See Immersive Art and Virtual Reality Exhibits at SIGGRAPH 2016

The annual SIGGRAPH conference is a five-day interdisciplinary educational experience for researchers, developers, and users of computer graphics and interactive techniques.  SIGGRAPH 2016 (July 24-28 at the Anaheim Convention Center) will feature two emerging opportunities for designers and artists: immersive art and virtual reality.

Siggraph 2016 logo

Data Materialities Art Gallery

The Art Gallery at SIGGRAPH 2016 will feature 10 highly interactive and immersive art installations that illustrate the theme “Data Materialities.”

According to SIGGRAPH 2016 Art Gallery Chair Jonah Brucker-Cohen, “We have made a special effort to bring back large-scale, highly immersive displays for the Art Gallery. Our title ‘Data Materialities’ illustrates the fact that in 2016 we are all constantly surrounded by networks, information, and data. Whether these stimuli consist of electromagnetic frequencies or physical wired connections, networks are everywhere, consuming and permeating our offices, homes, schools, and public indoor and outdoor spaces.” The exhibition will expose the plethora of data and not only show its complexity,  but allow us to relate to data on a human scale.

“By injecting humor and kinetic energy to this year’s exposition, the Art Gallery will make light of these data platforms and present them on a grand scale to reveal their ubiquity,” said Brucker-Cohen.

Here are few examples of the installations SIGGRAPH visitors can explore:

Chris Benneworth, Liam Birtles, Oliver Brown, Gaz Bushell, and Anthony Rowe of Squidsoup

This large, walk-through experience uses more than 8000 individual points of suspended light to create feelings of presence and movement within physical space.

SIGGRAPH 2016 Art Gallery
Submergence © 2016 Squidsoup

The Kinetic Storyteller
Tine Bech, independent artist

This installation investigates how art, technology, and playfulness can create new systems of communication. Two beautiful swings light up and display social media messages, encouraging participants to connect while they play.

Plinko Poetry
Peiqui Su and Dequing Sun, New York University

This playful, interaction installation combines experimental blackout poetry with the “Plinko” game made famous on the TV show “The Price is Right.”  Every player can be both a winner and poet. Using text from @nytimes and @FoxNews tweets, players can absurdly recontextualize news headlines.

For more information about the Art Gallery at SIGGRAPH 2016, visit

The Summer of VR

To celebrate “The Summer of VR,” SIGGRAPH 2016 will feature an unprecedented number of experiential and cutting-edge Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) installations.

In the VR Village, attendees can explore the potential for new VR and AR formats for telling stories, engaging audiences, and powering real-world applications in fields such as health, education, entertainment, design, and gaming. The 2016 VR Village will feature real-time immersion in tomorrow’s virtual and augmented realities, including short-form immersive filmmaking.

Presenters will represent major studios, independent filmmakers, game developers, universities, and non-profit organizations such as research labs and planetariums.

“When attendees at SIGGRAPH 2015 were surveyed, many of them stated they would definitely like to see more VR and AR experiences in 2016,” explains SIGGRAPH 2016 VR Village Chair Denise Quensel. “We have assembled a diverse array of VR/AR content that will captivate attendee interest throughout the week.”

Some examples are listed below:

Parallel Eyes: Exploring Human Capability and Behaviors with Paralelled First-Person View Sharing
by Sony Computer Science Laboratories, University of Tokyo, and Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media

This multiplayer VR attraction will allow viewers to play a game of “Tag.” During the game, each player will be able to “see” each other as if they had eyes in the back of their heads inside their VR headsets. Each player will be untethered (Nomadic VR) and will be able to hide from other players.

“Parallel Eyes”: Exploring Human Capability and Behaviors With Paralleled First-Person View Sharing © 2016 Shunichi Kasahara, Sony Computer Science Laboratories, Inc.; Mitsuhito Ando, Kiyoshi Suganuma; Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media; Jun Rekimoto; Sony Computer Science Laboratories, Inc., The University of Tokyo
“Parallel Eyes”: Exploring Human Capability and Behaviors With Paralleled First-Person View Sharing © 2016 Shunichi Kasahara, Sony Computer Science Laboratories, Inc.; Mitsuhito Ando, Kiyoshi Suganuma; Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media; Jun Rekimoto; Sony Computer Science Laboratories, Inc., The University of Tokyo

MechVR: Interactive VR Motion Simulation of a “Mech” Biped Robot
Clemson University

MechVR allows participants wearing VR headsets to go inside a physical motion simulator. Each player can embody a giant biped robot machine that will walk, run, and fly and use a hand controller to hit practice targets. The physical movements of the players will match the visuals presented on their VR screens. MechVR was originally developed for flight and training simulators, but could be used to develop new attractions for theme parks.

Synthesis Suit: The Full-Body Immersive Experience
Keio University, Rhizomatika Co. Ltd., and Enhance Games

Participants will wear a full-body, haptic VR suit that includes 18 power micro-sensors synced to a choice of VR environments. Users will be able to feel the beat and pulse of music within the synced environment. The creators will also showcase a custom game interface that takes full advantage of the suit’s potenial.

VR Village Storylab
This new initiative blends narrative, 360-degree VR content into a physical lab environment. It will display a diverse assortment of VR content related to art, entertainment, academics, science, and experience design.

Other features of the VR Village include showings of VR films by Google Spotlight Stories team, Carnegie Mellon University, and Baobab Studios and presentations about:  the art and science of immersion, production for VR storytelling, and how VR experiences can be agents of change.

For a closer look at the VR Village, visit:

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SIGGRAPH Showcases Hybrid Crafts, Virtual Reality, Immersive Environments

SIGGRAPHThe annual SIGGRAPH conference is a five-day interdisciplinary education experience and conference on the latest computer graphics and interactive techniques. The 42nd annual SIGGRAPH takes place August 9-13, 2015 at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles.  Highlights include: an art gallery of hybrid crafts; a VR (Virtual Reality Village; and demonstrations of how emerging technologies will affect how we work and live.

Art Gallery: Hybrid Crafts

In the display of “Hybrid Crafts” in the SIGGRAPH Art Gallery, visitors will see how skilled artists are using computational design tools in conjunction with traditional crafts. The show will emphasize the importance of craft heritage in contemporary digital design.  Gallery visitors will see how beautiful and meaningful artifacts are being produced by a machine and craftsperson working together, not by a machine or craftsperson alone.

The featured creations come from skilled makers who use computational design tools in conjunction with traditional crafts such as jewelry, bowl-making, wallpapers, and instruments.


The Hunt for Butterflies
“The Hunt for Butterflies,” by Peter Schmitt

For artworks included in the display entitled “The Hunt for Butterflies,” independent artist Peter Schmitt uses CAD, CNC machine tools, wood, plastic, metal, electronics, and mechanics “to explore the questions of how computational methods, machine tools, and fabrication resources can be used outside the paradigm of application, function, purpose and profit.”

In another display, independent artist Yael Friedman displays 3D-printed puzzle rings that are not only meant to be seen, but also be touched and played with.

VR Village

In the 2015 VR Village, attendees can explore the fascinating potential of virutal reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and immersive environments for telling stories, engaging audiences, and powering real-world applications in health, education, design, and gaming.

The 2015 VR Village at SIGGRAPH 2015 will feature real-time immersion in the latest virutal and augmented realities, including Nomadic Virtual Reality (VR), Tabletop Augmented Reality (AR), Full-Dome Cinema, and live performances and demonstrations in a 360-degree immersion dome.  The VR Village is a screening room for cutting -edge VR, AR, and Immersive Media programming.

For example, in the walk-about space of the Nomadic VR Arena, participants will use untethered headsets to freely explore immersive virtual environments. During the Immersive Explorers program, multiple visitors can explore the recreated interior of a pharoah’s tomb while interacting with 3D objects and other users.

In the “Holojam” program visitors will share a virtual space and see each other as stylized avatars, draw shapes in the air with a magic wand, and contribute to 3D sculptural artwork.

At the sit-down or stand-up Head-Mounted Display Stations, attendees can experience the latest in VR and AR programming. “Neuro” provides a VR journey through the brain of world-renowned musician Reuben Wu. “LovR” is a story of love told through neural activity captured over four seconds. Experience what happens when two lovers see each other for the first time.

Occulus Rift in Virtual Reality: Immersive Explorers
Real Virtuality: Immersive Explorers. Copyright: 2015 Artanim Foundation, Kenzan Technologies. (Photo: Business Wire)

In the Immersion Dome, visitors can follow energy from the sun to the Earth and explore the atmosphere and oceans. Immersive visualizations from the California Academy of Sciences will enable visitors to experience the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and explore the Earth’s ecosystems over the millennia.

Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Immersive Environments are pat of a fast-growing, emerging market,” said Ed Lantz, SIGGRAPH 2015 VR Village Program Co-Chair. “As it grows, there will be room for alternative and independent producers, developers, distributors, and manufacturers to make important and original contributions to consumer products and programming. For the debut of SIGGRAPH’S VR Village, my co-chair Denise Quensel and I wanted to ensure that attendees have the chance to see amazing applications that have been developed by the world’s best programmers, cinematographers, artists, and game developers that are currently out there. We also hope to inspire and bring together the larger VR community.”

Speakers who will participate in moderated talks about “VR: Creating at the Edge” include executives from Walt Disney Imagineering R&D, Sony’s PlayStation Magic Lab, Emblematic Group, and Jaunt Studios.

Emerging Technologies

The Emerging Technologies program will feature projects from various industries that demonstrate how evolving technologies and techniques impact the way we live and work. Each project and installation exhibits how innovation can improve work environments, make everyday tasks easier, or help make leisure time more enjoyable.

“As technology builds upon itself and becomes cheaper and wider spread, it’s important to see the beginnings of how see the beginnings of how it it was developed,” said Kristy Pron, SIGGRAPH 2015 Emerging Technologies Program Chair. “For this year’s conference, we wanted to find technologies that can be applied to daily life, whether it will be tomorrow or in a few
to daily life,  It’s exciting to see firsthand a technology that you can follow the development of and know that it will be relevant to you in the near future. Also, we wanted to uncover practical applications of emerging technology from various industries, such as automotive or assistive. I believe we’ve done that with the wide range of interactive installations that will be showcased.”

SIGGRAPH 2015 Emerging Technologies demonstration highlights include:

An Auto-Multiscopic Projector Array for Interactive Digital Humans
Presented by Linkoping University and the University of Southern California

With this installation, users interact with life-size 3D digital human subjects displayed via a dense array of 216 video projectors to generate images with high angular density over a wide field of view. As users move around the display, their eyes transition from one view to the next, making it ideal for displaying life-size subjects and it allows for natural personal interactions with 3D cues, such as eye-gaze and spatial hand gestures. Automultiscopic 3D displays allow a large number of people to experience 3D content simultaneously without the need for special glasses or headgear.

Ford Immersive Vehicle Environment
Presented by the Ford Motor Company

The Ford Immersive Vehicle Environment (FiVE) is a highly realistic immersive virtual reality system that addresses the unique challenges of automotive  design, engineering and ergonomics. FiVE enables a collaborative approach that allows its program teams to see and understand complex engineering issues from any customer’s perspective; while, considering aesthetic design, fit and finish, manufacturability and maintenance of a vehicle’s system.

Christie Digital Sandbox
Presented by Christie Digital

Christie Digital’s latest technology expands the capabilities of today’s automatic projection-calibration systems. This demonstration uses this technology  application to seamlessly calibrate projection-mapped displays automatically on any surface, smooth or complex, and even 3D. Christie Digital’s Sandbox presents an automatic alignment of a projection display in less than 30 seconds, even after the projector and/or surface is moved.

Semantic Paint: Interactive Segmentation and Learning of 3D Worlds
Presented by Stanford University, Nankai University, University of Oxford and Microsoft Research

This installation is a real-time system, interactive system for geometric reconstruction and object class segmentation of 3D worlds. With this system, a user can walk into a room wearing a consumer-depth camera and a virtual reality headset, and reconstruct the 3D scene and interactively segment it into object classes. The user physically interacts with the scene in the real world, touching objects and using voice commands to assign appropriate labels to
these objects.

MidAir Touch Display
Presented by Keio University and the University of Tokyo

The MidAir Touch Display integrates technology for tactile feedback, acoustic energy distribution, planer phased arrays, ultrasonic fields and aerial images through the Aerial Imaging Plate to provide visuo-tactile interaction with bare hands. This project enables users to see and touch virtually floating objects with the naked eye and their hands for true interaction. This presentation is a SIGGRAPH pick from the DC Expo in Japan.




VirtuEye Promotes Virtual Reality for Art, Real Estate, Travel

VirtuEye is a London-based company that develops non-gaming virtual reality applications.

VirtuEye is using virtual reality technology to make it possible to be in one place physically while looking around in another location. They are marketing their services to real estate companies and travel agencies who want to showcase properties and destinations and galleries and museums who want to disseminate or preserve exhibitions.

VirtuEyePic (8) - Copy

While using virtual reality to visit a location isn’t quite the same as being there, VirtuEye founders believe it can be an extraordinary and practical experience: “The times when you had to physically visit a place to see it have ended.”

They also encourage artists to consider using virtual reality technology to influence the way people see and experience the world.

On July 14, an audience in Brooklyn used VirtuEye technology to see three site-specific sculptures that artist MrToll installed in the middle of the Arizona desert as part of the Virtual Borders Arizona  project. Experiencing the Arizona desert via virtual reality technology enabled New Yorkers to see that human-defined borders are insignificant in a terrain in which raw, unforgiving nature stretches for hundreds of miles. The borderless land existed long before humans arrived and it will continue to exist long after humans are gone.

VirtualBordersArizona - Copy

The virtual reality sculpture exhibition, curated by Gabija Grusaite, also suggested that everyone who pursues the dream to succeed needs to cross a metaphorical desert. The artist believes all borders are virtual borders, and that our modern world is enabled by free movement of people, ideas, art, and cultures. Trying to control that free movement limits creativity and progress.

To learn more about how VirtuEye can help real-estate buyers visit properties from afar, view the video below.



Spherical Video Camera for Virtual Reality Content Launches on Kickstarter

Sphericam, the first 360 degree video camera made specifically for virtual reality film production, launched on Kickstarter June 30, with a funding goal of $150,000 by July 30.

Sphericam 2 is a spherical, 360 camera that allows you to capture absolutely everything around you in high resolution without any blind spots. You can watch the resulting videos on a VR Headset (like Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR or Google Cardboard) or on your iPad, tablet, PC or mobile phone. (PRNewsFoto/Sphericam)
Sphericam 2 is a spherical, 360 camera that allows you to capture absolutely everything around you in high resolution without any blind spots. You can watch the resulting videos on a VR Headset (like Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR or Google Cardboard) or on your iPad, tablet, PC or mobile phone. (PRNewsFoto/Sphericam)

About the size of a tennis ball, the Sphericam 2 includes six cameras that work seamlessly together to capture great-looking VR video content straight out of the box.

As huge companies like Oculus Rift and Samsung work furiously to create the best virtual reality viewing platform, Sphericam 2 has been created to fill a growing market void of actually creating that virtual reality content.

Sphericam 2 is perfect for recording stunning footage of adventure sports, journalism stories, and events such as weddings or birthdays.

A host of mounting options gives users multiple ways to hold the camera and capture footage. The camera also includes WiFi and wireless streaming, allowing users to easily view and share content on a smartphone or desktop. Sphericam 2’s iOS and Android app also allows users to monitor, transfer, view, edit and spread the virtual reality footage instantly.

“Sphericam 2 is poised to bring incredible cinematic content to Oculus Rift, Google Cardboard, and the VR world. Our camera has been designed to be the highest performing and most usable virtual reality camera on the market today,” said Sphericam creator Jeffrey Martin. “Every specification from frame rate to sensor type was chosen to maximize performance on today’s VR hardware.”

Features include:

  • Dazzling crystalline design housed in a rugged anodized aluminium body
  • Six high-resolution lenses maintain constant exposure, WB settings for artifact-free 360°shooting
  • Jaw-dropping 4K resolution that leaves nothing to the imagination
  • Unmatched shooting flexibility with 24, 25, 30, 48, and 60 fps
  • Detail-devouring 2.4 Gigabits per second of raw capture gives incredible latitude for post production and color grading
  • Tiny distance between sensors minimizes parallax
  • Automatic, real-time stitching is possible to minimize post production times

Sphericam 2 can now be purchased via Kickstarter beginning at $1,299, which is $200 off of the final retail price.


Kickstarter Campaign: Sphericam 2

Sphericam 2

Canon’s Mixed Reality System Brings Images to Life in Virtual World

Creative pros know that Canon cameras, printers, copiers, and digital presses help bring high-quality images to life on screen and paper. But did you know that Canon also makes systems that bring images to life in the virtual world?

At the SIGGRAPH 2013 Conference July 21-25 in Anaheim, Canon USA is showcasing the Mixed-Reality (MREAL) System they launched in the U.S. last February. The MREAL system simultaneously merges virtual objects created through computer-generated imaging (CGI) with the real world, at full scale and in three dimensions.

The MREAL System provides an interactive, immersive experience that can support product and building design, training simulations, or interactive museum displays, building tours, or theme-park attractions.


With the MREAL System, designs can be examined, modified, manipulated, analyzed, and presented with enough realism to allow complicated ideas and plans to come to fruition more quickly. During pre-production, filmmakers can use the MREAL system to pre-visualize and set up scenes. Architects can use MREAL Systems to help clients visualize how interior or exterior building designs will look in real life at full size. MREAL systems enable experts around the world to collaborate on designing factories, refineries, and water-treatment plants in specific geographic locations.

At SIGGRAPH, Canon is previewing a new handheld display that is currently being developed as an additional option for experiencing mixed reality. The handheld display can be used in showrooms, exhibitions, and meeting rooms where it’s impractical to use MREAL’s head-mounted display.

The SIGGRAPH conference and expo attracts thousands of computer graphics and interactive technology professionals who want to learn about research and emerging technologies for animation, music, gaming, interactivity, education, art, and the web.


Canon Mixed Reality System

Video about Canon’s Mixed Reality System

You Tube: SIGGRAPH 2013 Videos


About Canon USA


Art Gallery at Computer Graphics Conference Merges Science and Art








New Book Explains Virtual Reality Photography

Cover of Virtual Reality BookPHOTOGRAPHERS. Virtual reality (VR) photography provides a powerful way to deliver useful information to website visitors. By enabling viewers to interact with panoramic photography in a 360-degree circle or spherical views, a website can offer “virtual tours” of a site or facility.

VR photography is a popular way to showcase tourist destinations, real-estate developments, hotels, museums, convention-center facilities, college campuses, and medical, health care, and fitness centers. High-quality VR photography can give viewers a sense of being there.

If you have considered adding VR imaging services to your photography business, check out the new Virtual Reality Photography book by expert Scott Highton.

The richly illustrated 320-page book includes 24 detailed chapters on both the artistic and technical aspects of VR photography. The four main sections cover the basics of photography, panoramic and object VR imaging, and business practices.

Peter Skinner wrote a detailed review of the book in April, 2011 issue of Rangefinder magazine. You can also learn more about the book and the field of VR Photography on Highton’s website:


Book: Virtual Reality Photography


See New Forms of Art at Boston Cyberarts Festival

Logo for Boston Cybertarts FestivalDozens of events at the Boston Cyberarts Festival scheduled for April 22 through May 8 will challenge the public to look at art in whole new ways. For example, events include: an interactive, virtual-reality visit with an Egyptian oracle; an exhibition of dynamic digital paintings; and two demonstrations of how augmented reality can be used for public art projects.

Virtual Reality Exhibit
Commonly used in gaming, virtual reality refers to computer-simulated environments in which a physical presence is simulated in a real or imaginary world. The Egyptian Oracle event at the Boston Cyberarts Festival will use a virtual-reality, interactive narrative based on the Egyptian tradition of the public oracle to help audiences develop a deeper understanding of Egyptian culture.

Vitural Reality
Courtyard of the virtual Temple of Horus

Scheduled from 2 to 4 pm on Sunday, May 1 at the Cyberarts Central headquarters at Atlantic Wharf, the event will focus on an important religious event from the Ptolemic Period.  An expert puppeteer will virtually control an avatar of an Egyptian high priest, who will collaborate with live educators, other figures in the virtual Temple of Horus, and the audience. The event will be filmed for a general discussion afterward.

Augmented Reality Art Projects
Augmented Reality provides rich, interactive experiences to smartphone users by overlaying images, information, and graphics on top of our real-time view of the world around us. During the CyberArts festival, augmented-reality art projects will be demonstrated to smartphone users at two popular sites in Boston.

See Aliens Invade Boston’s Greenway Park: Mark Swarek and Joseph Hocking will present an augmented reality-experience at Boston’s Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Park. Entitled “Occupation Forces,” the art project enables people who have downloaded a special “alien detection app” to see invading aliens that will go undetected by the unsuspecting public. App users will encounter the invaders at multiple locations and watch the occupation intensify as they near the center of the park.

Occupation Forces Augmented Reality Project at Greenway Park

See Virtual Public Art at the Institute of Contemporary Art: The artists’ collective Manifest.AR has produced an augmented reality app that uses geolocation software to superimpose a virtual exhibition of computer-generated art objects in and around Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art. From 3 to 5 pm on Friday, April 22, the artists will be on hand at the ICA to demonstrate how to access the work and talk about individual projects.

Image of iPad showing virutal art at Institute of Contemporary Art
“Parade to Hope” is one of the virtual art projects that will be installed by Manifest.AR and viewed through a Layar augmented-reality app at the Institute of Contemporary Art.

Participating artists include Mark Skwarek, John Craig Freeman, Will Pappenheimer, Tamiko Thiel, Sander Veenhof, Virta-Flaneurazine, Patrick Lichty, Lily & Honglei, Christopher Marnzione, Arthur Peters, Geoffrey Alan Rhodes, Nathan Shafer, Joseph Hocking, 4 Gentlemen, and Damon Baker.

Dynamic Digital Imagery
In the “Fluid Perimeters” exhibition of dynamic digital imagery, festival-goers can see examples of dynamic digital painting, digital animations, and algorithmically generated software that explores digital and artificial life.

A dynamic digital painting is one in which a static digital painting slowly, but continuously morphs into something slightly different. (For a demonstration of a dynamic digital painting, watch the YouTube video on the website of the artist San Base:

At the Boston CyberArts Festival, the “Fluid Perimeters” exhibition will feature works by Brian Knep, Robert Arnold, Dennis Miller, Andrew Neumann, Mark Stock, and Dan Hermes.

About The Boston CyberArts Festival
The biennial Boston Cyberarts Festival showcases the rich and vibrant world of art and high technology in New England. Cyberart encompasses any artistic endeavor in which computer technology is used to expand artistic possibilities.


The Boston Cyberarts Festival

Egyptian Oracle Virtual-Reality Interactive Narrative

Occupation Forces: an Augmented Reality Experience

Manifest.AR: Interventionist Public Art

Fluid Perimeters: An Exhibition of Dynamic Digital Imagery


Boston Festival Celebrates the Cyberarts