Thursday, October 4, 2007

Visualization Design Institute

Carlos Ruano, IMM 2007-2008, Sheridan

Today, we visited the Visualization Design Institute (VDI) which is an important Research Department of Sheridan College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning(1). This people have been working for approximately nine years developing computer based software and visualization tools worth for education, entertainments and cultural research.

We have come to the following conclusions after combining online research with Visualization Researcher and Developer Song Ho Ahn and Senior Web Developer Ian Howatson expositions:

  • F.A.C.E. (Facial Animation Communication Engine), which is a real-time facial animation tracking system that is being developed at VDI, has the purpose of capturing human face’s shape and movement in order to make it useful in gaming environments. In my opinion the development this kind of tools helps to construct interactive interfaces that may turn gaming into more interactive applications and increase their appeal to different audiences.

  • The interface of F.A.C.E. involves deep investigation into the fields of shape recognition, color and grayscale analysis, 3-D, and Facial Action Parameters. That new knowledge can be used in future works related to emerging technologies such as body and motion recognition, medical and physiological analysis and virtual reality, including interactive applications related to entertainment and to the new ways of interaction between human and computers.

  • Understanding visualization as ‘the technologies that are used to transform information into a visual form, enabling the viewer to easily understand the information using interactive graphics and visual design(2)” we realized that the work done by Immersion Studios on their Immersive Visualization Environment Theater is a fascinating tool to transmit information in an attractive and interactive way.

  • Using electronic tablets as inputs to allow the audience to get involved or chose the contents on the screen this tool seems to be a very powerful first step into what may will be the next step into the way to show contents to different kinds of audiences and let them interact with the stories or educational filling displayed.

  • After visiting VDI, we can state that the emerging technologies that are being developed at this days can be extremely helpful when it comes about interactivity, but the greatest challenges consist on making them reachable to the general public while adapting them to be used with normally used tools such as the conventional web cam (used as the primary input in F.A.C.E.). VDI shows us that interactive visualization technology can be funny and educational whenever you apply creativity, effective programming and a little bit of common sense in your creations.

(1).-“VDI is an applied research unit of Sheridan College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning (Sheridan). We are dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in the field of computer visualization and simulation. The VDI is a multi-disciplinary establishment, encouraging collaborative partnerships in the areas of scientific, medical, engineering, educational, cultural and environmental research. It is a unique leading edge R and D facility that develops applied solutions that will help ensure a leadership role for Canada in this highly specialized technology”. Visualization Design Institute of the Sheridan College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning.

(2).-“ Data visualization, the art of using visual thinking to understand complex information, is a growing trend--but it also has an illustrious history. Some of the biggest scientific discoveries hinged on turning data into pictures. One famous example of visualization is the periodic table of elements: When Mendeleev published a grid-like arrangement of elements for a textbook in 1869, not only did he create a beautifully simple display of known data, but his diagram highlighted gaps in current knowledge that told scientists where to search for new elements”. Martin Wattenberg, Manager, Visual Communication Lab. AlphaWorks, IBM.

Related Links

VDI Homepage

IBM – Visualization

Face Recognition Interesting Papers

Face Recognition Camera

Interactive Visualization lecture by Jonas Lowgren

George Legrady Studio

1 comment:

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