What are your thoughts on the ghostly re-appearance of West Coast rap legend Tupac Shakur a.k.a. “Holopac” at Coachella? Creepy OR amazing? I personally think Dr. Dre’s vision is innovative and exciting from an entertainment standpoint – what better way to enjoy music from legendary artists of the past (especially if you were not as fortunate to see them perform when they were alive)?
With just a trick of light made the rapper, the single most talked about musician after the first weekend of Coachella thanks to AV Concepts and Digital Domain, the Oscar-winning CG factory that made CG images of Jeff Bridges in “TRON: Legacy” and Rooney Mara in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” The cost? According to MTV, somewhere between $100,000 and $400,000 – which in hindsight, is close to what it cost to secure an artist (in the flesh) at the festival.
So how did AV Concepts, actually project Pac on stage? According to Gizmodo, AV Concepts calls him a hologram, but hologram he is not: it’s a fancy reflection technique called “Pepper’s Ghost,” named after a mid-19th century optics researcher John Pepper. The trick is based on the fact that glass is both transparent and reflective, meaning it’s possible, with the right angles, to bounce a picture off of it that appears to be floating in air. But it’s not—it’s just stuck on an expensive screen. Pac’s totally 2D. Dr. Dre claims even though the image is flat, there’s a technology that’s happening where it could evolve and be 360 degrees. He’s working on some new and different things for the future.
As for the moral debates about resurrecting dead musicians, the legendary producer doesn’t seem to be too invested, saying that he hopes Holopac will inspire other spin-offs. “Hopefully, different artists are able to bring out their favorite artists,” he said. “Hopefully, we can see Jimi Hendrix and Marvin Gaye. Let’s see what happens.”
Now….lets switch this up – According to PSFK, one of U.K’s largest grocery chains is considering launching virtual store assistants after its trial in January proved to be “very successful and popular with customers.” During this period at the ASDA store in Milton Keynes, these life-sized holograms were placed in the aisles and greeted shoppers as they approach and provided information on the store’s 10 percent price guarantee. Not only are virtual people showing up in grocery stores, but also at airports! Paris-Orly airport in France is testing virtual boarding agents that greet passengers as they enter through the boarding gates and so far, the response has been positive.
What do you think? Virtual images of our favorite musicians performing as a form of entertainment is one thing, but what happens when they become part of our daily interactions?