus how to largely disable the LED dimming feature on the set, but then it was just like any other set, though everything looked too purple and the white point was too high, which was again not too hard to fix in the menus.

    Supposedly the LEDs do give a larger color gamut than CCFLs though I could not notice it in the lighting of that room.

  • Re:I'm a PC.... (Score:3, Informative)

    by cromar ( 1103585 ) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @05:34PM (#28963653)
    "PC" means personal computer yes, although in everyday usage it can also mean a Windows box. The latter meaning comes from the abbreviation of "IBM PC or 100% Compatible []." That label used to appear on software when computer architecture was not as uniform between competing manufacturers as it is now. The IBM PC [] was a popular personal computer of the time, and thus many other companies cloned its architecture.

    Now get off my lawn!

"If it's not loud, it doesn't work!" -- Blank Reg, from "Max Headroom"