SIGGRAPH 2000 and Web3D RoundUP Wrapup

Dateline: August 3, 2000

Yes SIGGRAPH 2000 is over and it's time to scrape yourself off of Bourbon street. Upon arriving New Orleans Sunday night I promptly headed off to Bourbon street which greets visitors with a distinct smell of beer and vomit...ah what a unique place!

The Web3D RoundUP run by the wrangling odd couple Timothy Childs and Don Brutzman was on Wednesday and as usual was the highlight for Web3D aficionados.

The exhibit floor opened up on Tuesday was huge and packed with over 300 exhibitors.

The conference floor.
The conference floor.

Let's look at a few of the highlights (BTW you can click on all the images for larger versions).
Strangest floor prop
Sun's mechanical dolphin in a water tank. It had NO relation to any technology. Rumor had it that SGI was giving out "Free the Dolphin" t-shirts, although I never actually saw one myself.
Coolest Hardware
Unquestionably the experimental box called the "GScube" from Sony was the awesomest bleeding edge toy on the floor. It's a box that contains 16 PlayStation2 graphic cards, rendering in parallel. A scene from a trailer of the new Final Fantasy game (I think) was displayed at HDTV resolution. It showed this gorgeous enviroment with a woman with flowing hair. The rendering was amazing. Of course the box was hooked up to an SGI which supposedly just drove the data into the box. VERY very cool stuff!
Most amusing interface
A force feedback device into which you insert all ten fingers, (emerging technologies portion of the conference). After insertion you get to "feel" and play with a virtual Rubick's cube.
Biggest brain
Ray Kurzweil, keynote speaker, elucidating about machine intellegence and the merging of humans and machines. Swarms of nanobots that travel through your body will augment and be the next phase of human evolution, but what happens when the system crashes? (Maybe it's the real meaning of Windows ME.)
Coolest packaging
An HP PC packaged as a Harley Davidson motorcycle. A prize for charity one of only five ever made and most cool!

So what really happened at this year's Web3D on!

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