So far, we have seen this type of thing only in sci-fi movies and series: a distant interlocutor materializing in the room. Now with HOLOPORTL™? , The World’s First Single Passenger HOLOPORTATION Machine, this all could change.

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But someone has gone quite a few steps further. Portl Inc from Beverly Hills offers at-home hologram machines with the slogan, “If you can’t BE there, BEAM there!” Their phone booth-sized machines can beam live holograms into your living room. This means that you will no longer be talking just to a two-dimensional image of your interlocutor on the screen but to a life-like three-dimensional hologram of him or her.

The Portl devices are 2.1m tall, 1.5m wide and 60cm deep. They can be plugged into a standard wall outlet. “Holoportation” means that anyone with a camera and a white background can send a hologram to the machine.

Portl CEODavid Nussbaum has worked in the entertainment industry for 20 years and the hologram space for the last seven years. Until May 2019, he was with Hologram USA, which produced the digital resurrection performance of Tupac at Coachella. The company then patented the technology that allows “digital resurrections” to be projected as life-like holograms onto a stage or into any open space. Another  technique developed by Hologram USA is called “telepresence”, “a way to “beam” anyone or anything from anywhere to anywhere else in real time as interactive holograms.”

“Telepresence” was used on Jack Black, The Band Berry, Julian Assange and Jimmy Kimmel. Great for entertainment, music, comedy, politics, education, conferences, speaking engagements, religion, advertising, gaming and much more. A rather morbid “digital resurrection hologram concert tour” conception was announced for Whitney Houston, Dean Martin, and Andy Kaufman.

“We are able to connect military families that haven’t seen each other in months, people from opposite coasts,” Nussbaum explained recently, announcing the new machine, his own brainchild. Unluckily, this is not quite the gadget for the rest of us, since the prices for the wonder booth start at $60 000. Nussbaum expects that the price will drop over the next three to five years. Portl is also developing a smaller tabletop device early next year. They should put it on the market at a much lower price.

A Los Angeles-based company called StoryFile owns a technology that can enhance the HOLOPORTL™?  to produce hologram recordings that can be archived. The additional cost though, is a blow, bringing the price tag for the machine to at least $85 000.

Museums could benefit from this attraction, which could let visitors question a hologram of a historical figure. Families (the ones who can afford it!) could record information for future generations. StoryFile Chief Executive Heather Smith says that the experience does not feel artificial: “You feel their presence, see their body language, see all their non-verbal cues. It’s like you’ve actually talked to that individual even though they were not there.”

[Written By External Partner]
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