Computer Graphics World

January/February 2014

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2 ■ CGW Ja n u a r y / Fe b ru a r y 2 014 W THE MAGAZINE FOR DIGITAL CONTENT PROFESSIONALS What happened to 2013? It seems like only yesterday we were talking about the latest iPhone and iPad, whether or not scenes in the 4k Hobbit were a bit nauseating to watch, how unjust it was to win an Oscar one second and declare bankruptcy the other, and other issues that piqued our interest and consumed our conversations. Now that a new year has started, it seems like a good time both to look back as well as to look ahead. To this end, industry pioneer and analyst Dr. Jon Peddie, president of Jon Peddie Research, has made his "5x5" list: his five favorites of 2013 and five predictions for 2014. The things I liked best that happened in 2013 begin with the new GPUs: Graph- ics Core Next from AMD, IRIS from Intel, and Killer Kepler from Nvidia, and all the special accelerated functions that have been added. Being a visualization freak, I love special effects, and the CG in the movies Gravity and Life of PI was simply A-mazing. Suddenly, our pocket computers got bigger, and the processor in them got bigger, too, with 64 bits, eight cores, and other back-to-the-future announcements. One of the most exciting (and, at the same time, scariest) announcements was IBM's neural computer chip SyNAPSE (Systems of Neuromorphic Adaptive Plastic Scalable Elec- tronics). It offers the promise of the singularity, super-smart robots and machines that will out-think us – but they'll never be able to replace Lady Gaga! And what review of 2013 would be complete without mention of gesturing, poking, swiping, waving, and talking to my computer, and then being amused by the machine's response? What about the future? Ah, soothsayer, cat whisperer, and bon vivant graphics guru that I am, I see a brighter, cheerier, and thinner future. Battery life will cease be- ing a topic of discussion, as will battery replacement, because processors will be so damn smart they'll know when to sleep, on an algorithmic analysis, not just simple app usage. Also, semiconductor processes will make power needs almost disap- pear. Bigger, brighter 4 k displays in mobile, PC, and TV will begin their rapid rise and become the new norm – because we can, but as I'm found of saying, the more you can see, the more you can do – and you'll do more with 4k. Yes, we will wear smart devices on our face, arms, belt, and ankles or feet. It's a logical and potentially useful, helpful, and obvious extension of miniaturized commu- nicative technology. We'll also have 3D scanning and natural user interactions with computers – still somewhat early days, but we will be pleasantly surprised by how well they work. The distinction between tablets and notebooks will go away – they are the same thing, and differentiating because of a hinge or a keyboard is silly and a waste of time. And things I'd like to see, but can't comfortably predict: • Free Internet. Hotels don't charge for electricity, TV, or showers, so why do they charge for Internet? What's that annoying upcharge doing to get built into the bill? • Semi-autonomous personal vehicles. Driver-aided systems, like lane cross- ing, front-end collision avoidance, blind-spot vision, driver alertness, and real- time traffic alerts and auto-correction. • Security. Passwords are passé, and we will remember them as the eight-track players of computer access and security. When we stop talking about, and can't easily identify, the Internet of things, we will truly have such a brave, new world. – Jon Peddie R E C E N T AWA R D S THE MAGAZINE FOR DIGITAL CONTENT PROFESSIONALS EDITORIAL EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Karen Moltenbrey e: t: 603.432.7568 CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Courtney Howard, Jenny Donelan, Kathleen Maher, George Maestri, Martin McEachern, Barbara Robertson PUBLISHER / PRESIDENT / CEO William R. 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