San Jose, CA—The 2010 6Sight Future of Imaging Conference, held at the Saint Claire hotel in San Jose, California, offered an exciting lineup of speakers and technology demonstrations to give attendees a glimpse into the newest trends and developments driving photo-imaging.
In conjunction with 6Sight, the Association of Imaging Executives hosting its second AIE Output Summit. And, the 6Sight conference was preceded by the new AIE Output Summit. This mini conference focused on photofinishing, professional imaging and the picture printing business. It featured panel discussions with leading print service providers, hardware manufacturers and industry analysts, including Kodak, Fujifilm, HP, Memjet, Walgreens, White House Custom Colour, H&H Color Lab and RPI.
A highlight of 6Sight is the gathering of the largest number of imaging industry analysts in one room, debating the topics presented each day, and revealing their latest research. Analyst firms at 6Sight included GfK Group, IDC, InfoTrends, Jon Peddie Research, Lyra Research, The NPD Group and the Soquel Group.
The program focused on the most important, innovative topics in photography, including augmented reality, 3D imaging, computational photography, video, advanced output, and smarter cameraphones.
Highlights included a look at Augmented Reality: imagine going to Paris and looking at the Eiffel Tower on your cameraphone screen and seeing information about its history, trivia and shopping suggestions. This is augmented reality (AR), which merges image capture, display, computation and connectivity to overlay information and graphics on top of a live view. 6Sight kicked off with an opening keynote from Professor Blair MacIntyre, director, Augmented Environments Lab, Georgia Institute of Technology. He joined a panel of developers who discussed their latest work and the impact augmented reality will have on imaging.
Computational Photography and Camera Evolution were also examined; computational photography uses advanced algorithms and processing to take imaging beyond the replacement of film with digital sensors. Marc Levoy, a professor at Stanford University, delivered a keynote titled “Computational Photography and the Stanford Frankencamera”—a fully programmable camera embodying the ideal of open capture devices that can be customized, expanded and upgraded. Reports were also given by Fujifilm and Tessera.
Smarter cameraphones were also covered, with smartphones now providing fun photographic functions “plain, old, ‘dumb’ cameras cannot.” 6Sight mobile imaging senior analyst Tony Henning presented an overview of the market and lead a panel discussion on the latest innovations in phones and photography, trying to answer the question of whether smarter cameraphones will influence the development of digital cameras because of their appeal of always-on connectivity, open OS and app sales.
3D photography also took center stage at 6Sight, as 3D stereoscopic cameras, printers and 3D televisions offer new opportunities for imaging companies. 6Sight consumer imaging analyst Paul Worthington presented a category overview, and a panel of experts, executives and developers discussed what is coming next and what is still needed to further 3D. Companies in the spotlight here included CyArk, Fujifilm, Movidius and Roxio.
New Imaging Technologies in the Spotlight at 6Sight
In New Technology Showcases this year, 6Sight spotlighted 11 innovative companies developing next-gen photographic technology.
CyArk is a nonprofit using LIDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) technology to record and digitally preserve world heritage sites. Founder Ben Kacyra discussed the digital capture technologies used and their applications for geo-spatial management, education and cultural tourism.
InVisage has created a new medium for photographic image capture that may supersede silicon: QuantumFilm promises greater light sensitivity than CMOS or CCD image sensors, with no added cost or manufacturing complications. Design manager Michael Malone introduced the new camera features and user benefits, such as QuantumShutter, the company will soon bring to market.
Memjet developed what may be the fastest inkjet printing technology ever. CEO David Clark described the technology and its current state of commercialization; he also demonstrated a print engine for commercial photo printing.
Microsoft showcased Windows Phone 7, a new operating system redesigned from the bottom up for today’s smartphones. Group product manager JP Wollersheim demonstrated the imaging functions in these mobile devices.
Nations Photo Lab presented solid wood Gallery Blocks that can be arranged to create a 3D piece of art. “With special wood and laminated photographic paper, each Gallery Block looks as though it is literally floating above your choice of backgrounds,” said president Ryan Millman.
Nocturnal Vision was inspired by research on insects’ nocturnal vision to dramatically improve low-light videos and still photo capture. Business development manager Michael Hoy showed how spatiotemporal smoothing technology helps video cameras see in the dark.
Pre-View promises full-screen interactive panoramic imaging. Cofounder/CEO Magnus Janson introduced the 720º spherical image—a new way to share everyday situations using only a mobile phone. “Capturing is done simply by swiping your device across the surroundings,” he said, “and exploring the spherical image is like being there yourself.”
Raviteq develops applications for the creation, viewing and sharing of mobile multimedia, including photo, video, sound and music. The Swedish firm makes phone multimedia usable everywhere. Founder Pierre Elzouki demonstrated the next wave of mobile applications using multimedia that let users tell their stories.
Scalado combines its software and hardware technologies on existing mobile platforms to accelerate imaging. Chief technology officer Sami Niemi presented new features, user experiences and the potential for faster time to market.
Silicon Hive featured its high-performance imaging and video-processing technology. “The fully programmable HiveGo solutions enable third-party application developers, and provide the mobile phone and digital television industry a unique platform to create differentiating consumer experience,” said marketing director Ingolf Held.
Tracer Imaging launched its consumer 3D print service called TracerPix at 6Sight, offering retailers and professional labs the ability to produce 3.5×5-inch lenticular printed images with 3D, zoom, morph, multi-flip and video image effects for consumers. “People’s faces light up when they see a lenticular print,” said Steven Spiro. “Beyond the attraction of 3D or other effects, its appeal comes from the fact they can touch and hold the richness of real life in a printed form.” 6sight.com