The Rise of Holograms
Holograms are a technique that projects 3-D images of a person or object. The process of holography is not something I am going to pretend to be knowledgeable on, but I do know it involves lasers and lights to make an object seem to be there. The first time I learned about this was when as a child, I watched Princess Leia in Star Wars use the technology to remotely communicate with Obi-Wan Kenobi across the galaxy. But this is not the only instance of holograms in Star Wars.
Use of Holograms in Star Wars
- Ob-Wan Kenobi watching a security hologram of Darth Vader kneeling before Darth Sidious.
- Ob-Wan Kenobi watching a hologram of Darth Vader slandering Jedi.
- Projectors were used in many of the starship communications with commanders, pilots and passengers.
- Droids could record and display holograms (R2-D2!).
- Jedi Council members could attend meetings via hologram if they were unable to physically be there. The image could project into their formal seat or in the middle of the Council room.
- Prior to the Battle of Endor, a hologram of Death Star II illustrated the attack plan to the Rebellion pilots.
- During the Battle of Naboo, R2-D2 projected a hologram of the Theed Royal Palace before organizing the assault.
- Holograms were also used in targeting practice. For instance, the Republic clone army used holograms of B1 battle droids and B2 super battle droids, as well as holograms of Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi, to train their clone sharpshooters and improve their ability to distinguish between hostile and friendly targets.
Holograms in Modern Day
We currently are using FaceTime, Skype and Google Hangouts to be able to talk face to face through a smart device — but forget about those, this could be the future of telecommuting.
What if when FaceTiming with a friend you actually saw them as if they were talking to you right where you are!
Tupac Hologram at Coachella
A version of a 19th century projection technology was used to portray Tupac being on stage at Coachella in 2012. It is the widest remembered hologram’s that I have had the pleasure of seeing. After a little research, the technology used behind the Tupac illusion is known as Pepper’s Ghost and uses angled glass to reflect light and dark. Also, there is a Japanese Anime-inspired hologram pop performer that boasts attendees of up to 25,000 per show and was the most requested headlining act for the London Olympics. She (Hatsune Miku) is an avatar and not based on a real person at all, but has her fans write her songs and record them.
Star Wars, Tupac & Holograms Conclusion
All in all, hologram technology still has a long way to go before it will ever be mass-produced. But we can thank George Lucas‘ Star Wars for helping us realize where our telecommuting has the opportunity to go in the future!