Siggraph 2012: Emerging Technologies Highlights

Siggraph 2012, the world’s premier conference on computer graphics and interactive techniques, welcomed 21,212 artists, research scientists, gaming experts and developers, filmmakers, students, and academics from 83 countries around the globe to Los Angeles this week. The conference saw 161 industry organizations from 19 countries exhibit their wares on the show floor.

In the video above, Siggraph 2012 Emerging Technologies Chair Preston Smith from the Laureate Institute for Brain Research leads a brief tour of this popular, interactive technology area that features 26 cutting-edge exhibits.

“Siggraph is not about a location – it is about the kindred spirit of our community and being able to provide cutting-edge content across many different fields,” said Rebecca Strzelec, Siggraph 2012 Conference Chair from Penn State Altoona.

“In that sense [the conference] was a resounding success whether you are an artist, a scientist, a game developer, or a student … we featured incredible content that will continue to inspire everyone into 2013.”

Highlights from Siggraph 2012 included:

Keynote by Jane McGonigal
Jane McGonigal, director of game research and development at the Institute for the Future (IFTF), treated the audience to a lively discourse on how games are transforming the way we lead our real lives, and how they can be used to increase our resilience and well-being.

McGonigal’s research has shown that scientific studies suggest playing games can and have helped those with autism, ADHD, PTSD and even cancer. She has created the game SuperBetter, which helps players achieve health goals or recover from illness or injury by increasing their personal resilience.

Siggraph Business Symposium
The second annual Siggraph Business Symposium was held on Sunday, featuring keynote speakers Carl Rosendahl, founder of Pacific Data Images, venture capitalist, and co-director of Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center-Silicon Valley, and John Textor, chairman and CEO of Digital Domain Media Group. The objective of the event was to help shape the future direction of the computer graphics industry.

Computer Animation Festival
The Computer Animation Festival presented the world’s most innovative, accomplished, and amazing creators of digital gaming, film, and video. A total of 91 films were shown during the Festival. In addition to film screenings, the Festival included interactive sessions and exclusive learning opportunities to gain industry secrets and advice from some of the most successful professionals in the field.

In all, more than 1,200 speakers and contributors participated in the conference through a variety of talks, sessions, panels, papers, presentations, tutorials, and screenings.


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