[The 50th International Conference &
Exhibition on Computer Graphics & Interactive Techniques]

August 6th to 10th, 2023 - SIGGRAPH 2023 [The 50th International Conference & Exhibition on Computer Graphics & Interactive Techniques] was held in Los Angeles. Inside the venue's EXHIBITION Hall, dozens of companies set up corporate booths, showcasing product demos and research and development exhibits. Sony Computer Science Laboratories (Sony CSL) also exhibited within the Sony Group corporate space, and we would like to report on the highlights of our participation.

SIGGRAPH 2023 is an international conference on computer graphics and interactive technology, with Sony Group participating as a sponsor.

From Sony CSL, we presented research themes from Kyoto Research under the title "Cutting-edge technology meets culture in Kyoto," highlighting two themes: "AI-Supported Nishijin Weaving" and "Telepresence Tearoom: Jaku-in."

"AI-Supported Nishijin Weaving":
Member: Jun Rekimoto, Lana Sinapayen, Asahi Adachi* / Video : Madoka Hattori**
* Student Researhcer / ** Research Assistant

In this theme, we are developing technology that uses artificial intelligence to recognize and generate traditional Japanese patterns, known as "wagara." These wagara patterns have been used in Japan for centuries, adorning clothing like kimonos and yukatas, as well as interior designs of buildings. We focused on these traditional and historical wagara patterns as an opportunity to discuss the fusion of culture and technology.

By incorporating cutting-edge technology into the traditional art of Nishijin weaving, with the collaboration of Fukoka Weaving, a Nishijin weaving manufacturer, we showcased Nishijin weaving created using newly generated wagara patterns. These patterns were generated using artificial intelligence, which learned from existing patterns through image input. We will continue to explore the integration of traditional techniques with state-of-the-art technology in various manufacturing processes, such as stencil paper creation, yarn dyeing, and weaving.


"Telepresence Tearoom: Jaku-in":
Member: Jun Rekimoto, Natsuki Hamanishi**, Kaishi Amitani** / Video : Kohei Miura**
** Research Assistant

In this theme, we introduced a telepresence tearoom, a system that records the spatial and temporal aspects of a tearoom, allowing for the observation of people's movements and the arrangement of utensils from a free perspective. The practice of tea ceremony involves learning through physicality, passing down manner and traditions from the teacher to the student. By using this system, students can observe not only the teacher's actions but also their own movements from a third-person perspective, referred to as a "ghost." For example, students can move to the teacher's position to observe their actions, visually comprehend the relative positioning of their body to the tea utensils, and compare the teacher's placement with their own. Furthermore, students can compare and assess the degree of mastery of manner, observing the differences between their past and current actions at their own pace.

By providing insights that cannot be obtained solely through traditional teaching, we aim to contribute to the preservation of cultural heritage through this extended learning environment, transcending time and space.


Many visitors to our booth expressed their reactions, such as "Utilizing technology to revitalize local culture is an approach much needed in today's era, and it holds significant societal value," "Going beyond generating traditional patterns on a PC screen, experiencing the value by turning those patterns into actual textiles broadens one's perspective," and "I was amazed by the fusion of tradition and technology in both the Nishijin weaving and tea room exhibits. I am inspired by their commitment to respecting tradition while embracing innovation."

The SIGGRAPH conference had a total of 14,275 on-site participants (total attendees), with over 4,000 individuals visiting Sony's corporate booth during the three-day event.

This exhibition provided an opportunity for meaningful exchanges of ideas with students, corporate professionals, and government officials from various perspectives. It concluded successfully with many attendees showing keen interest in our demonstrations and explanations. Moving forward, Sony CSL Kyoto Research will continue to explore the relationship between technological advancements and culture, tradition, and humanity, aiming to contribute to the future society.