Will Holograms Replace Video Calls?

Swiss watch boss and the CEO of luxury brand IWC Christoph Grainger-Herr recently used Hologram technology to attend a global trade show in China. He attended the Watches and Wonders event in Shanghai that was organized in April but couldn't do that due to COVID-19 restrictions.

To make it possible, he took the help of a US-based holograms firm Portl. The CEO of Portl, David Nussbaum, stated "We beamed him from his office in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, to the event in Shanghai. He did his thing, chatted to other executives, and even unveiled a new watch, all in real-time. And then we beamed him out again!"

Why Holograms are Better than Video Calls?

People think that holograms are better than video calls as they are 3D light projections of a person. They are more life-like, more sensory, and more immersive as compared to video calls.

How It Works?

Holograms are made possible thanks to 2.5 m or eight-foot-tall portals with built-in speakers, microphones, and cameras. People opting for a hologram need a camera, microphones, speakers, and a plain backdrop to appear in any part of the world. After that, an app-controlled software system connects the person via the internet wherever the portal is. Many people can be connected at the same time too. Firms like Netflix and T-Mobile also use holograms. The cost of portals starts from $60,000, but they can also be rented.

Read more about how holograms work here.

What Other Holographic Innovations are There?

Microsoft also has its own hologram communication technology that is primarily based on a headset known as HoloLens 2. It costs $35,00 per unit, but the 3D holograms are not life-like. When two people wearing headsets call each other, the holograms are projects in cartoon-like avatars.

Holograms Use in Business

Thyssenkrupp, a German Engineering Group, is using holograms smartly. Now, its technicians can use HoloLens 2 headsets to connect with a local technician and guide them to repair lifts and elevators.

Japan Airlines is also using the headsets for training engine mechanics and plane crews.

Consumer-Oriented Holograms

Ikin, a San-Diego based firm, is making holograms accessible to consumers. It will soon launch a device, RYZ product, which can be slipped to a person's mobile phone, and then it will project a transparent 3D hologram of the person (into the air) with whom a person is having a video call with.

Expert Opinion- The Risk

An Associate Professor at Stanford University, Gordon Wetzstein, believes that holograms are a "more effective way" of communicating than video conferencing. He said, "[With holograms] you can create eye contact. You can read subtle cues like who's looking at whom. "

But he also cautioned that these holographic images might become too real in the future, and it might be difficult to distinguish them from an actual person. He stated, "If you can create digital or synthetic experiences that get closer and closer to how you perceive reality, you're more vulnerable to being manipulated."

Know about the use of artificial intelligence to generate 3D holograms in real-time over here.




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