The holographic meeting is nigh, or isn’t it?

The leap from computer-based online meetings to holodeck meetings seems on the horizon

A news snippet

On 9th August I came across an interesting German news snippet (in Spiegel Netzwelt) about the development of holographic technology. It caught my interest because 3 or 4  years ago I had already made a guess, in a conversation with a friend, that – within 5 to 10 years – we would have holographic technology available which allows people to meet in a way that we (or most of us) know from StarTrek as the “holodeck”!

Being always interested in latest developments of person-to-person virtual interaction, I got extremely excited reading this news snippet. So, I checked out the video and company. I quickly realised that the technology they offer is not real holographic representation but a full-size projection of a person from anywhere into a particular box. Still interesting to think about the potential of that technology, yet still not quite what I was hoping for to see.


The reality

Triggered by these news, I started a bit of research to see what was the latest in the area of holographic projection – an in particular that of people. The technology itself is not new, of course. But so far, whenever a holographic projection had been created, it was an enormous effort with projectors, room settings, and other pieces of (expensive) kit. And they were only possible in almost dark rooms as any small amount of light would have degraded the projection quality of these holograms.

Further trawling the internet, I came across a TED talk which seems to be a milestone towards holographic meetings, even though it is not truly using in-space holographic projections. Nevertheless, what the speaker presents in that TED talk seems to me a great step forward to what we, as human beings, are all looking for: being together with colleagues, collaborating in the same room and sharing experiences in 3D.
Have a look at the talk that took place towards the end of last year.

This also featured in the MIT News in July this year.


Even though my excitement got a bit tuned down by what I could find on the internet, as the real holodeck will still take time to materialise, the leaps made in technology – like the spatial collaboration system – seems to provide fantastic opportunities to ‘eliminate physical distances’ for virtual teams so they can collaborate in real-time in one space with the feeling of being together.

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