Human or Hologram?

Help Me, Obi-Wan Kenobi — you’re my only hope!

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

In Sci-fi films, communicating via 3-D holograms is all the rage. Here on earth, our two dimensional video conference calls? Not nearly as exciting.

No longer, says Roel Vertegaal of Queen’s University, who has turned science-fiction into reality. His “TeleHuman2” system ditches the computer screen. Instead, it turns people on the other side of the Skype-line into life-sized holograms.

How? A person in a land far, far away is entirely surrounded by cameras and filmed live. This video is sent via the internet and projected in real-time to a conference room. There, over two-hundred TINY projectors work together to bounce light off a reflective human-sized TUBE. And voila! That far away person appears on the tube, as if there in the flesh!

Meeting-goers can talk with the “hologramized” person in real time, as if they’re sitting in the room. Companies that work with remote partners can use this technology to simulate face-to-face meetings! Aside from potentially improving corporate outcomes, it’s just awesomely futuristic!

So, step aside, Princess Leah! I’m ready for MY close-up!