Every now and then we are awed by the ways in which technology can beautify our lives. Every time I see something cool I say to myself this is the best that could happen with technology until something even better and a lot more cooler replaces it. Very recently, we have been noticing a lot of innovative stuff cropping up from creative brains around the world. From robots that can take a walk with you to the illusive AI technology, everything seems to make us feel that all this time we have been undermining the colossal powers of technology.
Holoportation is a very recent technological development which has been brewing in the labs of Microsoft where creativity and intelligence are available in massive amounts. It is a type of 3D capture technology which hasn’t existed before. Holoportation allows high-quality 3D models of people to be reconstructed and transmitted anywhere around the world in real time.
The technology puts HoloLens to use which is the company’s augmented reality headset so that users can see, hear and interact with participants who may be located at another part of the world. The goal here is to make the entire process as natural as possible so that the users feel like they are seeing and interacting with the person in reality.
The Interactive 3D Technology Team at Microsoft Research has created this technology. In addition to the HoloLens, a special camera rig is also required to transmit the hologram of the person making it possible for you to feel that the person is actually present in the room. It goes without saying, that you will not have the sense of smell of physical touch when you are holoported but I do not hear a lot of people complaining about it so far.
The HoloLens technology will recreate the hologram of the person in the middle of your field of view which means that it may look like the person is floating or standing inside your couch. The fact that technology has taken us so far only gives me reason to believe that we are not far from the time when such miniscule things may be taken care of too.
The technology showcased by the Interactive 3D Technology Team is impressive and it makes 2D communication apps sound obsolete. Microsoft firmly believes that this is just the beginning, and while holoportation is still being developed, the fact that it will help us establish meaningful connections with our loved ones without having to worry about space and time makes things awesome.
The beauty of holoportation is that not only can you have real time conversation with people, you can also play them back as sweet remembrances of your conversations. While you can view these playback conversations in its actual size, it also allows you to reduce the size so that you can view the interaction in a more comfortable size and bring to your table where you can watch it comfortably as you take a seat on your couch.
This holographic teleportation looks cool but if you are asking how soon we will be able to do this then I must tell you that Microsoft is still developing the technology and is not talking about a release date yet. There is a development kit which will be made available by Microsoft at $3000. This means that only very serious developers with some very deep pockets will be able to dabble with this mind-blowing technology.
Alex Kipman who led the HoloLens project showcased the holoportation technology during a TED talk earlier this month where he interacted with NASA scientist Jeff Norris through holoportation. As Norris joined Kipman on the stage to address the audience, he explained that NASA is applying HoloLens to research.
While we may have got a glimpse of what holoportation can do, we are still far from utilizing the technology. With the developer’s kit costing a substantial amount along with the illusive camera rig that we do not know much about, it is safe to say that holoportation is yet to see the light of commercial production.
Microsoft Research has certainly increased our hopes from technology by showing us the splendid abilities of holoportation, we can only wait for an early commercial release and an affordable price tag.