New interactive graphics research at SIGGRAPH 2013

Andy Wilson

Underway in Anaheim, Calif. now through Thursday is SIGGRAPH 2013, the 40th International Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques. It’s a hotbed for tens of thousands of professionals to share advances in the field.

Microsoft Research is once again presenting a plethora of research advancements, and Principal Researcher Andy Wilson is one of the researchers presenting new work. It’s always inspiring to see what Wilson, who holds a doctorate from MIT, and leads the Natural Interaction Research group at Microsoft Research Redmond, and his team come up with.

First up is a hands-on demo of IllumiRoom, a proof of concept immersive living-room experience that projects visualizations onto the areas surrounding a television screen, previously presented in April during CHI 2013.

He is also presenting new work in the form of a project that pioneers techniques to embed unique information (such as serial numbers) inside 3-D printed objects readable by a terahertz scanner as a cost-effective alternative to adding external radio-frequency ID (RFID) tags, electronic chips, or bar codes. The paper, InfraStructs: Fabricating Information Inside Physical Objects for Imaging in the Terahertz Region, was co-authored with Karl Willis of Carnegie Mellon University who was an intern at Microsoft Research when the project was completed.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how Windows 8.1 will have 3-D printing capabilities, which I think is a big deal and the research community obviously does as well.

Wilson is diving deeper into 3-D printing, which he says many people see as “simply as tools for rapid prototyping.” But Wilson and his team approach it as a research topic, in the form of the InfraStructs project, which brings terahertz scanning into 3-D manufacturing. And this is what opens up new possibilities for encoding information as part of the manufacturing process.

Check out the Microsoft Research feature article to learn more.