Hologram Hangouts Are Exciting Fans by Giving Them a Glimpse Into the Future

February 10, 2017

11:20 am

Thanks to hologram technology, hanging out with your favorite celebrity just got a whole lot easier. Holograms are giving fans and enthusiasts a new entry point into meeting people and being a part of the things they love.

With the help of virtual reality startup 8i, the Sundance Film Festival unveiled “HoloHamm,” a hologram of Jon Hamm that you could access through your smartphone. Through the use of augmented reality, people were able to look through their smartphone screen and see Jon Hamm standing and talking just a couple feet away from them. Fans were able to interact personally with Hamm and feel like they were actually meeting him.

This is a bigger deal than just novelty. It’s that kind of visceral and personable element that makes the experience so unique and different from other holograms that have popped up in music festivals and other events.

Not only did HoloHamm please his fawning admirers, it gave his new film some much-needed marketing. It’s a small example of a potentially game-changing strategy for companies and events to attract new fans and followers.

Sundance isn’t the only place you will find this type of thing sprouting up. The PGA is looking to capitalize on augmented reality this year as another way of bringing younger and more tech-savvy viewers into the world of golf. Just like the HoloHamm, you could be standing next to Tiger Woods as he’s putting for the birdie.

We can start to look forward to affordable hologram headsets, as well, like Microsoft’s Hololens, which is a set of clear glasses that projects 3D objects into the normal world that can be manipulated by the user as well as potentially much more. Digital Trends reported that Microsoft is looking into ways to make it affordable to the average consumer.

All of these strides in augmented reality tell us that we’re going to have to redefine what sensory contact really is. Fans might not have technically stood next to the real Jon Hamm, but it truly felt like they were, and that lack of distinction can be both exciting and unsettling.

As of now, these evolutions in hologram tech and augmented reality are pretty much a distant window into the future. As we look ahead to other companies to follow the lead of Microsoft, PGA, and Sundance, we can expect audiences and innovators to get engaged in ways they never thought possible. And there’s not a person or industry in the world that won’t be able to benefit from it.

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Jacob is a journalism and political science student at Arizona State University. He likes to learn and write about anything that isn’t cliché. His primary interests are foreign policy, solutions to global poverty, and tech innovation. He has helped lead multiple student groups on campus that have hosted a range of speakers on international issues and has acted as moderator for a couple himself. In his free time, he likes to watch movies, read weird books, and drink offensive amounts of coffee.

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