Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Humans or Holograms: Make your choice

Who’s your favourite singer, is he / she human or hologram and are you sure? Don’t be too quick to answer. You never know: you may be cheering on a holographic image. That was certainly the case when in 2010, a Japanese hologram belted out pop songs to sold-out concerts. I know, tough to believe. So take a look:

Yes, that’s a hologram (of sorts), a trick of light that creates an image that looks three-dimensional and, in the case of Hatsune Miku, sings and interacts with a crowd of fans. While she does have certain cartoonish features, Miku is impressively solid looking nonetheless. I wonder if rock stars shuddered and actors groaned, because if this technology gets any better, movie directors and music agents might start eyeing the low maintenance holograms who’ll work any hours, anywhere in any role for a very low hourly rate of a few watts of electricity.

I stumbled upon this video clip after writing Dragon’s Mind, and I was thrilled when I found it. I was also relieved that one of the key technologies in the story actually exists (and not just in my imagination). Dragon is an intelligent operating system that uses a lab-grown brain as his main component. But when Dragon is connected to a projector, the hologram he selects for himself exposes a dirty secret with big impacts: his brain wasn’t created in a lab but was extracted from a murder victim.

The story in part relies on this projector technology and the solid looking hologram, as it allows Dragon to interact with the other characters in a human-like manner. It’s particularly key in developing the relationship between him and Myth, the daughter of Dragon’s inventor. 

So thank you, Hatsune Miku and Cryton Future Media, for proving that Dragon’s Mind isn’t as farfetched as I first thought.

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