Looking for a new way to communicate during an epidemic? A Los Angeles company has developed a phone booth-sized machine to beam live holograms into your living room.
The device, developed by PORTL, allows users to communicate in real time with another person’s life size hologram.
Machines can be equipped with technology to enable interaction with holograms recorded by historical figures or deceased relatives.
Each PORTL device is seven feet (2.1 m) long, five feet (1.5 m) wide and two feet (0.6 m) deep, and can be plugged into a standard wall outlet. Anyone with a camera and a white background can send a hologram to the machine, which CEO David Nussbaum calls “holoportation.”
“We say if you can’t be there, you can beam there,” said Nusbaum, a former Ronald Reagan hologram maker and digitally resurrected rapper Tupak Shakur for a company for the former president’s library.
Nussbaum added, “We have been able to reunite military families who have not seen each other for months, people on opposite shores,” or anyone who maintains social distance to fight the coronavirus.
Prices for the machine start at $ 60,000 (approximately Rs. 45 lakhs), which Nussbaum expects to decrease in the next three to five years. The company plans to launch a smaller tabletop device with a lower price tag early next year.
Devices can be equipped with artificial intelligence technology from Los Angeles-based company Storyfill to create hologram recordings that can be archived. Adding it to the current device brings the cost to at least 85,000.
Companies are promoting museums, which can ask visitors a hologram of a historical figure and record information for families for future generations.
Heather Smith, chief executive of Storyfile, said people might think they were having a conversation with a recorded hologram.
“(You) feel their presence, look at their body language, look at all their non-verbal gestures,” he said. “You feel like you’ve actually talked to that person even though they weren’t there.”
ম Thomson Reuters 2020
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