Get Ready for Star Wars-Style Holographic Chat

Dennis Faas's picture

Thanks to a new innovation, the reality of three-dimensional holographic communications is closer than ever before. A research team at Queens University in Ontario, Canada, recently began experimenting with a new system that brings face-to-face social media to life.

The 'TeleHuman System,' as it is called, is said to be able to produce life-sized holograms that some observers are describing as 'Star Wars-like video conferencing.'

Microsoft Kinect Powers 'Star Wars' Holographic System

The 'TeleHuman System' marks the culmination of a ten year research project at the university. The system includes eclectic components like a 1.8-meter tall translucent acrylic cylinder, a convex mirror, an assortment of Microsoft Kinect sensors, and a 3D projector.

The system produces a holographic image which is projected inside the acrylic cylinder. As a result, the receiving party is able to walk around the cylinder, and the image, and thus obtain an accurate, 360-degree view. (Source:

If the new 'TeleHuman System' system is ever commercialized, there are many who would be ready to use it for face-to-face social interaction on a daily basis.

Fields of Medicine, Entertainment Already Impacted

Another research team recently used a similar system to develop 'BodiPod,' a device that provides an interactive 3D anatomy model of the human body.

While the 'BodiPod' is exceptional in its ability to respond to gesture and speech control, the 'TeleHuman System' for the first time ever allows doctors to walk around the holographic image of a patient. (Source:

Holographic images have also been used to boost the appeal of live entertainment in recent months. A number of well-known acts have been experimenting with various forms of the new technology.

For example, a two-dimensional hologram of deceased rapper Tupac Shakur accompanied Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre at the Coachella music festival in California last month, reportedly amazing crowds there.

Other musical acts, including Celine Dion, the Black Eyed Peas, and the Gorillaz, have also used holograms to enhance their performances.

The Queens University team that developed the 'TeleHuman System" is now set to officially unveil their project this week at the Computer-Human Interaction 2012 conference in Austin, Texas.

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