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Cisco Unveils Star Wars-Esque Hologram Communication

by Karen M.

Cisco has unveiled and demonstrated their new On-Stage TelePresence Holographic Video Conferencing. In layman’s terms, it means that now you can actually do that thing they do in Star Wars when they talk to a Princess Leia hologram, and I have to say, it looks quite convincing.

Leia Hologram

The video is pretty boring except for the fact that it’s a guy on stage talking to two holograms of people who are in other countries. In fact, they look so realistic that it took me a while to figure out that they were holograms. I kept advancing the video to look for the hologram part. So I think that’s proof-positive that this is fully legit.


This is really heartening because there are so many things from the 70s and 80s that we were supposed to have in the future, and we still don’t have them. Hello, hoverboards? Robot servants? Flying cars? Vacations on the moon? Robocop? And all we got is the Internet. OK, OK, actually the Internet is way cooler than all of those things I just named. But still, I’m glad someone’s ticked one of these “future” technologies off the list and put it squarely into the present.

[via ajb{log}]

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Comments (16):

  1. technabob says:

    Now all we need to do is to get R2-D2 to project these and we’ll be all set.

  2. Geek Gadgets says:

    wow this is amazing, i like every post of your blog keep it up,i’m looking forward on your everyday post.. i enjoy reading it.

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  3. canadian says:

    I call BS on this. IF a hologram, why walk onstage and off stage? Since when do holograms or how would they create footsteps? also, holograms are projected light, correct? why then were they, pick one person either person, lit up and having light sources? shit can’t find the words for what i’m trying to say….the dude on the left was reflecting light from 2 sources, as was the guy who walked on from the right. He also was reflecting light. Last time i checked, maybe i’m wrong, but a hologram made of light can not reflect light…. right?

  4. karen says:

    @canadian I don’t know enough about hologram technology to know, but here’s a deeper exploration and further links to help you sleuth it out: http://www.humanproductivitylab.com/archive_blogs/2007/11/15/cisco_experimenting_with_an_on_1.php

  5. peter says:

    Even the olde netherlandshe painters knew that by painting WHITE in a dark filed you can SIMULATE emitting light. That’s what’s happening here.

    Anyway, Karen, what’s wrong about the story is: The technology of holographic visualization is Musion’s, not Ciscos. Layman is talking about nothing but Ciscos Hispeed cable network beeing used for telepresence. The Video on Musions webpage makes ist clear – it also is not really a first.

  6. peter says:

    …and, after reading the cryptic explanation on Musions webpage: It is not holographic at all.
    It’s a 2D-projection onto a very thin transparent foil in the stage that acts as an invisible screen, thus creating the illusion of a hologram.
    Leia will have to wait even longer to appear anywhere on a table – if there’s no “eyeliner TM”-foil on it, she will be appearing as flat as Roger Rabbit on the backwall of Ben Kenobis cave…

  7. technabob says:

    Regardless, it’s much cooler than using a webcam and iChat.

  8. manchicken says:

    The internet is better than hover-boards? I don’t know about that…

  9. karen says:

    @ manchicken: I know, it’s a tough choice, but overall I’m still going to stick with the internet as being better than hover boards. But of course, I haven’t actually had the opportunity to ride a hover board (yet) so I could be swayed I suppose…

  10. Morgan says:

    Wow, imagine what the porn guys will do with this, dorks will never leave their apartments and strip clubs will be out of biz…

  11. Harry Balczak says:

    Star Track?

  12. technabob says:

    Nice screen name. Never heard that one before. What are we, in 2nd grade?

  13. Princess Leia 19 says:

    Star Wars ROCKS!! I Love Princess Leia. She is so dramatic.


  14. germinies says:

    well going off the cisco websites explanation it isn’t a hologram it’s just improved audio and video tele-conferencing. here is a video that they explain what the telepresence is.http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/ps7060/ps8329/ps8330/ps7073/prod_video_data_sheet_telepresence_1.html

    the trick they used for the video up top seems to be using a transcreen(a thin window when set up properly is as clear as a window but shows images projected onto it).

    transcreens have been used by hollywood in movies and has been used onstage with the band Gorrilaz when they did a show with Madonna(i think it was her could have been some one else.)

  15. roger lebeau says:

    For all you hologram hobbyists, out there. what could be cooler than having this form of technology available within your own home.
    Check out my link for a “how to” guide.

  16. Notter says:

    Well, we have more than the internet. We have smartphones and motion gaming. Soon the are going to implement motion technology into computers and then we won’t need the mouse and keyboard. We’ll just wave our hands. By the way, we have robot servants. Ever heard of robot-vacuum cleaners?

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