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Zoom is dead, we have hologram calls now


Look, it’s simple. I’m a sci-fi nerd. If I see things remotely resembling future tech from films, I latch onto it like a clingy Klingon. Case in point: holograms.

Real-life “hologram” tech gained mainstream exposure in previous years, thanks to resurrected Tupac in Coachella 2012. While its hologram status has long been debunked—it was actually a “2D projection”—the obsession for the futuristic leap still remains. The same folks who brought back the rapper are now making “holograms” a norm for communication.

Los Angeles-based company PORTL recently unveiled an AI-enabled hologram projection machine called “StoryFile X Epic PORTL.” Like “Doctor Who’s” TARDIS and Bill and Ted’s Excellent Phone Booth, the PORTL machine is a seven-foot enclosure that allows people to converse with one another as realistic holograms. Plus, it can also bring back historical figures and dead relatives back to life—how’s that for time travel?

“[You] feel their presence, see their body language, see all their nonverbal cues,” StoryFile chief executive Heather Smith said. “You feel like you’ve actually talked to that individual even though they were not there.”

According to the company, the machines can “beam” in people from any spot across the globe, which PORTL CEO David Nussbaum dubs “holoportation.” The machine can be plugged into a standard wall outlet, while users can record their holograms if they have a camera and a white background.

However, it doesn’t come without the hefty price tag of $60,000 (approximately P2,938,530) for the machine alone. Alongside the AI technology needed to archive hologram recordings, the cost will total up to $85,000 or P4,162,917. It’s a steal for most eccentric billionaires, but if you aren’t about that Elon Musk life yet, Nussbaum expects the price will drop over the next three to five years. They’re also planning a smaller and cheaper tabletop device early next year, so say hello to holoportation lite™.

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Photo from PORTL



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