Holoportation - The new way to commute

Written on April 13, 2016 at 09:00 AM By Emily Gam

You might have already heard about Microsoft’s Hololens, an Augmented Reality (AR) headset which allows you to see holograms.

Microsoft are taking this one step further with the announcement of ‘Holoportation’.

With words that are becoming more and more futuristic and wouldn’t sound out of place in the next Hollywood sci-fi blockbuster, Microsoft are driving the future of AR.

Holoportation basically means you can appear in someone else’s reality as a 3D hologram, full sized and interactive.

This is achieved through the use of a newly developed 3D capture system by Microsoft Research. A 3D model is created by a series of cameras set up around a room that track shapes and movement and ultimately creates a 3D hologram of a person and the objects around them. The data from these cameras is then transmitted to the Hololens which shows the hologram in real time.

The hologram also includes sound, everything can be recorded and played back and the hologram can be resized. So you can create your own Star Wars scene (if you already have R2D2).

While this is undoubtedly a very cool new technology from Microsoft, what are the actual real world applications for Holoportation?

"Imagine using this type of capture technology to connect with family members who are thousands of miles away," says Microsoft's Research's Shahram Izadi, adding that it could "fundamentally change the way that people will communicate in the future".

Not only could Holoportation allow us to better communicate with friends and family around the world, it could also fundamentally change the way we work and the way offices are structured.

At the moment, Holoportation requires the use of a Hololens which many people would certainly find inconvenient.  It has to be remembered though, that this is only the first stage in Microsoft’s new technology, and it can only get better from here. Already Microsoft are developing different ways to use Holoportation, both with and without 3D glasses.

The Hololens is only available to developers at the moment, but it’s easy to imagine that technology like this will be a big hit for its personal and business applications. Holoportation is coming and we can’t wait!

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