Another day, another step closer to a cyberpunk-like world full of holograms and high-tech, flashy marketing strategies. With the invention of HOLLAGRAM, Augmented Reality company VNTANA has inched us closer to the science fiction fantasy that we've all been geeking out over since HoloLens was announced. Unlike most AR projects, however, this one doesn't require the HoloLens in any capacity. HOLLAGRAM uses a Kinect v2 sensor to capture the likeness of a user and project them onto a holographic screen, letting them move around their hologram for all sorts of different things.
VNTANA showed off the project at an event hosted by Pepsi and iHeartRadio, and recorded the results in this video. Users walked up to the HOLLAGRAM and used their holographic dopplegangers to engage with a couple of corporate logos, a disco ball, and a DJ booth. While this isn't about to save the world, or even do much to improve anybody's quality of life, it still performs an important task - showing people a good time. We've all been thinking of holograms quite practically for a long time now, and frankly, it's about time we take a moment to indulge some of our inner geek and have some fun.
Of course, the goal of HOLLAGRAM isn't just for fun. There's also some pretty solid marketing potential in this technology, and it's gotten the attention of Pepsi and the Chinese drone manufacturer, DJI. After doing a session with HOLLAGRAM, users were sent an email with a GIF, photo, or video that chronicled their adventure in the world of augmented reality - something they could share with their friends via email or social media. According to the article, "Microsoft Azure powers this aspect of the HOLLAGRAM system, compiling and categorizing the data seamlessly in the cloud."
We don't know when we'll see this out in the wild, but chances are that you'll see companies like Pepsi trying to implement it in some of their events some time in the next couple of years. Breaking out fancy new technology like this can be very effective for winning the hearts of people who come out to events, so the use of HOLLAGRAM seems pretty inevitable.Further reading: Augmented Reality, Holograms, Holographic, Kinect, vntana