SIGGRAPH2022 Birds of a Feather

“Metaverse and Interverse research development in CG and Interactive techniques”

Thursday, 11 August 2022 6:30pm – 8pm PDT
*Participant must have registered to SIGGRAPH 2022.

[Birds of a Feather] Metaverse and Interverse research development in CG and Interactive techniques
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This international panel talk session brings together CG/interactive professionals and metaverse natives researching the future of industrial technologies that comes from Japan related culture. Our goal is to spark future discussions “the Intervese” and fill the gap between the established SIGGRAPH community formed around technical aspects and future researchers living in the metaverse. We strive for inclusion and recognition of each value across industries, languages, and cultures. We take the first step towards thinking about our future experiences as humanity motivated by grass-root approaches and exchange the latest research culture in Japanese related metaverse from world wide specialists.

この国際パネルトークセッションでは、CG /インタラクティブな専門家とメタバースのネイティブが集まり、日本関連の文化から生まれる産業技術の未来を研究します。 私たちの目標は、将来の議論「The Intervese」を引き起こし、技術を中心に形成された確立されたSIGGRAPHコミュニティ間のギャップを埋めることです。草の根のアプローチに動機付けられた人類としての将来の経験について考えるための第一歩を踏み出し、 メタバースに関連する世界的な専門家からの日本に関連する研究文化を交換します。


Liudmila Bredikhina

“Avatar driven Metaverse culture”

Liudmila Bredikhina has been researching various avatar-driven phenomena in the digital and virtual space in Japan for almost four years. Her talk will introduce her role as a metaverse native and researcher. How to connect high-tech and humanity? She will present practices in the Japanese metaverse. In conclusion, she will hypothesize about the potential socio-cultural implications of navigating the avatar-driven virtual worlds based on the latest findings.

リュドミラ・ブレディキーナは、日本におけるデジタル・バーチャル空間におけるアバター主導の様々な現象を4年近く研究している。 本講演では、メタバースネイティブな研究者としての彼女の役割を紹介します。ハイテクとヒューマニズムをどう結びつけるか?また、日本のメタバースにおける実践を紹介します。最後に、アバター主導のバーチャル世界をナビゲートすることの潜在的な社会文化的意味について、最新の知見に基づく仮説を聴衆に提供します。

Akihiko SHIRAI

“Avatar driven research and UXDev in REALITY,
a metaverse company born in Japan”

AKIHIKO SHIRAI, Ph.D (Engineering), is a researcher in entertainment virtual reality since 1998. He is researching vertical technologies in media science and user experience design for next-gen social media in Japan representative metaverse company, REALITY, Inc. Invited Professor in Digital Hollywood University Graduate School.
Vice president of society for Art and Science. IVRC executive committee. The motto is “Creating people who create”, from his written book in “The future of Game Design – Science in Entertainment Systems”. In this talk, he will make a bridge between CG, interactive, avatar driven metaverse industry and academic in the context of research & development of human beings.

1998年よりエンターテインメントバーチャルリアリティの研究者として活動。日本を代表するメタバース企業である株式会社リアリティで、メディアサイエンスの垂直技術や次世代ソーシャルメディアのユーザーエクスペリエンスデザインを研究している。デジタルハリウッド大学大学院客員教授。芸術科学会副会長。IVRC実行委員会。著書に『白井博士の未来のゲームデザイン-エンターテインメントシステムの科学』があり、「創造する人を創造する」をモットーとしている。本講演では、Human Beingsの研究開発という観点から、CG、インタラクティブ、アバター駆動のメタバース産業と学術の架け橋となることを目指す。

Last talk in SIGGRAPH Asia 2021 BoF

Yoichi Yamazaki

“Communication Robotics for Connecting with People”

As avatar technology is combined with robotics, a place is emerging where people can connect with each other in real space through avatars. In such a place, which can be called the boundary between the metaverse and reality, research on communication robotics that deals with the behaviors and expressions of artifacts that share information with people becomes increasingly necessary. In this talk, Yoichi Yamazaki will present an example of extending human interaction through an alter ego robot, using the Meta Avatar robot cafe as an example. I will also share my impressions through the in person exhibition at SIGGRAPH E-Tech.

山崎洋一:アバター技術がロボットと結びつくことにより、アバターを介して現実の空間で人と人とが結びつく場が生まれつつある。メタバースと現実の境界ともいえるこのような場では、人に情報を共有する人工物の振る舞いや表現を扱うコミュニケーションロボティクスの研究がますます必要になる。本講演ではMeta Avatar robot cafeを例として、分身ロボットを通した人のインタラクションの拡張の事例を紹介する。また、このSIGGRAPH E-Techでのin person展示を通した感想についても共有する。

Kanagawa Institute of Technology OryLab Inc.

Yoichi Yamazaki is an associate professor in the Dept. of Home Electronics at Kanagawa Institute of Technology. He has been participating in the Avatar Robot Cafe Project by OryLab Inc. since 2018 and JST Moonshot Project Cybernetic Being since 2021, where they aim to create a future society where people can freely connect with one another and co-create embodied experiences via cybernetic avatars. His research interests include communication robotics, home life technology, mentality expression, and human-robot interaction.

Presentations in SIGGRAPH2022

Masahiko Inami
“Interverse Virtual Reality Challenge”

Masahiko (Masa) Inami is a Professor in the Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Tokyo, Japan. He is also directing Inami JIZAI Body Project, JST ERATO. His research interests are in Augmented Human, human I/O enhancement technologies including perception, HCI and robotics. He joined the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Tokyo, and in 1999, he moved to the University of Electro-Communications. In April 2008, he joined Keio University, where he served as a Professor of the Graduate School of Media Design till October 2015. In November 2015, he rejoined the University of Tokyo. The University of Tokyo Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology. Long time contributor in SIGGRAPH, and representative researcher in interactive techniques.

稲見昌彦: 東京大学先端科学技術研究センター教授。JST ERATO「稲見財団身体プロジェクト」ディレクターも務める。研究テーマは、Augmented Human、知覚を含む人間のI/O拡張技術、HCI、ロボティクス。東京大学工学部を経て、1999年に電気通信大学へ。2008年4月、慶應義塾大学に移り、2015年10月までメディアデザイン研究科教授を務める。2015年11月、東京大学に再入学。東京大学先端科学技術研究センター。SIGGRAPHの長年のコントリビューターであり、インタラクティブ技術の代表的な研究者。

We can be whoever we want

Event Report by
Liudmila BREDIKHINA (Mila)
and Akihiko SHIRAI

This year’s SIGGRAPH BoF “Metaverse and Interverse research development in CG and Interactive techniques” focused on the gap between the established SIGGRAPH community and those living in the metaverse, between the humanities and technology-orientated studies. It is not a one-way street where technology simply influences culture and user practices, as individuals themselves influence technological development. During this BoF, I discovered a potential Interverse co-evolution where humans are virtual fashionistas and entertainers, where we work with robots and play sports as augmented superhumans. I want to thank all the participants, watchers, the fantastic speakers - Akihiko Shirai, Yoichi Yamazaki, and Masahiko Inami - and the SIGGRAPH community for this opportunity.

"Avatar Driven Metaverse Culture" by Liudmila BREDIKHINA

[reported by Akihiko Shirai, Ph.D.]
Liudmila BREDIKHINA (Mila) talked about “Avatar Driven Metaverse Culture” from an independent researcher. Her ethnographic approach focuses on the demographics and user culture of VRChat users. She introduced 7 characteristic user event cases and 3 findings in love between men and women. In conclusion, she reported the “Sugar” relation (a more profound lovers relation word in Japanese VRChat) is understood as “a sweet relationship,” but it avoids bringing “vivid concepts of real-world romance to VRChat.” Users find “alternatives” to kinship, producing life as a community through technology and imagination.

Akihiko Shirai presented “Avatar-driven research and UXDev in REALITY, a metaverse company born in Japan.” He talked about how “we can be whoever we want” and access the metaverse from your smartphone with REALITY. At the tip of your fingertips are collaborative games, live stages, virtual events, virtual world tours, karaoke, and other new user experiences in the metaverse. It starts from a history of GREE, Inc. and a short history of the mobile phone app, SNS, mobile games, and VR games since 2004 to connect to VTuber and Metaverse app, “REALITY.” is used over 5,000,000+ downloads and the user time Spent per Person p/day for Active Users averages 170min. 12 languages in 63 countries/regions. In the last half, he reported virtual events in REALITY and B2B solutions, including spaces, worlds, and games. As a new user experience research in his laboratory, the team is tackling “music play” by four-piece bands.

Yoichi Yamazaki talked about human-and-environmentally friendly smart life. Communication robotics is a field that focuses on “communicating to people” based on robot technology and rooted in human understanding. At Meta avatar robot cafe, those who experience difficulty going out due to disabilities can work using avatar robots, solving loneliness through technology. With AR avatars, the sense of space is augmented, as the virtual and the physical are linked.

Finally, Masahiko Inami presented student activities and superhuman sports before discussing the Intereverse Virtual Reality Challenge in greater detail. What started with a metaverse will become a multiverse, with more than one metaverse to visit with its population, culture, and activities. As such, there will be an interverse, a fusion of all worlds, be they physical (universe) or information (metaverse), and IVRC’s mission is to develop its future talent. In the discussion, Masahiko Inami had left impressions on this SIGGRAPH. “HDR VR” by meta was the most impressive demo in Emerging Technologies, but he regretted it is hard to tell the impression without the physical opportunities.

The value of this hybrid conference is not only to share knowledge across cultures and languages but also to share impressions about CG and interactive techniques events from those who could attend physically for those who could not travel. While the hybrid style cannot compete with in-person attendance, it is a practical solution in the current COVID-19 climate. However, while the computer screen and the Internet can connect us across countries, there are cultural divides that need to be bridged. And it is precisely that that this BoF achieved, as speakers exchanged and discussed how culture could influence Metaversee and Interverse practices. Those who could not attend the conference can watch the YouTube video archive, and I hope that many will take some time out of their day to check it out! It is essential that we keep the Interverse and Metaverse discussions going, shine a light on grass-root practices, and share our values during such BoF.

Past Events in SIGGRAPH

GREE VR Studio Laboratory