No more remote working in your PJs, video calls in the near future could be via hologram
It’s been the stuff of science fiction for decades. No, not aliens taking over the White House. I’m talking about hologram calls instead of your regular old video meetings. Imagine if you will, a world where you can actually beam a 3D version of yourself into the office of your remote-working boss, Princess Leia-style. And you don’t even need an R2D2 to do it.
The technology to do this is actually already here. This is not the future, this is now. Los Angeles-based company Proto has developed technology that allows you to beam a full-body 4K hologram of yourself anywhere in the world through their Proto Epic portal.
The Proto Epic is a 7′ box equipped with speakers and cameras that enable you to communicate with others remotely. They have also created the soon-to-be-released Proto M, a tabletop version of their Proto Epic that can be positioned in horizontal or landscape mode.
So how does this work? Well, it’s fairly simple. You stand or sit in front of a plain backdrop facing a camera that is shooting 4K video. The Proto software then beams your likeness to the Proto Epic or the Proto M box where your hologram can have conversations with people thanks to built-in speakers and cameras in the box.
The tech beams your shadow as well, making it appear extra life-like to the people interacting with you. It apparently really does look like you’re in the room with them, albeit inside a glass-fronted box.
However, these aren’t actually holograms in the conventional sense. It’s more like a “digital likeness” that is beamed into a box. The company is using the term ‘hologram’ to describe it because people already understand the concept.
You are actually being projected as a 2D image. The way your shadow and your reflection are being captured inside of a 3D space through a 4K camera creates this volumetric effect that convinces your brain that you’re looking at a hyper-realistic 3D version.
But it’s not cheap, yet. The Proto Epic Box is available for $60,000 while the Proto M Enterprise kit sells for $5,000. The Proto M kit starts at $2,000.
I think DIYP team meetings will probably still be done the old-fashioned way for a while yet, so we can still work from home in our pajamas!
Alex Baker is a portrait and lifestyle driven photographer based in Valencia, Spain. She works on a range of projects from commercial to fine art and has had work featured in publications such as The Daily Mail, Conde Nast Traveller and El Mundo, and has exhibited work across Europe