Saturday, March 31, 2018

Recap of NVIDIA GTC 2018 in Silicon Valley

As I mentioned yesterday, I had the opportunity to present on VR at the NVIDIA GPU Technology Conference (GTC) in Silicon Valley earlier this week. There were a number of sessions around the AEC space, but the star of the show was AI, deep learning and self-driving vehicles. Overall, it was a great conference and Autodesk was a big sponsor and offered several sessions... even my hotel key-card had the Autodesk logo on it (see inset image).

I will offer a recap of the conference here with several images, most of which are shown in chronological order. The conference went from Monday through Thursday, but I was only able to be there Monday and Tuesday. I had to get back for a presentation to several clients in Minneapolis on Thursday.

The first thing you seen when entering the convention center is this...
NVIDIA branded self-driving car (I assume this is a self-driving car).

The conference had a nice mobile app to track schedules and see who was in each session (if you opted in). But they also had these monitors in several locations to see a quick side-by-side view of sessions. This one shows my session which was at 10am on Monday. It was great to get there and just get my session out of the way!

Outside of the room I presented in... notice the sessions by Autodesk before and after mine.

Another view of the main entrance to the convention center in San Jose, California.

The session just before mine... a look under the hood on how Autodesk uses AWS as compute for generative design tasks. Presented by Autodesk and NVIDIA staff (from Australia and England).

Thanks to Andrew Rink for taking a few photos while I was presenting! Enscape VR example playing here.

You need a large space for over 8,000 people to eat lunch.

I wrote a little about the VR offerings in the exhibit hall yesterday; Ready Player One Escape Game in NVIDIA Holodeck at GTC 2018. All the VR stuff was consolidated into one are called the VR Village, which was great!

NVIDIA gave an interesting presentation on how they are enhancing the APIs to allow develops to leverage NVIDIA cards even more for better quality.

In this presentation Fuzor got a nice plug, as shown in the next image. I also talked about Fuzor in my presentation.

Some discussion on VR SLI... it is interesting that most VR headsets only have one cable so the result of the two graphics cards still needs to be merged back together as shown here. There are a few VR headsets that have two cables which do not require this final step... which sounds ideal.

There was a great feature at the conference called "Connect with the Experts". Three or four areas were established as meeting points after a session to talk with the presenters. I was able to spend some time talking with Kai Ingo Esser (shown on the right in the next image) from NVIDIA about all things VR and performance.

I saw an RTC/BILT Europe friend in my session and about the conference... Frank Wolbertus from Holland. We will see each other again in Slovenia at BILT-Eur 2018.

The convention center... it was nice to not see any snow for a couple days!

The keynote, by NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang, was very cool. Jensen is super knowledgeable of everything his company is doing. Here he was showing real-time raytracing with three moving storm troopers using a new technology called NVIDIA RTX.

That was followed by the announcement of a new graphics card called GV100 with the RTX technology built-in. Things are going to get real! Soon!

I got to visit with my new friends at the TPCAST booth. They make VR wireless and we are using this in two of our dedicated VR spaces now. Check out these related posts...

Autonomous vehicles on display in the exhibit hall...

Dell was a big sponsor of the conference and had a big layout in the exhibit hall. I was also event to a Dell function Tuesday evening. Dell created a promotional video on our use of VR on their hardware. I wrote about that here: Dell Video: LHB visualizes architectural designs through virtual reality powered by Dell Precision.

Me and Andrew Rink from NVIDIA... I first met Andrew several years ago at RTC in Ireland.

Me and Tom Riley from NVIDIA... tom and I did a webinar on VR; Watch My NVIDIA Webinar on VR in the AEC Space.

This was a session highlighting the NVIDIA Holodeck technology...

They touched on the application in architecture, which is a major focus for them, but this session was more about the platform in-general.

I got to visit with Lachmi Khemlani, Editor of AECbytes. I have written several articles for her publication, including an annual 'Whats new in Revit' write up... watch for the sequel soon!

A session on using NVIDIA's collaboration VR platform, Holodeck, for architecture...

This was more exploring the possibilities right now than actual use cases... but I think this will be big!

Good food in the exhibit hall Tuesday evening...

And good candy to keep everyone going?

I got to try out the VR Hero experience. It was 5k and 170 degrees with hand sensing technology... it felt as large as it looks but not as heavy.

I was amazed that I could see my full hands virtually, and it tracked individual finger movements. That was super cool. In the previous picture you can see the steering wheel on the screen in the background. Just reaching out and grasping with my hands, the steering wheel was selected and I could move it. Without any controllers! That was super cool.

Overall, a great conference where I met a lot of people and learned stuff! Worth checking out if you have never been and are into rendering or VR.

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