SIGGRAPH will host a highly diverse array of new Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) projects from around the world during its upcoming annual conference. SIGGRAPH 2017 marks the 44th International Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques, and will be held 30 July–3 August 2017 in Los Angeles.
A relatively young program within the SIGGRAPH conference, VR Village features VR and AR installations that are both content-driven and highly interactive. The venue offers attendees the ability to explore the fascinating potential of brand-new VR and AR formats for shared experiences, engaging audiences, and powering real-world applications in health, education, entertainment, design, and gaming.
While previous years’ VR Village contributions included art, real-world applications, and simulations, the 2017 program focuses on diversity — both of the storylines featured within the projects as well as the diversity of creators and producers who are presenting content.
Denise Quesnel, 2017 VR Village Chair, said, “Our jury selected content for this year’s VR Village that would be ‘hands-on’ and that focuses on the experience itself rather than the technology. In this way, we will be offering conference attendees the chance to explore the capabilities and functionalities of each project in context. Projects that include performative elements and social experiences will be featured, along with multi-user experiences that are highly collaborative.”
Quesnel adds, “We made a conscious effort for diversity – we tried to normalize our content to be as diverse as possible. We believe that diversity in content, and diversity of contributors, helps facilitate perspectives and opportunities that are of great benefit to attendees. The experiences that will be seen at this summer are not only outstanding examples of VR and AR, but can only be experienced in SIGGRAPH’s unique VR Village space.”
Highlights of the 2017 VR Village include:
Neurable: Brain-Computer Interfaces for Virtual and Augmented Reality
Ramses Alcaide, Adam Molnar, and Michael Thompson of Neurable
The product of neuroscientific insights and advanced machine learning, Neurable interprets user intent, bringing new degrees of freedom to virtual and augmented reality. It poses the question: “What if you could use your brainwaves to control your computer and virtual environment?” This installation does just that.
Out of Exile
Eren Aksu of Emblematic Group
“Out of Exile” is the true story of Daniel Ashley Pierce, who was violently attacked by his family when confronted about his sexual orientation. The room-scale VR experience is a powerful parable of the hostility faced by many in the LGBTQ community.
“Emblematic Group does incredible work in the realm of VR journalism, and drawing attention to underrepresented communities and their stories. Emblematic Group participated in the first VR Village in 2015, so it is great to see their team back at SIGGRAPH 2017,” said Quesnel.
Digital Playgroundz: Demonz I.
Jakub Roček, Daniel Gregor, Ordřej Prucha, and Josef Kortan of INITI.org
Digital Playgroundz is an interactive and augmented-reality system that displays large-scale applications on flat surfaces (walls) in various spatial configurations, with no limits on the number of users or size of the interactive area. Coming all the way from Prague in order to premiere a custom interactive and multi-user experience at VR Village, the folks at INITI.org make not only incredible art, but their own innovative technology to create scalable experiences.
Terrence Masson, School of Visual Arts; Ken Perlin, New York University; Daffy London; and Laura Dohrmann
HOLO-DOODLE is a VR hangout that brings the VR experience of being a naughty robot killing time to life. The attraction makes its world premiere at SIGGRAPH 2017.
Quesnel noted, “This team is made up of some CG and interactive techniques all-stars, and it really shows in the vision of this project. Personally, I’ve never seen anything quite like the social, creative, and technically proficient experience they are demonstrating. This is going to be incredibly original and unique for SIGGRAPH attendees.”
IRIDiuM+: Deep-Media Storytelling With Non-linear Light-Field Video
Maggie Kosek and Kenny Mitchell, Disney Research, Edinburgh Napier University, The Walt Disney Company; Babis Koniaris, David Sinclair, and Fraser Rothnie, Disney Research, The Walt Disney Company; Lanny Smoot, Disney Research
This presentation depicts techniques and the creation process of a deep-media immersive experience with synchronized tactile, audio, and light-field visual techniques to realize a non-linear story in virtual reality.
“I feel this work by Disney Research not only demonstrates the state of where immersive realities are today, but IRIDiuM+ aptly presents what the future can be,” said Quesnel. “This multi-sensory experience is incredibly inspiring, combining remarkable new techniques with brand-new, non-linear storytelling.”
Registration for SIGGRAPH 2017 is now open. Pass levels with access to the VR Village include: Full Conference, Select Conference, and Exhibits Plus.