Siggraph 2018 Introduction

I have pencilled in a trip to the annual Siggraph conference for something like fifteen of the last twenty years, but each year there was a reason why I was unable to get there. This year, I finally managed to get to the show, although it was a brief trip and there was little real chance to experience the city, which I enjoyed when SID visited a few years ago. I did notice a smell, several times, on the streets that I recognised from my regular visits to Amsterdam (for ISE, IBC etc!). At the moment, marijuana is only available from ‘dispensaries’ so I guess that there will be a lot consumed when it becomes publicly available. I was also surprised by the number of homeless, something that I didn’t notice last time I was in the city.

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As it turned out, there were a couple of significant developments. In particular, the announcement by Nvidia of its Turing GPU and RTX ray tracing core was genuine step change in PC graphics performance. (Nvidia Changes the Game in Ray Tracing) After the show, the company also announced products aimed at game players and high end consumers rather than the professionals that were the target in Vancouver and we’re just in the process of writing these up.

The second highlight was the StarVR headset which was a lot better than the previous versions and is the best VR headset I’ve tried so far. I’m very picky, but I could barely see the pixels.

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There were a good number of technically interesting research projects being shown and clearly a lot of creativity in R&D.

The event is a big meeting for content creators and we didn’t have time to chase many down, so it was good to hear them at the JPR luncheon.

One of the things I always try to think about is to identify who was missing from the event and conspicuous to me by its absence was Magic Leap. The company has started to ship development units. I suspect that the firm was probably ensconced in a hotel room somewhere, but I was disappointed that I didn’t get a chance to try its widely talked about technology. I did find this review online and it’s worth a look if you are interested.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy our coverage.