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Kinect's Grandaddy Running On an Apple IIe In 1978

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the sue-that-man-into-the-future dept.

Input Devices 81

An anonymous reader writes "30 years before words like performance capture, augmented reality, or avatars were around — let alone commonplace — experimental film and video artist Tom DeWitt created a system that features aspects of all of them. Pantomation let users interact in real-time with a digital environment and props. It was built using Apple IIe's, analog video gear, and lots of custom hacking and patching. He's currently working on a holographic 3D system that's similarly ahead of its time."

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Patents (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35023396)

I wonder how many patents shouldn't have been issued because of this prior art.

Re:Patents (1)

Whalou (721698) | more than 3 years ago | (#35023448)

After seeing the video I can imagine the following scene:

Tom DeWitt: Star Wars Kid, I am your father.
Star Wars Kid: Noooooooo.

Re:Patents (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 3 years ago | (#35024658)

After seeing the video I can imagine the following scene:

Tom DeWitt: Star Wars Kid, I am your father.
Star Wars Kid: Noooooooo.

I find it far more likely that this would happen:

Tom DeWitt: Star Wars Kid, I am your father.
Star Wars Kid: Je ne compris pas.

Re:Patents (1)

tobiah (308208) | more than 3 years ago | (#35024758)

That was my first thought too. Perhaps it wasn't properly "published"?

Old school memories... (1)

Etcetera (14711) | more than 3 years ago | (#35023416)

I seem to remember reading something about this in an old National Geographic picture book when I was like... 7. A slightly-overweight kid standing akimbo in front of an old Apple with a representation of him on the screen.

Man, we remember the weirdest, most random things sometimes...

The Circle is Complete (-1, Flamebait)

seanonymous (964897) | more than 3 years ago | (#35023432)

Wow, something was running on an Apple product before it was on a Microsoft product before the iPhone existed?

Re:The Circle is Complete (1, Flamebait)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#35023488)

Wow, something was running on an Apple product before it was on a Microsoft product before the iPhone existed?

I believe lots of things fall into that category.

Xerox may have invented the mouse and the concept of on-screen "windows", but these things were widely used on Apple machines before Microsoft had fully sorted out Windows V 1.0. Hell, I think even USB and Firewire are covered by being on an Apple machine before windows and before the iPhone existed.

Say what you will about about Apple, but they have really been bringing new technology to users for a long time.

Re:The Circle is Complete (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35023636)

"Xerox may have invented the mouse and the concept of on-screen "windows","

It certainly did not. [youtube.com] Why is ignorance of technological history so prevalent????

"Say what you will about about Apple, but they have really been bringing new technology to users for a long time."

No, they haven't. They were lucky to be able to steal/copy/buy the best ideas for a long time.

Re:The Circle is Complete (0)

JonySuede (1908576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35024184)

Where are my mod points....
Please moderate this as awesome
 

Re:The Circle is Complete (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35024282)

They were lucky to be able to steal/copy/buy the best ideas for a long time.

So, how is this different from Microsoft?

Re:The Circle is Complete (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35024934)

MS has been bust stealing/copying/buying the bad ideas.

Re:The Circle is Complete (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 3 years ago | (#35028350)

It's not. That's the point.

Re:The Circle is Complete (1)

lennier1 (264730) | more than 3 years ago | (#35028960)

Apple has better spin doctors in their marketing/PR section.

Re:The Circle is Complete (1)

not-my-real-name (193518) | more than 3 years ago | (#35024866)

"Say what you will about about Apple, but they have really been bringing new technology to users for a long time."

No, they haven't. They were lucky to be able to steal/copy/buy the best ideas for a long time.

The two sentences are not contradictory. It is entirely possible to do both.

Re:The Circle is Complete (4, Informative)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 3 years ago | (#35025454)

While you are correct, you are grossly undervaluing the work of pioneers at each milestone. No one worked in a vacuum back then.

You would have really earned some "geek points" if you mentioned that Douglas Engelbart was inspired by Ivan Sutherland's Sketchpad program from 1963 when he created NLS (what your video link was about). NLS had several modes of operations, but none of them resemble what we have today.

The modern desktop evolved from many years of work and research by pioneers in their field.

1952 - The trackball was invented by Tom Cranston, Fred Longstaff and Kenyon Taylor working on the Royal Canadian Navy's DATAR project.
1963 - The computer mouse was invented by Douglas Engelbart and Bill English.
1963 - Ivan Sitherland's Sketch program was created.
1969 - Douglas Engelbart demonstrated NLS (oNLine System)
1970 - David A. Evans created a primitive hypertext-based groupware program that ran on NLS
1972 - Xerox Alto was conceptionalized
1979 - Apple's McIntosh project began.
1982 - Xerox Star was introduced to the market. ($75,000 base + $16,000 for each additional workstation).
1982 - Commodore begins development on the Amiga which was originally intended to be a next-generation game computer. (Jay Miner was originally with Atari).
1983 - Apple markets the Lisa the first GUI based personal computer ($9,995).
1983 - Chase Bishop starts "Interface Manager" and is announced by Microsoft as Windows (after Lisa was released)
1984 - Apple introduced the Macintosh a much more affordable GUI based personal computer ($1,995).
1985 - The Commodore Amiga was released ($1,295)
1985 - The Atari ST was released ($999).
1985 - DRI releases GEM/1
1985 - Microsoft Windows 1.0 was released.
1987 - Microsoft Windows 2.0 was released.
1990 - Microsoft Windows 3.0 was released and Microsoft finally begins its transition from CLI to GUI products.

I know I left some milestones out, but I just wanted to illustrate that the modern desktop was an evolutionary process with many innovations taking place between 1952 and 1984. Of course, Microsoft catches up when all the hard work is finished :P. I'm joking of course. In fact I'll clarify 1990 for them.

1990 - Microsoft Windows 3.0 was released which becomes a significant milestone for GUI on the x86. It may have not been the first, or the best, but it did bring the GUI desktop to the masses. After all with Apple, Xerox, DRI, Commodore, and Atari using GUI, Microsoft had no choice and would have ceased to exist if they hadn't caught up with questionable tactics that led to a settlement with the DOJ in 2001.

Re:The Circle is Complete (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35026858)

Look, there's only so much information a person can handle in one post. Just the fact that Apple didn't invent the mouse is already a lot to digest for most people!!

How about this computer system? [wikipedia.org] With light gun graphical input? IN THE 1950s?

Or how about this little system? [wikipedia.org] Encrypted digital voice, in WWII?

I can keep going. How about Vannevar Bush? Ever hear of him? JCR Licklidder? MITRE Corporation? All the *real* people that invented the ideas and systems we take for granted today? And that FAR too many people mistakenly attribute to the Space Race?

Re:The Circle is Complete (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 3 years ago | (#35030514)

No one worked in a vacuum back then.

Well, except for physics professors [xkcd.com] ...

Re:The Circle is Complete (1)

bjb (3050) | more than 3 years ago | (#35034676)

Technically, Commodore didn't start development on the Amiga. It was started by a small business called Amiga, Inc. founded by some dentists who wanted to cash in on the video game craze of the time. Commodore only later purchased the company when they were looking for their next gen system and after Atari almost got their hands on it.

Might be slightly off here, but that is the general idea.

Re:The Circle is Complete (1)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | more than 3 years ago | (#35026246)

> No, they haven't. They were lucky to be able to steal/copy/buy the best ideas for a long time.

You mean *shock* just like MS ?

Q-Dos -> MS-DOS
Spyglass -> Internet Explorer

I could go on, but I'll let you read it for yourself ...
http://www.mcmillan.cx/innovation.html [mcmillan.cx]

Re:The Circle is Complete (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35027166)

Where did he mention anything about MS not stealing/buying/copying ideas? Oh wait, he didn't and you're just making a strawman argument.

Re:The Circle is Complete (1)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | more than 3 years ago | (#35036056)

You corect the AC GP mentioned Apple.

Apple is no better (or worse) then MS in this regard. ... OR said another way ...
MS is no better (or worse) then Apple in this regard.

Why people shocked that tech companies buy other tech companies?

Get the point now idiot??

Re:The Circle is Complete (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35024332)

Say what you will about about Apple, but they have really been bringing existing technology to pretty packaging for a long time.

Fixed that for you. Apple is much more of an evolutionary comapny than a revolutionary one.

Re:The Circle is Complete (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 3 years ago | (#35025838)

Not quite... Stanford's SRI invented the mouse, led by Douglas Engelbart. His department's funding was severely cut after the Vietnam war, which opened the door for Xerox to poach many of Engelbart's staff, bringing their fancy tech along with them to PARC. Xerox made it popular, and Apple made it famous, but SRI came up with the idea in the first place.

The only thing Apple does "different" is they don't go after the bargain bottom. They recognized that resistive touchscreens were shit, so they used a capacitive screen on the iPhone. They saw that USB 1.0 was shit, so they promoted Firewire. Apple's gear costs a lot more than common PC gear, but they have cultivated a clientele that is willing and able to spend that kind of money.

There is a ton of cool hardware out there, but much of it is beyond the budget of most PC buyers. As a current example, (flash) SSDs are just starting to enter the mainstream, yet hardcore geeks like myself have had them since the 90's. They cost a mint back then, but that was the price of admission to be on the bleeding edge of tech.

Re:The Circle is Complete (4, Informative)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#35023564)

>>>something was running on an Apple product before it was on a Microsoft product

LOTS of things first saw the light of day on those old 8-bit machines:
- windows/mouse interfaces (Apple, Atari, Commodore)
- security cameras & alarms run by my Commodore=64
- 128-color porn on Ataris
- music & voice coming from the 1977 Atari console
- full-scale video on my C=64
- ripped music from the radio, or downloaded off the net, playing back on the Commodore SID and Amiga Paula
- and on and on and on.

There's very little that is truly new. Most of it was invented in the late 70s and 80s, but it was not widely adopted until later.

Re:The Circle is Complete (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35023742)

Yet, Apple fans always want to point out how "revolutionary" their products were. Not really, many people and companies have done a tremendous job creating, innovating and trying to market those products to the masses.

First mouse; first commercial GUI (1)

DragonHawk (21256) | more than 3 years ago | (#35030722)

LOTS of things first saw the light of day on those old 8-bit machines:
- windows/mouse interfaces (Apple, Atari, Commodore)

First? Doug Englebart [wikipedia.org] would like a word with you. And it's generally acknowledged that Xerox PARC [wikipedia.org] (yes, the copier company) pioneered the modern GUI. The Star was a commercial failure because of its price, but it was a real product, and it had all that stuff first. Steve Jobs notoriously took a tour of PARC and borrowed ideas for their own GUIs from them.

Ahead of it's time? (1)

LordPhantom (763327) | more than 3 years ago | (#35023434)

I find it quite hard to believe that anything he does *now* on his trusty Apple IIe is ahead of it's time ;)

Re:Ahead of it's time? (3, Insightful)

egcagrac0 (1410377) | more than 3 years ago | (#35023480)

Still, it's impressive that he was doing this on a IIe 5 years before they were released.

Re:Ahead of it's time? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35023660)

Probably really ran on the Apple II (visually extremely hard to differentiate from an IIe), which was released in 1977

Re:Ahead of it's time? (1)

cosmicaug (150534) | more than 3 years ago | (#35024426)

Still, it's impressive that he was doing this on a IIe 5 years before they were released.

Google is your friend. Runs on a PDP-8L computer. Ported to Apple in 1983.

See http://www.experimentaltvcenter.org/history/people/bio.php3?id=208 [experimentaltvcenter.org]

So yeah, another misleading Slashdot story. Nothing to see here. Move along!

Anonymous Reader? (1)

SloppySevenths (1592383) | more than 3 years ago | (#35023462)

...or Tom DeWitt?

Apple IIe in 1978?! (4, Informative)

smasch (77993) | more than 3 years ago | (#35023476)

Apple IIe in 1978?! It was probably an Apple II (released in 1977). The Apple IIe wasn't released until 1983. See Timeline and History of the Apple II series [wikipedia.org]

Re:Apple IIe in 1978?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35023634)

They did say he was ahead of his times. Must be a time traveller.

Re:Apple IIe in 1978?! (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 3 years ago | (#35023808)

Shhhhh. We're trying to establish prior art benchmarks here.

Hey-- wasn't it 1944?

Re:Apple IIe in 1978?! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35023644)

It's a simple technicality and not worth a mention. Don't be a nigger.

Re:Apple IIe in 1978?! (1)

JoeCommodore (567479) | more than 3 years ago | (#35023656)

Also it seems more reminiscent of the PlayStation video input thingie (chroma key an object)

Re:Apple IIe in 1978?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35024006)

So - this guy wants to avoid patent infringement on a current project by saying he was working with something well before he actually was and failing to do his research in the process - he doesn't deserve to cheat the system. Stupid Apple users.

no, the story is correct (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 3 years ago | (#35027054)

They were using an early version of Apple's Time Machine application.

Can't See Youtube (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#35023500)

Is there an alternative link I can use? I want to read about these Apple computers and their interface.

Re:Can't See Youtube (1)

longhairedgnome (610579) | more than 3 years ago | (#35023998)

Re:Can't See Youtube (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#35024294)

Nice MALWARE there bud. Froze my Mozilla seamonkey browser. (marks longhairedgnome as "foe")

Re:Can't See Youtube (1)

longhairedgnome (610579) | more than 3 years ago | (#35028478)

The flash run ya down?

Ignorance of history, again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35023504)

People were already talking about augmenting the human intellect 40 years ago....
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augmentation_Research_Center

Can't have been a IIe (1)

dov_0 (1438253) | more than 3 years ago | (#35023638)

The IIe wasn't released until 1983. It would have been the Apple II, which was still a cool little machine. (Ok, I've still got two of them in the shed...)

Obligatory (3, Funny)

Even on Slashdot FOE (1870208) | more than 3 years ago | (#35023654)

Phantomation: Kinect, I am your Father.

Kinect: That's impossible!

Phantomation: Look into your source code, you know it to be true!

Kinect: Nooooooo!!!!!

Re:Obligatory (2)

LowG1974 (1021485) | more than 3 years ago | (#35024140)

Phantomation: Excellent!

Kinect: Excellent.

Phantomation: Wait, did you just say 'excellent' because I said 'excellent?'

Kinect: Uh, no.

Phantomation: Excellent!

Kinect: Excellent.

Amiga -- circa 1985 (4, Interesting)

unil_1005 (1790334) | more than 3 years ago | (#35023674)

I just can't resist boasting that I was selling a commercial product, "LIVE!", for the Amiga. A video input board, it was used at the Amiga launch.

Later a Canadian/Seattle company called VeryVivid wrote some very beautiful software for that board using the same principles as deWitt demonstrates. You could have birds fly to your hand, play virtual cymbals and drums, and may other effects.

If anybody can locate video of that, I'd love to see it again

Re:Amiga -- circa 1985 (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35023858)

I used to work for Vivid in the 90's, I think I may still have one of their old promo tapes. I'll have to dig it up and post it to Youtube.

The two founders, Francis MacDougall and Vincent John Vincent, now run Gesturetek. [gesturetek.com] There's vids there, and one of the pics is their old soccer game.

Re:Amiga -- circa 1985 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35024270)

You're talking about Mandala, right? I was shown an early demo in the mid eighties, pretty impressive back then.

Re:Amiga -- circa 1985 (2)

derinax (93566) | more than 3 years ago | (#35024720)

There are examples on YouTube. This one is cool, check out 3:41 when he's manipulating words on the screen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8-jGDyhdU8 [youtube.com]

Re:Amiga -- circa 1985 (1)

konohitowa (220547) | more than 3 years ago | (#35026516)

Awesome. I came to this thread and immediately searched for 'Amiga' because I was hoping someone had that footage archived. I haven't seen it since 1990 or so. Specifically, I saw the sports demo (basketball & hockey, IIRC) with the "pulldown" menus, etc. Very cool stuff.

Royalties?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35023748)

Hi hope Microsoft is paying this guy for all his efforts...

Can anyone say... (2)

HikingStick (878216) | more than 3 years ago | (#35023778)

PRIOR ART???

FYI: the Holographic 3D system is for INPUT (2)

rpresser (610529) | more than 3 years ago | (#35023836)

Reading his paper [drillamerica.com] reveals that the hologram in use is an interference pattern taken from a live subject, then immediately read into the computer. It is not a 3DTV holo that floats in your living room for you to watch.

Still awesomely cool though. Why did evolution never invent this method to let human vision capture depth more directly?

Re:FYI: the Holographic 3D system is for INPUT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35024032)

Still awesomely cool though. Why did evolution never invent this method to let human vision capture depth more directly?

Maybe because we never evolved frickin' lasers.

Re:FYI: the Holographic 3D system is for INPUT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35024300)

Because God didn't want us to see in 3d.

Re:FYI: the Holographic 3D system is for INPUT (1)

tobiah (308208) | more than 3 years ago | (#35024818)

link is broken

Re:FYI: the Holographic 3D system is for INPUT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35025754)

Hey,
.
The Pantomation work is totally different fron that paper you found, which is more along the ones of what we're currently working on. Pantomation was video input only, no holograms involved.

Re:FYI: the Holographic 3D system is for INPUT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35030428)

not exactly sure what you mean with your question, but if it's in relation to capturing, storing and then manipulating 3D information i find dreams pretty cool for that.

Re:FYI: the Holographic 3D system is for INPUT (1)

rpresser (610529) | more than 3 years ago | (#35034540)

Humans (when awake) judge the distance to objects in several ways, including the effort required to focus, binocular parallax, and comparison with nearby objects. I'm saying that if we had a frickin' laser or two attached to our heads, we could use interference fringes too.

Elementary School Field Trip (2)

kwerle (39371) | more than 3 years ago | (#35023966)

I remember seeing some of this as part of an elementary school field trip in the late 70's. Maybe to the LA Museum of Modern Art? It was neat, and all, but I wasn't a fan of modern art - even back then.

Not only ahead of its time... (2)

The Grim Reefer2 (1195989) | more than 3 years ago | (#35024018)

When I clicked on the link my computer spontaneously rebooted. Apparently it's still ahead of my time too.

Re:Not only ahead of its time... (0)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 3 years ago | (#35026934)

When I clicked on the link my computer spontaneously rebooted. Apparently it's still ahead of my time too.

If you're running Windows, that was just Microsoft trying to protect its patents and hide prior art from you...

Also note: (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35024308)

Acorn (of bbc micro fame) productised a comparable thing somewhere in the 90s. Worked pretty well too. Might see if you can revive it through riscos on a beagle board.

Very artful prior art. (0)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 3 years ago | (#35024390)

I wonder how many patents Mr. Dewitt's activity undermines!

Re:Very artful prior art. (0)

colordev (1764040) | more than 3 years ago | (#35025246)

I know someone who no longer doesn't need to worry much about Kinetic patents. Thank you Mr. Dewitt

Prior Art (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35024638)

I wonder if we can kill some patents with this?

Amiga and Balance Board (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35024834)

Add this to the trivia since we are comparing old and new.... The developers of Amiga computers came up with their error code system -- Anyone remember Guru Meditation Errors? ------ from an internal game where people had to sit perfectly still on a pressure sensitive mat attached to development Amiga 1000's.

Patently brilliant for it's time. (0)

w0mprat (1317953) | more than 3 years ago | (#35025394)

Infact this is positively patent invalidating.

Re:Patently brilliant for it's time. (1)

jtnix (173853) | more than 3 years ago | (#35028712)

Possibly, but remember the Kinect has depth sensing capabilities and has much higher resolution. I am willing to bet the patent(s) applied for by Microsoft incorporate this detail.

Current website for Tom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35025432)

http://home.earthlink.net/~scan3d/

Video Comments (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35025596)

Adding comments has been disabled for this video.

Hallelujah. If only all Youtube uploaders were so benevolent.

update from poster (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35025664)

hey - I originally posted this comment. And Tom DeWitt, now Ditto, happens to be my boss. Yes, you're right about the II/IIe distinction - h'es going get a kick out of that! What we're currently working on can be read about here: www.3dewitt.com

original poster here (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35026082)

hey - you're right, it was a II, not at IIe. Like someone pointed out, it was originally developed on the PDP-8 and ported to the Apple II, but I think the significance of it is still pretty apparent. Re: the holographic stuff, that doesn't apply to Pantomation - it's much more current, and believe it or not, much more futuristic, too. I currently work with Tom, and you can check out what we're doing @ www.3dewitt.com

PDP-8, Not Apple II (2)

astrosmash (3561) | more than 3 years ago | (#35026420)

The mini-computer they talk about in this video is the PDP-8/L [wikipedia.org] , not an Apple II, although the system was later ported to Apple II in the early 80s.

It's worth noting that the original Apple II (and most other microcomputers from the early 70s) would have been much more powerful, cheaper, and easier to program than the PDP-8, and the Apple II would have been an excellent choice for a project like this, due to its expandable and well-documented hardware architecture. However, I'm sure they started development of this system well before the original Apple II would have been well known or even available.

Myron Krueger (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35026562)

Another early innovator in this area is Myron Krueger. His installation "videoplace" (1972-1990) was a lot like what Sony's Eyetoy would recreate later.

It was based around a colourful silhouetted video of the user (visually very similar to the iPod commercials). One of the many spectacular things it could do was what it could superimpose a little creature that tried to climb to the top of your head.

To see the climbing creature skip to 3:40 here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmmxVA5xhuo

Re:Myron Krueger (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35028850)

I was just about to post about Myron. He is the real spiritual pioneer of all of these screen + sensor VR/AR systems. The eyeToy etc was just a consumer version of the same type of thing as 'Videoplace' and his other creations. Its funny, at the time, everyone thought VR with HMDs and gloves etc, was the way to the future, whereas while we are still waiting for decent HMD's, Kinect etc is now giving the average consumer more VR/AR power than probably existed in any of Myrons installations.

Flame-bait much? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35027294)

Kinect's grand-daddy? And Apple in the summary?

Hell, I don't need to go that far back in time to find similar systems - including identifying multiple similar-colored and shaped objects in three dimensions using multiple cameras. None of these are really similar to Kinect.

Not to take away from the guy's work (which is seriously cool), but the summary makes it sound as if Kinect is just a rip-off of a very old technology, and MS is again playing catch up with 20 year old stuff.

Hope they (did not) tried patenting because.... (1)

MxMatrix (1303567) | more than 3 years ago | (#35029648)

Heheh, I see PRIOR ART.

Phantomation - well, Pantomation originally (1)

Zierot (1985420) | more than 3 years ago | (#35034268)

I’ve never read Slapdash, so thanks Scott Elofson for the heads up on this. “Anonymous” has got to be a former RPI student. This work was done from 1977-87 at the Video Synthesis and the Image Processing Labs. It started on a PDP-8L and migrated in 1983 to an Apple II. That made it portable, and it was shown in live demos all around like at SIGGRAPH (’86 & ’87) and at the Museum of Modern Art of the City of Paris (’83-’84). There are videos, so I’ll find and post some. More to come from me too, because in ’84 I started doing the 3D acquisition another way. That led to patents, NSF and NASA grants, and now a startup. TD
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