Future Present


This week, here in LA, was SIGRRAPH 2010 — the annual conference on computer graphics and interactive technologies. The two parts of the event I find most interesting are the emerging technologies and art gallery exhibitions — and there was a lot of thought-provoking stuff being shown. Most was a bit rough around the edges, or research without a clear purpose yet, but it was inspirational. And it’s great to see designers, researchers and technologists all working together to explore the edges of interactivity. Here then, are a few of the things I saw that caught my eye…

FuSA2 Touch Display

There were a couple “softer” displays at the show, but my favorite was the FuSA2 Touch Display. The display uses plastic fiber-optic bundles to carry the light from the underlying display forward — with the result being a much more diffuse image. But the nicest part was the touch-interaction — the feel of the fiber-optics is so much softer and gentle than a traditional display. It makes the experience seem much less “digital” — and, as a result, opens up all sorts of possibilities for interaction.

The display was created at the Human Interface Engineering Lab at Osaka University. More info.

FuSA2 Touch Display


This prototype 360-degree autostereoscopic display from Sony was very cool. A small compact cylinder, you could walk around it to see the content displayed from any angle. The demos were pretty basic, but the quality of the displayed 3D images, plus the slick Sony packaging, made it feel like something from the future. The interactive bricks-like game was interesting, too, since you’re able to see the game from any orientation. I want one of these! More info…

Shaboned Display

Shaboned Display

Bubbles! It may seem hard to imagine how this could be used — but it’s so poetic and unique that I’m sure something great will come from it. It uses a grid of bubble-pixels. I’d love to see a large-scale version where the bubbles float up into the air — almost like a reverse waterfall printer. Next step: add interactivity.

The project was created by Yasuaki Kakehi at Keio University. More info…


Unfortunately this was only presented as a video (see above) and not the actual interactive installation. And so I’m not really sure what the live experience would have been like. But it looks crazy and intriguing. I’m definitely curious to see more. The project was created by Joerg Niehag. There’s more info on his website.

Glowing Pathfinder Bugs was also on display. I’ve posted about this previously, but it was fun to be able to actually play with it.