CIC 22 in Boston

For its 22th edition the Color Imaging Conference or CIC for the connsoisseurs took place in Boston. Comparing to last year in Albuquerque (NM) the color LUT did change a bit: yellow and blue for the desert and the sky to red and about 50 shades of autumn for the buildings and trees.

If as the previous editions the crowd of attendees remains similar - la crème de la crème of the color scientists - you can detect a slight dominance according to the conference location or with whom is organized the event. This year the keynote sessions where for both color scientists (CIC) and medical imaging scientists (IADP), then sessions were ran in parallel.

The joint keynotes brought interesting discussions. They were highlighting another practices of imaging system - like microscope - in the medical world. That is not a surprise that the imaging system described can provide very different visual results, from one microscope to the other the data do not appear identical to human observers but the extraction of information should. In one word there is no reference images or colors when the practicians is looking at samples, but they know that each patient is different and can base their diagnostic on their experience. In comparison to the CARS event, the IADP was much less about computer assisted radiography and more about image analysis (at least for what I have seen).

The day before the real opening of the conference is the short course day. Professionals, experts in academia or industry are giving lectures on color science topics. After chairing this session last year in Albuquerque NM I could follow two courses in Boston: one on color display given by Gabriel Marcu from Apple and a second on Color Rendering Index and Lighting given by Wendy Davis from University of Sydney. It is always refreshing to take part into these courses, to re-learn about display technology, display calibration, lighting technology and equally important how our comprehension of color science has evolves over the years and how new technologies force to change our approaches.

One thing I remind in particular is the new range of LEDs available - for some years already - and the changes that go with them. It is possible to design the properties of your lights - its spectral power distribution SPD - at very narrower wavelength bands. What does it mean? It means that you can really shape the gamut of your display or light installation, this in term of triangle shape in the color space of your choice. But being able to define a larger, wider color gamut on a sketch is not or should not be the only goal. We also have to think of the internal color space distribution, after all the light source we are most of the time in contact - the sun - has a very different SPD. The good side of it is the door open for us color scientists to continue exploring these new spaces.

It was good to see how my field of studies during my PhD - multi-spectral color reproduction, multi-colorant printing - has evolved. How multi-ink printing systems that were semi-experimental some years ago are now the basis of further experimentation. Further more it always a pleasure to hear someone telling you "I have read your thesis" when they see your name and your face for the first time.

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