Wednesday 22 November 2017

Microsoft unveils 'holoportation' - Star Wars style

Adrian Weckler

Adrian Weckler

Thought Star Wars hologram messages would never happen? Think again. Microsoft has unveiled.

‘Holoportation’, a system that lets us communicate and play back 3D hologram messages to one another.

The technology, which resembles a cross between the hologram messaging systems in Star Wars and Minority Report, is based on the software giant’s Hololens headset. This augmented reality headset differs from virtual reality in that it lets the wearer see virtual 3D images within their real life environment.

In Microsoft’s Holoportation demonstration, Microsoft Research developer Shahram Izadi holds a hologram conversation with a colleague and then with his four-year-old daughter. Both appear in front of him as he is wearing the Hololens headset.

Mr Izadi is then able to play back the conversation, like a voicemail recording, watching his interaction with the person he’s talking to. He is also able to change the size of the participants when he plays the conversation back, like Tom Cruise does in the film Minority Report.

The system is facilitated by a series of cameras in the room.

At present Hololens headsets are only available to developers for $3,000 each. Microsoft has not yet said when the system will go for sale.

Microsoft is set to show Holoportation and the Hololens off this week at Microsoft Build, its annual technology developers’ show in San Francisco.

We’ll be reporting live at the conference so check back for more from the event.

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