Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Live hologram of Telstra CEO hosts conference

Telstra beamed a live hologram of a senior staff member between Melbourne and Adelaide in what has been billed as an Australian first. Telstra chief technology officer Dr Hugh Bradlow, based in Melbourne, appeared at a business function in Adelaide as a real-time hologram and interacted with members of the audience for around 15 minutes, the company said.

"We've all seen this sort of thing in futuristic sci-fi movies, but the reality is that it can be done here and now, as we have just demonstrated," said David Thodey of Telstra's enterprise and government department.

These holograms are widely used in advertising, art and entertainment, creating life-like 3D images that, to the unknown eye, are as lifelike as real objects. Telstra said the real time hologram of Dr Bradlow was made possible by the company's high-speed networks and the Musion Eyeliner holographic projection system.

The Musion technology uses a single high definition camera to capture the image and a single HD projector to project it, onto a special foil. According to Musion, "All the images used on a Musion Eyeliner system appear as three-dimensional images, but are projected as two-dimensional images into a 3D stage set. It is the mind of the audience that creates the 3D illusion. This means that production costs are minimal, needing only the single camera lens single camera lens for filming and a single projector for the playback."

The Eyeliner foil is the heart of the system, according to Musion which says its business is based around exploiting a number of patents that have been issued on producing Pepper's Ghost using the purpose designed foil rather than glass.The Eyeliner foil is "carefully prepared during manufacture and rolling so as to retain maximum transparency and strength when subject to extreme tension. The resulting smooth, blemish free surface betters that of a huge plate glass mirror, allowing the true reproduction of high definition video at such high quality that audiences viewing Eyeliner video images imagine them to be real."

Telstra is not the first company to use the technology. David Beckham recorded a message in LA, appearing as a hologram in London. Richard Branson has also given virtual speeches, as did Al Gore during his Live Earth concerts last year. But the most exciting thing is that Musion have already tried out a live hologram - in other words, they have the technology to make people appear as a hologram in real time from anywhere in the world.

The event was carried out by Musion Systems Limited, in conjunction with their regional partners.

Check out http://www.musion.co.uk/ for further information.

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