March 23, 2010 6:00 - 7:00 p.m.

Speaker: Kurt Akeley, Microsoft Research Silicon Valley (MSR-SVC)

Title: Fixed-Viewpoint Volumetric Displays

Abstract:   Conventional stereoscopic displays force viewers to focus on a single display surface, decoupling focus distance from convergence distance and compromising (if not eliminating) cues from defocus blur. Automultiscopic volumetric displays largely correct these deficiencies, but significant limitations in image quality have hindered their adoption. Over the past decade we have been implementing fixed-viewpoint volumetric displays: displays which forego automultiscopy to achieve high image quality, nearly correct accommodation and focus blur cues, and potentially reasonable production cost. To date these displays have been used only to conduct vision-science research. After describing the capabilities, limitations, and implementations of such displays, as well as some results achieved with them, I will speculate on how they might become practical for non-research usage. .

Speaker Background: Kurt is a principal researcher at Microsoft Research Silicon Valley (MSR-SVC),, where he works in the areas of computer graphics and computer architecture. His research interests include graphics system architecture and the design of displays that better accommodate human visual requirements. He joined Microsoft in July of 2004. From January 2005 through March 2007 Kurt was an assistant managing director of Microsoft Research Asia in Beijing. Kurt co-founded Silicon Graphics in 1982. During his 19 years at Silicon Graphics he led the development of several high-end graphics systems, including GTX, VGX, and RealityEngine. He also led the development of OpenGL, an industry-standard programming interface to high-performance graphics hardware. His last full-time position with Silicon Graphics was senior vice president and CTO. . Kurt is a named inventor on fifteen patents, a fellow of the ACM, and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. In 1995 he was the recipient of the ACM SIGGRAPH Computer Graphics Achievement Award. He was awarded a BEE degree from the University of Delaware in 1980 and an MSEE degree from Stanford in 1982. He returned to Stanford and earned a PhD in electrical engineering in 2004.


Click here to access Kurt Akeley's slides.