Friday 19 Jul 2024
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KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 22): During the pandemic, people got used to video conferencing as a means of communication but this quickly gave way to screen fatigue. People wanted more in their interactions, and it became the perfect opportunity for holograms, hitherto seen as a futuristic technology right out of science fiction, to come into its own.

The use of holographic technology in events and concerts made it synonymous with posthumous recreations of celebrities. But not long after, living celebrities were making headlines as they utilised holographic technology to communicate with family and friends who lived far away.

Rapper and record producer Diddy, who had business to tend to in Miami, used PORTL to project himself to his son’s birthday party in Los Angeles, where he interacted with the audience in real-time. Author and inspirational speaker Chris Gardner, played by Will Smith in The Pursuit of Happyness, beamed in his keynote address at several TEDx talks. 

This is just the tip of the iceberg, industry players say, as the technological capabilities of holograms are evolving rapidly. Currently, holoportation devices and services can cost between US$40,000 (RM166,432) and US$80,000, but just as televisions and mobile phones evolve, holoportation devices could cost no more than a laptop and be available to most households. 

There are different types of holographic technology and devices available in the market, from 3D holographic devices that look like a fan to holographic tables, where people and objects will be seen projected to be on the table. However, industry players believe that the future of holographic communication lies in wearables, especially with the recent announcement of the metaverse by Meta (formerly Facebook) CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

The future of holograms lies in augmented and mixed realities, with people having a digital twin of themselves or their living spaces to communicate with other people in an immersive world. As for Princess Leia being projected into empty space, that's still years away.

Read all about this in the latest issue of DigitalEdge, out now with the Nov 22 issue of The Edge Malaysia.

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