Video conferencing took another step with the first use of a virtual presence or “holographic” reporter on Election night on CNN.
Pulling off Virtual presence
The remote reporter, Jessica Yellin, was in Chicago’s Grant Park covering the scene as supporters waited for Barack Obama’s victory speech. After stepping into a specially engineered booth or “tent” Jessica’s “presence” was apparently beamed to CNN’s New York studio for a one on one chat with Wolf Blitzer.
The special booth was apparently equiped with 44 cameras which were shooting the remote reporter from all angles (notably her feet seemed to be clipped out). It appears that the stream of video images were then recomposed into a 3D model of the reporter which was then projected as a three-dimensional hologram in real time to studio in New York studio.
Bringing it home
I’m not sure what the perspective and experience was from either reporter’s perspective but as a viewer it came off as pretty convincing. Now I guess we’ll need to upgrade out new HD video conferencing unit to holographic conferencing devices. Can’t wait to see the budget for that upgrade.
More info at: USA Today