At this year’s Siggraph 2013, we saw many booths that gave us a unique look into the future. As we stated in our Siggraph wrap-up article, we saw a lot of Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, 3D Printing and 4K. Even though Nvidia’s own booth followed the general zeitgeist of the exhibitor floor, they had a very unique demonstration tucked away in the righthand corner of their booth. This was a demonstration that they had developed in partnership with Christie and RTT. Nvidia combined the GPU horsepower of 12 Quadro K5000 GPUs and multiple Christie projectors to enable a virtually seamless demonstration of RTT’s Deltagen program. This was then projected onto a partial-size Audi R8 with real time exterior rendering onto a blank 3D mold of the car with an iPad for control. You can see the demonstration for yourself in the video below.
The next step for this technology, I believe, would to completely get rid of the iPad and to enable users to touch the car and pick a spot that they want to change. In addition to that, I believe that we are slowly edging closer to the point where we will be able to combine projectors in a way that we can actually generate a holographic image that has volume. Considering how incredibly close this demo has come to that reality, I foresee holographic demos that would mimic this one coming in the next 5-10 years. The real truth is that projector technology has come quite a long way and we’re already seeing some Kickstarter projects promising to deliver real holographic displays.
While it is doubtful that such technologies are seriously possible in commercial applications at affordable prices, I do believe that this is the next step in enabling wonderful, seamless and incredibly realistic user experiences.