NVISION 08 kicked off with an introduction from San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed. Chuck declared August 25-29, 2008 "Visual Computing Week" and welcomed the attendees to the heart of Silicon Valley.
San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed
An opening keynote by NVIDIA Co-Founder, President, and CEO Jen-Hsun Huang followed directly after being welcomed to the Bay Area. Jen-Hsun highlighted several visual computing techniques that are being used today and what enthusiasts should expect in the near future.
NVIDIA President and CEO Jen-Hsun Huang
The visual ecosystem is a term Jen-Hsun used to describe a common ground in which programmers, developers, and enthusiasts focus on creating a core technology. With the visual ecosystem, the audience is reminded of how much the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) effects everyday life.
The GPU affects many industries outside of Silicon Valley including finance, scientific exploration and x-ray imaging for example. Jen-Hsun also explained the Folding@Home client and its evolution.
Visual Computing Ecosystem
Marv White of Sportvision was then introduced as a guest speaker. Sportvision has created many broadcast imaging services, including the line of scrimmage and first down lines we see on TV during football games. Sportvision is also responsible for the evolution of the "K" Zone also seen on TV during baseball broadcasts.
Sportvision's Marv White
An interesting fact about the technology is the company goes to every football and baseball stadium to get the dimensions of that particular stadium so the lines and strike zones are accurately calibrated in conjunction with the camera, making it as accurate as possible to what the viewers see on television. This is simply amazing and something that many people do not realize.
Jen-Hsun then introduced Joshua Edwards from Microsoft. Joshua is part of a development team that works with Microsoft's newest technology Photosynth. This brand new program having gone live not even a week ago, takes users photos and reconstructs the pictures into a complete 360 view of the area!
View Stonehenge with Photosynth
The example that was demonstrated was Stonehenge, where the entire canvas of the area was photographed. After uploading all the pictures into PhotoSynth, a database is created that contains points from each of the pictures. From these points, the technology is able to construct an exact 360 degree view of the entire area based off of only the pictures a user has uploaded. This program is simply mind boggling and I would recommend everyone to give it a try as it surely will knock your socks off!
Another guest speaker was from the eventual winner of NVIDIA's Best Emerging Company, Taehoon Kim co-founder of Nurien Software. The goal of Nurien Software is to create an online community where each user has their own unique avatar based upon the user's personal features and characteristics. The concept is almost like The Sims but much more in depth.
Best Emerging Company - Nurien Software
Nurien Software boasts one of the most in depth avatar characteristics from facial features to the environment. The "game" or online community if you will is completely free and is very popular in Asia. The company makes money by selling clothes, dance moves, or furniture for your house for example for your avatar. The whole idea here is each user will personalize their avatar to their own personal features and interact and chat with people all over the world.
Also speaking at the opening keynote was world famous touch screen expert Jeff Han from Perceptive Pixel. Jeff Han is one of the most influential people in touch screen technology and he introduces a new multi-touch screen on an enormous display. What makes this technology so exciting is the multi touch functions. With this technology the user is no longer held back by a single touch point but rather can use multiple points to touch anywhere on the screen.
Multi-touch User Interface
For example one person is able to search the web, while another person on the same screen is able do whatever they please. The possibilities are endless with the multi-touch screen function. The technology is awe inspiring and speaks for itself. Although it will be a few years before consumers experience this technology, companies are already beginning to implement this cutting edge technology.
Actress Tricia Helfer
Actress and model Tricia Helfer was introduced as the next speaker. Jen-Hsun highlighted several of her accomplishments including her star role on the hit series Battlestar Galactica. Tricia speaks about her role in the series as well as the affect graphics have had on the television industry. During her piece, she goes into detail about the different techniques used to shoot the show. She is gorgeous and much taller in person than I imagined.
3D Stereoscopic Gaming
Jen-Hsun then went into detail about the new evolution of stereoscopic gaming as the audience is provided with Dolby 3D glasses and a concurring clip of a 3D Medusa demo. It's really amazing how life-like stereoscopic gaming makes the demo seem.
Something that hits a little close to home for me is the demo of Age of Empires III. I was estatic they picked this game to show off the stereoscopic "engine." As Jen-Hsun stated, with over 300 games slated to be supported off the bat, many gamers will revisit older titles and fall in love with the game all over again.
Additional details of NVISION 08 day 1 include visiting the GeForce LAN Area, The Guiness World Record area, and visiting a few vendor booths, which we will get into more detail on NVISION 08 day 2.
The official web site for NVISION 08 can be found here>.