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ETIA 2014 Exploration Zone to Showcase Holodeck-Inspired Virtual Reality Technology Driving Immersive Entertainment

Conference Session Draws Tech and Creative Visionaries to Discuss Keys to Unleashing Potential of the Interactive, Immersive Entertainment Experience

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — June 10, 2014 – The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers(R) (SMPTE(R)), the worldwide leader in motion-imaging standards and education for the communications, media, entertainment, and technology industries, and the Stanford Center for Image Systems Engineering (SCIEN) have released details on the new Interactive Exploration Zone at the 2014 “Entertainment Technology in the Internet Age” (ETIA) conference. The zone will feature developing technologies that are driving the evolution of immersive entertainment experiences. A subsequent evening session, “The Holodeck: Entertainment for the Next Generation,” will include an interview with renowned gaming industry creative and executive William “Bing” Gordon of KPCB and a panel discussion including Gordon and other innovators.

“Drawn from the ‘Star Trek’ series, the Holodeck is a fascinating fictional vision of the ultimate immersive experience,” said Dave Singhal, technology strategist at Light Field Interactive and host of the ETIA special evening event. “We have seen the fictional idea of the communicator transformed by technology into the ubiquitous mobile phone, and in the Interactive Exploration Zone, we will look at how holographic audio and video, touch, and other sensory technologies now are emerging as the building blocks for creating the fantastic immersive experience imagined with the Holodeck. We’ll examine what’s happening now and speculate on what will be possible in the not-too-distant future.”

Opening at 5 p.m. on June 17, the Interactive Exploration Zone will highlight new technologies for virtual reality (VR) entertainment applications. During this two-hour interactive session and reception, attendees will have the chance to see these technologies firsthand, including a cinematic VR system from Jaunt VR; the Leap Motion Controller from Leap Motion; an untethered VR device from GameFace Labs; 3D technology from Sixense; a concave HIVE (Highly Immersive Visualization Environment) video wall measuring 10 feet by 24 feet; and Epson’s new augmented reality platform. Contributions from colleges and universities will include a smartphone-based 3D modeling solution created by Stanford Project Tango and a wireless VR solution from the VR Club at Homestead High School in Cupertino, California. (A complete and updated list is online at www.etia2014.org.)

The subsequent evening session, “The Holodeck: Entertainment for the Next Generation,” starts at 7 p.m. The session will begin with a one-on-one discussion with Gordon, hosted by Singhal, on the power of immersive technologies to complement and enhance entertainment experiences. Fellow technology and creative innovators including Paul Debevec of the University of Southern California’s Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT); game developer and researcher Kati London of Microsoft Research; Variety magazine’s David Cohen; and Jon Peddie of Jon Peddie Research will then join Gordon in a panel discussion, with Peddie moderating. The panel will further examine the role of technology and the importance of content development platforms in bringing once-fanciful concepts for immersive experiences closer and closer to reality.

The panel discussion also will offer news on the most recent developments in the field. Debevec will reveal what’s next at the USC ICT lab, whose science was behind the awe-inspiring virtual Michael Jackson performance on the 2014 Billboard Music Awards; Singhal will discuss recent work at Stanford for volumetric interactivity with a holographic display; London will speak to topics including user engagement, both physical and emotional; and graphics industry pioneer and consultant Peddie will provide insight into the past, present, and future of digital media technology. As a reporter who has long covered 3D technology and similar topics for Variety, and who also wrote an episode of “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” Cohen will offer a long-term perspective on the innovations behind emerging immersive entertainment experiences.

The two-day 2014 ETIA conference, co-produced by SMPTE and SCIEN, is being held on Stanford University’s Palo Alto, California, campus on June 17 and 18. Conference registration and further details about the ETIA conference program are available at www.etia2014.org.

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About the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers(R) (SMPTE(R))
The Oscar(R) and Emmy(R) Award-winning Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers(R) (SMPTE(R)), a professional membership association, is the preeminent leader in the advancement of the art, science, and craft of the image, sound, and metadata ecosystem, worldwide. An internationally recognized and accredited organization, SMPTE advances moving-imagery education and engineering across the communications, technology, media, and entertainment industries. Since its founding in 1916, SMPTE has published the SMPTE Motion Imaging Journal and developed more than 650 standards, recommended practices, and engineering guidelines. The Society is sustained by more than 6,000 members — motion-imaging executives, engineers, creative and technology professionals, researchers, scientists, educators, and students — who meet in Sections throughout the world. Information on joining SMPTE is available at www.smpte.org/join.

All trademarks appearing herein are the property of their respective owners.

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