Since I was already in Los Angeles for work, I got to spend this week at SIGGRAPH. There were lots of amazing things, much of it too domain specific to be comprehensible by me. Though not work related, my favourite parts were the new technology and slow art exhibitions:
The Dreaming Pillow by Armella Leung and Olivier Oswald completely blew my mind, I think I spent well over 30 minutes playing with it and talking to Armella. It was simple, different and deeply beautiful. I loved navigating the dream sequences, but the most surprising part was watching people's visceral reactions to the ghost hands moving "underneath" the pillow. It's hard to describe in a way that feels meaningful, the best I can do is point you at a YouTube video.
The reAcoustic eGuitar by Amit Zoran is a fresh take on the acoustic guitar. Each string gets its own chamber to make a unique sound. If you want to change the sound of the guitar you build a CAD model of an appropriately shaped chamber and then print it using a 3d printer. Even cooler though was his next model (the bottom half in the picture), it does away with the physical chambers and instead allows you to manipulate the sound by programming a DSP. Acknowledging that the materials used in construction have an importance to the produced sound, he has also built resonating boards from different woods to allow the musician to quickly change the sound of the instrument mid-performance.