A Student's View of SIGGRAPH 20064 Sep, 2006 By: Cadalyst Staff
Editor's note: This article was contributed by Sara Sipes, a college student and daughter of Cadalyst Contributing Editor James L. Sipes.
I have always wanted to attend the SIGGRAPH conference, and this year I finally had a chance to see if it was anything like I expected it would be. To say it was breathtaking is an understatement! Thousands of people come to SIGGRAPH to see the newest technologies and best animation and graphics of the year.
As a music performance major at Morehead State University, the Emerging Technologies exhibits that involved music caught my eye. Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories created a harp using water as strings; each string created a sound through a synthesizer when the water current was broken. Just hearing the sounds made me want to run over and try it out myself. Using water also brought the joy of getting wet instead of just hitting a string on a normal harp. Another technology that kept me entertained was a something called "freqtric drums." The drums were actually created by using the human body as a conductor for drum sounds. Each participant wore a ring having a certain sound, and when a drummer tapped on you, it made a sound like a cymbal, a snare drum, base drum or other type of drums.
Freqtric Drums assigned different drum sounds to human participants via rings they wear. (Image courtesy of Tetsuaki Baba and Kiyoshi Tomimatsu of Kyushu University, and SIGGRAPH.)
The emerging technologies exhibit was incredible, but there were many other things to see as well. The Electronic Theater was a huge hit, with a packed house every night. A two-hour show was filled with the most amazing animations from professionals and aspiring students, and the audience was involved in the largest games of ping pong and Etch A Sketch ever organized. How cool is that? I got to go to SIGGRAPH and get in the Guinness Book of World Records at the same time!