The USC School of Cinematic Arts on Tuesday hosted GLIMPSE, a digital technology event featuring the university’s pre-professional schools, and their cutting-edge research in the field of technology. The day-long event is held every few years to showcase the scientific evolution of the Trojan community.
Randolph Hall, vice president of research at USC, provided the opening remarks for the event.
“USC’s strength in digital technology includes the collaboration between the arts and engineering,” Hall said. “That makes possible a conversation with the avatar of a real witness to history, the recreation of digital actors indistinguishable from their human counterparts.”
Featured presenters included the Executive Director of the USC Shoah Foundation Stephen Smith, Associate Director for Graphics Research at the USC Institute for Creative Technologies Paul Debevec and Director of the Integrated Media Systems Center Cyrus Shahabi. Speakers provided the audience perspective on their technological projects and their future endeavors.
Smith’s project, “New Dimensions in Testimony,” preserves the voices of the past by keeping records of survivors of genocide and other historical massacres with new technologies.
“Because of 21st century technology, interactive holograms can directly answer people’s historical questions,” Smith said. “The advantage of talking to survivors will allow people to learn what it means to be human.”
Light Stage is constantly advancing in the hopes that it will one day be able to create full-body holograms for the everyday conference call, as well as for projects such as Smith’s. Debevec and his team have already created a face hologram and have received funding to build an entire body hologram device.
According to Debevec, it costs a company about $10,000 per day to rent out the Light Stage for their projects.
“Digital media and technology is something special to this university,” Hall said.
Conferences like GLIMPSE bring many of USC’s schools to share ideas and hopefully expand the innovative projects already occurring on campus.