Jen-Hsun Huang, the charismatic co-founder, president and CEO Of NVIDIA, kicked off the three-day NVISION 08 conference with an entertaining and informative keynote speech at the inaugural event held in San Jose August 25-27. Touching upon the many applications of the ‘Visual Computing Ecosystem,’ Huang pointed out to the huge progress that has been made in the fields of graphics, parallel computing, displays and image processing. To demonstrate how important the role of visual computing and design has become, he revealed that Google Earth has now offered over 400 million downloads to users all around the world.
Peter Stevenson, COO of RealTime Technology AG (RTT), a leading global supplier of 3D real-time visualization technologies joined Huang on stage, and shared some of the cutting-edge digital designs his company had created for Lamborghini’s exlusive Reventon model. As the car hasn’t been manufactured yet, customers ordered it only after viewing the digital model online. The RTT team use a hybrid renderer, which combines ray tracing and rasterization.
Next up, Huang introduced the energized audience to the world of Nurien, a new Korean-based company that hopes to blend the best of social networking software with the world of Second Life and virtual avatars. The crowd love the break-dancing and hipster avatar of Jen-Hsun. According to Nurien co-founder Taehoon Kim, the avatars are all real-time rendered and use PhysX on the GPU. The Nurien world is free’but you have to pay for your dance moves, or acquire cool clothes and fancy furniture for your virtual homes!
Marv White, CTO of Sport Vision, a Bay Area- company that delivers stunning digital graphics for television sports coverage, shared some of his company’s jaw-dropping effects from the world of car racing and football. Sport Vision renders aerodynamic effects on car races so that TV viewers can actually see the effects of cool and hot air on the vechicles as they race each other.
Microsoft‘s Josh Edwards followed up with his presentation of the amazing Photosynth‘a new computational photography application which generates 3D space based on series of images’you can use your own snapshots and the system will map out the 3D space, which creates the illusion of the user walking through the 3D photos. You can also upload high-res images from the Internet to create images with higher MB.
Jeff Han, the famous research scientist at NYU’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Science, then showed off his giant multi-touch-driven computer screen. If you remember how Tom Cruise was interfacing with the digital screen in the futuristic Minority Report, you get an idea of the smooth simplicity and ease of use of Han’s computer screen. Han pointed out that multiple people can use a large screen to share info on the same computer by using their favorite marker or pointer. Think of the new Apple Iphone and blow it up 50 times! Multi-user, multi-touch is the way to go.
The geek crowd got to also see their favorite Cylon/robot from Battlestar Galactica up close on stage. Actress Tricia Helfer, who plays the enigmatic Six on the popular Sci-Fi Channel series, discussed the complexities of sharing the screen with her digital doubles and acting with fellow robots The Centurians on the green screen. She also warned the audience that if they were to create complex robots like her character in the future, they’d better be nice to them.
To learn more about the events of this year’s NVISION conference, visit www.nvision2008.com.