Holy. Crap. We can do this now?! Holograms!

Al Gore spoke at Live Earth as a hologram for God’s sake. I had no idea technology was this advanced. This is freakin’ amazing, isn’t it?

(Although I half expected him to bend down and hide plans inside a little android…)

Youtube clip: The Future is, apparently, now. Who knew?

I didn’t see anything in the video that couldn’t, or perhaps even wasn’t, done on a standard video screen.

Looks like the same tech from Disney’s Tower of Terror, a transparent screen on which “ghosts” or Al Gore (is there a distinction) are projected. Impressive? Absolutey. But holographic it is not.

Now, I could be completley wrong, but I’m simply going off of what was shown in the video, which was pretty much restricted to a single viewpoint.

What was up with the girl at the beginning? She spoke very strangely. It seemed like she pronounced each sound as in normal English, but put the stresses in funny places.

Computer generated speech maybe? But then why do that since the girl was clearly speaking English herself, obviating the need for computer generation of speech?


Based on what Gore said, I think this was recorded in Tokyo. As such I think that the woman was just not a native speaker of English.

…and I half expected him to finish with, “Help me, Obi Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope,” or maybe “As a gesture of good will, I offer you a gift–these two droids.” :stuck_out_tongue:

Based on what Gore said, I think this was recorded in Tokyo. As such I think that the woman was just not a native speaker of English.

Very strange accent, then.


Perhaps the same technology as is used at “Gorillaz” concerts, when they appear on stage in a very convincing manner.

That’s “Pepper’s Ghost”, but using very powerful projectors to produce the image
(Can’t tell from the clip if that’s what it was, but it works remarkably well)

I notice she didn’t introduce “Al Gore”, but “Algore”, while he announced himself as “Al. Gore.”

Yeh, I don’t think this is really holography. But I do seem to recall reading somewhere that they had made a breakthrough that allowed truely realistic holograms (as in ‘you try to reach for something and are surprised when your hand goes through it’ real). Can"t find a cite though.

I doubt this if only because if they were real you’d see them everywhere.

A Google search on breakthrough holograms finds plenty of breakthroughs, many as much as 10 years old. Outside of medical imaging, though, where are they?

I could be wrong, with Gore’s fame just allowing him to be first in public. But I’ll bet in coming days, when the analyses start, the hologram will turn out to be something only hologram-like.

Oy! Well, I feel stupid. I heard the word “hologram” and read it a billion times in news articles about the presentation, so I kinda thought … “hologram.” And thus I totally had a geekgasm. (As opposed to the Goregasm I was already having. Love this guy!)

But if it’s just a regular flat projection on a glass screen (is that what you’re saying?) then it’s not as big a deal.

Anyway I think that girl was pure CGI. Her movements, voice and the graphics of her dress – which are more noticeable in the full version of the presentation rather than just that brief clip – all seem vaguely artificial and similar to the incredible CGI animation they do nowadays. An amazing simulation, though.

Then again apparently my ability to judge technology ain’t so hot, so wtf do I know!

Did Algore ever finish building that bridge to the 21st century?

So Al Gore invented holograms - who knew?

They’ve been around for a while; I’ve seen a few. The catch is just that they’re difficult to make, and thus expensive.

The real difficulty isn’t making the holograms realistic; it’s animating them. You could put a few different frames into the same holographic plate, keyed to different illumination directions, and switch lights on and off at the various angles to switch frames, but with current technology, you couldn’t have more than a handful of frames. And there’s no technology currently available that will let you generate a hologram on the fly: You have to create your hologram with the subject in a studio, develop it, and ship a piece of glass to whereever you wanted to display it.

Another important point to note is that you’ll only see a hologram if your line of sight terminates on the glass plate. You can make a hologram where the image projects out in front of the plate, but if you look at that plate edge-on, you won’t see the image protruding out. For this reason, it’s easier to make a hologram look convincing if the image is entirely behind the plate, producing a window-like effect.

I just hope they’re careful with the safety protocols, lest the holographic Al Gore escape into the real world and start wreaking havoc.

Don’t worry; he’ll have a large sparkling capital H emblazoned on his forehead.

For decades, we’ve been seeing a (fake) depiction in tv shows and movies of holograms that exist in empty space, without the viewer’s line of vision having to intersect any kind of plate or projection medium. Are we any closer to actually achieving that? I can’t think of how that would work in the real world.

Twenty years ago, who would have dreamed technology would someday become capable of producing a lifelike Al Gore?

Short of some way to get ponits of empty space to emit light, the SF depiction of holograms would seem impossible.

I’ll bet you could do it with holograms…