Sometimes being a Techgirl means you have to get into the really nerdy things, like GPU’s. Though we mainly like to discuss lifestyle topics, it can be very refreshing to learn more about what makes our tech work. At Nvidia’s GPU Technology Conference in Munich we got to learn what amazing things can happen thanks to a GPU.

A GPU is a graphics processing unit, a piece of technology that will take in the information from multiple camera’s for example, and translates it to graphics on a screen. Nvidia produces these types of technology and the GPU Technology Conference was a great showcase of what that can entail.

Positive vibes at the GPU Technology Conference

I really got a positive and exciting vibe from the conference. It all started with the keynote of CEO and founder Jensen Huang, who did the whole speech from the top of his head, in a very relaxed and easy manner. The most exciting thing was when he showed off the Holodeck, a new virtual lab in which you can use VR to really visualize and work together. Your body is like a robot in this environment, and it shows you use models made in Maya, in a 3D way. You can interact with it, and work together, and it is really cool.

I know that, because I got to try out the Holodeck myself. Even though I am not a car designer, I had a blast playing around with it. I could bend over with the HTC Vive VR goggles on, and it made me get into my car, so I could see the leather seats, or even the engine if I went far enough. I could write things on a virtual whiteboard that I could throw around, and I could go into this mode where all the thousands of parts of the car were in the air, which really looked amazing.

The best thing about the conference to me, were the many robots that were there. The pizza delivery robot that will be working for Dutch Domino’s soon, was really cute, but my favorite will always be Pepper, who was there, as well. There were more exciting things, for example, a self driving car, which was one of the biggest topics of the conference.

Communicating with self driving cars

There are so many things that have to be taken into account: how can we let people on the street know that a car has spotted them? How likely is it that we will have selfdriving cars of safety level 5 (which is fully autonomous) on the streets? These type of questions were discussed and it feels like a very exciting time right now: what will our streets look like in five years, or even ten years?

There was one more thing that really blew my mind, which was playing dominos with a robot in virtual reality. There are many companies that actually train robots in virtual reality instead of the real world, and Project Isaac is one of them. So I put on the Vive VR goggles and with two controllers in hand I was able to play a game of dominos against a robot. I put the dominos on the table myself, so I could even place them on their wrong side: the robot (that looked really cute) could really see what you did and disapprove of it, or play a dominos stone back. It was really something else.

A new world!

The main thing I got from this conference regarding Nvidia, is how many IT companies are more like start-ups these days. This is not a world in which technology companies just decide things and push them through to us all: it is all new world stuff. For example, there are many rules and regulations still missing concerning self driving cars because it is all so new.

Nvidia can help making GPU’s that can handle the many, many camera’s on each car, but for Nvidia this is a whole new world too. It is beautiful to see companies take their tech and combine it with other companies tech, cause that way things can improve while working together and communicating on how to make things better.

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Laura Jenny
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