NVISION 08 - Live! Jen-Hsun Keynote Coverageby Anand Shimpi & Virginia Lee on August 25, 2008 4:00 PM EST
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Below is AnandTech's live coverage of NVIDIA's NVISION 08 day 1 keynote. The newest posts are at the top, keep refreshing for the latest updates.
All timestamps are in EDT.
6:08PM - We're done!
6:07PM - "The idea that you're just being created and...your soul, what you're putting into the character isn't coming out. It's a scary thought, it's a threatening thought. The advantages and uses of it are amazing and we'll have to get used to it." - Trisha in response to Jen-Hsun asking her opinion on what the future of computer graphics means for actors in Hollywood.
6:02PM - Acting with multiple versions of yourself is apparently also hard.
5:59PM - One of the actresses in Battlestar Galactica (Trisha Helfer) is talking about acting with CG actors. Apparently this involves talking to tennis balls.
5:53PM - We should be nearing the end of the keynote (scheduled to end about a half hour ago). Jen-Hsun is talking about Battlestar Galactica as he's winding it down.
5:50PM - Actually manipulating user interfaces in hugely complex ways (with 10 fingers on many people) is possible because of the GPU today (Anand: correction, this is the coolest demo of the keynote).
5:45PM - Even cooler things can be done with really large screens (Jeff just called 30" displays small). Pretty cool stuff. Multiple people can use a large screen to cooperate on the same computer and screen and even data set without fighting over a cursor.
5:43PM - Jeff is talking about using gestures on a screen to invoke anything you need and get rid of statically positioned interfaces. He's also got some cool particle effects and maps he is showing off as well.
5:41PM - "The mouse has actually become a bottleneck in what we can do," says Jeff Han. He's talking about multi-user multi-touch.
5:40PM - Jeff Han is up on stage talking about multi-touch interfaces. He got started in graphics apparently by writing a wireframe renderer on an apple II in basic when he was 12.
5:37PM - In the first 3D demo I had a hard time focusing on different objects when there were near and far plane objects in the same scene. The age of empires demo was much better and cooler. There were still some issues with peripheral vision. We need longer demos of this (and hopefully we'll get some soon).
5:36PM - Now we're watching a demo of Age of Empires III running in stereoscopic 3D mode. This is much cooler although it does feel a bit uncomfortable, I wonder if it'd be possible to actually sit here and play a game like this for any significant period of time?
5:34PM - Hmm, not as cool as the IDF demo, but this was put together by NVIDIA's demo team and not DreamWorks. There's a lot of potential here but I'm not sure the time is now.
5:31PM - Uh oh, it's time for the 3D demo. Will it be cooler than the DreamWorks/Intel one at IDF?
5:26PM - Not only can it use your own photographs, but if it finds certain things it can pull stuff from the internet to use in order to enhance the photo set. The example is the constitution at the national archives. A 200MB file of the original can be streamed in and viewed as if it was part of your own set.
5:22PM - Joshua Edwards from Microsoft is up on stage talking about computational photography with Photosynth. This stuff is pretty cool as it can take a bunch of pictures and organize them in a way that builds a point cloud of of common stuff from them and generates a 3D space based on the images. The images are then mapped to the 3D space so that you can essentially walk around through you images. It's pretty cool. (Anand: by far the coolest demo thus far)
5:18PM - Jen-Hsun's keynote has been much less about the role NVIDIA is playing in the industry and much more about what's possible thanks to advancements in technology. What's interesting is that these advancements aren't just limited to things enabled by the GPU, but many of them are CPU-enabled technologies.
I'm not sure if Jen-Hsun's keynote is designed to help NVIDIA sell GPUs or establish Jen-Hsun as someone who can educate the unaware as to what's been possible with the advancement of PC technology. I don't see how it's doing the former.
5:15PM - Up next is the first example of a new era in computational photography that NVIDIA thinks really resonates with the mass market. Jen-Hsun is talking about using HDR and computational methods to combine multiple exposures of the same image to improve the detail of an image. Future possibilities include refocusing film after it has been taken.
5:12PM - Sport Vision is doing some cool things in rendering aerodynamic effects on races so that spectators can see the effects of air and drafting on the cars in the race. This looks pretty cool.
5:04PM - CTO of Sport Vision Marv White is showing off some of their technology that can overlay stuff onto sporting event broadcasts. Stuff like info and first down lines and other things. All the stuff they put down is perspective correct. They measure tilt of the ground and the tilt of the camera and it takes about 20 minutes to set up the system that enables this..
5:02PM - Jen-Hsun is saying that Nurien is going to be the next Facebook or a virtual Facebook. We'll have to wait and see on that one.
5:01PM - The keynote hall is quite crowded, that's Tech Report's Scott Wasson staring at his laptop below:
4:57PM - They are showing off Nurien's social networking software with a digital Jen-Hsun dancing around, walking down a runway and break dancing. It's all real time rendered and using PhysX on the GPU. They've got good avatar creation tools and their business model is going to be based on micro transactions (buying stuff for your virtual self; it's like Second Life - ever want to buy virtual furniture for your virtual self in your virtual house? Yeah, me neither...).
4:44PM - Another aspect of Visual Computing: Google Earth. 400M+ unique downloads of Google Earth. Again, so far we've got nothing new or interesting here. It's like a giant NVIDIA Editor's Day but open to the public.
4:42PM - A real-time rendering of the interior of the Reventon. This technology is also used for mobile phones, shoes, etc...
4:40PM - Lamborghini used this model of the Reventon to sell the car since only 20 are made world-wide You can't see one in person, so a 3D model is the best you can get.
4:38PM - Headlights are designed by jewelry designers -- lots of attention to detail goes into designing a car. And it needs to look as real as possible if you are going to design a prototype all on a computer. So the software has to be good. They use a hybrid renderer combining ray tracing and rasterization.
4:33PM - COO of RTT (Peter Stevenson) is up on stage talking about digital prototyping software. While he works in Germany he is Scottish. He sounds cool. His company, Real-time Technology, was tasked by Lamborghini to model the CAD drawings of the Reventon.
4:30PM - The GPU has advanced computing 10 years over night by opening it up to more programmability (for specific applications that scale with data parallel approaches of course). The power of a GPU for certain task creates a discontinuity between what the CPU can offer and what we have with GPU computing.
4:29PM - 24,386 NVIDIA GPUs in the world are computing to Folding@Home - that's 1.4 PetaFLOPS of compute power.
4:26PM - Jen-Hsun is talking about Folding @ Home performance on a GPU. So far this is mostly a rehash of things we already know.
4:23PM - And now on to handing out the kool aid: we're talking about the GPU as the core of parallel computing. We'll have a couple glasses (with a side of RV770 and some Larrabee).
4:21PM - Touch display is also something he touched on in addition to the mention of dimension.
4:21PM - "We're on the cusp of a display revolution" (Jen-Hsun is talking about 3D displays).
4:20PM - Jen-Hsun: All of the top 10 grossing movies this year wouldn't have been possible without computing graphics. Iron Man, Narnia, etc... Exemption: Sex and the City. Summary: We need computers.
4:19PM - Talking about the "ecosystem" of visual computing and what it touches. From automotive to aerospace and games to medicine. I don't just hate The New Pornographers, I hate the term ecosystem when used to describe things that have nothing to do with ecology.
4:15PM - The intro video is playing - The Visual Language - music by The New Pornographers, Derek hates this song. Jen-Hsun is on stage now.
4:12PM - Ok this has turned into a plug for San Jose...lame. Woo, now it's time for Jen-Hsun.
4:11PM - The lights just got really bright again for some reason ...
4:11PM - The lights are dimming, the Mayor of San Jose just walked out on stage. San Jose is covered with NVISION banners for the show, looks like they are happy to have NVIDIA here.
4:08PM - In looking a little more closely at the 3D glasses, we note that the glass is much thicker than the glasses we got at IDF from DreamWorks. Refraction is much higher and you can easily see your eyes when you put them on.
4:05PM - We have no idea what to expect here, it's NVIDIA's first NVISION, Jen-Hsun's first keynote at NVISION and a lot of pressure for NVIDIA to respond, at least in spirit, to IDF. Make no mistake, NVISION is a direct attempt by NVIDIA to create its own IDF. Our first meeting of the day was about CUDA, GT200 and Larrabee...
4:03PM - NVIDIA left some 3D glasses on all of our seats, it looks like NVIDIA may be doing a 3D demo similar to what Intel did last week at IDF. The glasses are more expensive and it sounds like they want them back after the show - exciting:
4:02PM - Hear about the NVIDIA G84/G86 chip failures that Charlie over at the Inquirer has been covering? Well outside of the keynote hall there were a few people handing out these fliers:
4:00PM - We're seated, it's like an IDF keynote but done by NVIDIA. The music is a little younger, the bass a bit boomier, and the stage is all green naturally: