No longer the stuff of science fiction, holograms are being used to bring people closer, exchange information, seal deals, sell products and even entertain.
You wouldn’t have needed to be a fan of his music to appreciate the holographic image of the late Tupac Shakur at this year’s Coachella music festival in California. The temporary resurrection saw the rapper perform ‘California Love’ with his contemporaries, Snoop Dogg and Dre Dre. The life-like apparition was considered both ‘creepy’ and ‘cool’, with fans that never got the chance to see the late great getting quite emotional. There has been talk of a full tour and private gigs at an estimated $25,000 a show, so we may not have seen the last of him. Less emotional but also impressive was the Black Eyed Peas holographic Cannes performance. The idea of ‘live’ music may be about to change which would be a shame for traditionalists, but for people who would never get to see the real thing, this is certainly the next best thing.
How can I help you?
The service industry could definitely benefit from a few more friendly smiling faces – even if they’re not really there. New Jersey’s Newark Liberty International Airport has been quick to realise this and has just ‘employed’ an Avatar customer service representative to take the load off existing staff and make customers feel more welcomed. ‘Ava’ will be receiving passengers in the international arrivals area and she will no doubt be a sight for sore, tired, long-haul flight eyes. She is programmed to answer passenger’s most frequently asked questions and will soon be seen in Kennedy and LaGuardia airports at a cost of $180,000.
Business as Virtual
Video conferencing and ‘webinars’ are about to get a lot more interesting. “Telepresence” events of this kind are not cheap and although they could save thousands in flight purchases, high set-up costs mean holographic conferences will still only be viable for major business players and big events.
“It’s the holy grail of display technology,” Corbin Hall, a meetings technology analyst tells USA Today. “But for now, it’s going to be just for real high-end (events). It’s definitely not mainstream.”