The upcoming 2010 6Sight Future of Imaging Conference is where photography meets its future
Think of all the things you would have done differently in life – if only you had known in advance what the future held. You wouldn’t have bought the car that turned out to be such a lemon. You wouldn’t have hired that employee who helped himself to the cash drawer when no one was looking. You definitely would have bought stock in Apple.
Here’s a rare opportunity to know what’s coming next: Go to the 2010 6Sight Future of Imaging Conference Nov. 15-17, 2010, in San Jose, Calif. Appropriately themed, “Where Photography Meets its Future,” the conference will show the trends and technologies that will shape and drive business tomorrow, next year, and beyond.
“Imaging is experiencing such rapid innovation as it changes from an analog camera-based industry to a digital or an electronics-based ecosystem. People need a place to experience the developments firsthand, form alliances, meet customers, and present their ideas,” says Joe Byrd, president and co-founder of the conference. “6Sight provides a unique opportunity for industry leaders and emerging companies alike to present their technologies to each other, as well to the media, analysts, and investors who shape the future of their businesses and the ecosystem as a whole.”
A new imaging reality
Augmented reality (AR) is one technology taking center stage at 6Sight. AR may sound like something from “Star Trek,” but it’s real – and it’s going to have a big impact on the way people experience the world around them.
“With augmented reality, your view of reality is enhanced with computer-generated data, images, and objects. It is perhaps the first real effective combination of all the technology crammed into today’s mobile phones,” Byrd says. “The camera captures what is in front of you, and then that data is sent to an internet application or used by an app on your phone. The processor combines the data and the live view in real time. Then, you see it all on the phone display.”
For example, “there is an app where you can walk up to a construction site in Amsterdam and watch on your camera what you can’t see in real life – a view of the building, from where you’re standing, as it will look when it’s completed. As you move around the construction site, you can see other aspects of the building – other angles,” Byrd says. “In another example, I can walk around a Templar castle in Portugal, taking pictures with my mobile phone. Using an app, it can show me what the castle would have looked like in the 11th century or tell me some facts about what was going on there. It really gives me an interactive experience with what I’m looking at.”
What may someday be the most useful example of AR, especially among husbands, is Byrd’s third example: “Say you want to put a new couch in your living room. You can take a picture of your living room with a target that you lay on the floor. That target gives the computer the complete dimensions of the room. You can put a couch from another app in the picture of the room, move it around, and see where it will fit or won’t fit in exact size,” he states. “If you have ever dragged a couch around a room to see where it fits, you know this is quite a back-saving innovation. AR will significantly impact the way we deal with imaging in the future.”
More of tomorrow’s technology
No discussion of the future of imaging would be complete without 3D – another topic the 6Sight conference will cover in detail.
“Last year, we invited some of the top 3D experts – like Lenny Lipton, inventor of much of the Hollywood 3D movie technology, and Richard Dean of the 3D@Home Consortium, which influences what 3D TVs will look like – to give us an overview of 3D and how it is likely to affect consumer demand,” Byrd says. “This year, we are continuing our coverage of 3D cameras, printers, and big-screen displays, and looking at where 3D is likely to take us in the next few years. What will the new 3D technology, infrastructure, and ecosystem offer companies in the imaging business? 3D can provide a whole new set of opportunities. 3D provides more incentive for homes to add 3D-enabled big screens, displaying still and video images from digital cameras. How will this benefit photography? What part does 2D-to-3D conversion software play in bringing legacy images into 3D? Who will be the leaders, and who will be the followers? How can companies capitalize on this emerging 3D technology? We’ll cover all these issues.”
Also on the agenda are the latest digital cam-era features and upcoming advancements and trends. “The innovations
that professionals, consumers, and prosumers will soon find in cameras, and how they will change the services the industry provides to users, are the topics of ‘The State of Cameras’ overview,” Byrd notes. “We’ll discuss computational photography, advancements in on-board software and applications, and wireless functionality.”
He says technology developers and other experts will answer questions such as, “Will we soon see an end to the ‘lonely camera’ that is not connected to the internet?” and “Is there room for a mid-range camera that sits above the consumer level of commodity cam-eras and below the DSLR?”
The imaging industry has undergone rapid change in recent years, but new developments like those Byrd mentions will bring about additional lightning-quick transformations. The only way to prepare is to know what’s coming.
“Nothing progresses until a leader takes a chance and innovates a product or a technology. If you are a leader looking for partners, customers, investors, and awareness, there is no better place to present, to lead, and to be recognized than at 6Sight; at 6Sight, we give you time to meet and discuss your innovations with our audience of imaging leaders, media, investors, and analysts,” Byrd concludes. “In other words, 6Sight gives you the chance to network with those who can help your business grow to a brighter future in imaging.”
AIE Output Summit is icing on the cake
The AIE Output Summit is being held in con-junction with 6Sight for the first time this year.
“The Output Summit will address the many new products and services that will impact photographic printing and markets that did not exist until very recently, like consumers and businesses using digital output for home décor, marketing materials, storytelling, and much more,” Joe Byrd says. “It’s time for us to look at printing innovations, such as using new inks and advanced user interfaces for online printing of items such as photo books and postcards, that will im-prove the quality of the final consumer product and thus drive usage.”