Imagine today is your College graduation, you’ve struggled, emotionally, and academically to get to this point. You’ve always wished mom could be there to see it happen but she passed away during your High School senior year. You walk up to the podium as they call your name and your mother appears before you just like you remember, she tells you she loves you and that she is very proud of you, then she hands you your diploma, which you take from her and she proceeds to give you a hug that feels electric, warm and firm. You are in awe, she fades away and then you proceed to your seat as the next graduate replaces you at the podium.
Weird? No, not at all. All of the technology to resurrect the past and give them physical characteristics and capabilities is being implemented as you read this. There has been a leap in progress on a thing called tractor beams, you may have heard the term used in Science Fiction like Star Wars or Star Trek, but believe it or not the science has actually made the concept of transporting objects with precision through a medium with the use of directed beams of energy possible. Scientists had already been working on models that can push tiny objects small distances using light, but a new version of a tractor beam uses sound instead.
In a newly published paper in Nature Communications, researchers figured out a way to manipulate a tiny physical object using what they call, acoustic holograms. It uses a tiny grid of loudspeakers to levitate, rotate, and otherwise manipulate a tiny sphere in midair, an acoustic tractor beam. They did this by programming the speakers to send out high intensity sounds that create a field of force around the object.
Other variations of their model involve creating a twister-like cone of sound that can suck an object up into the heart of the beam. Previous research created an acoustic tractor beam that could work underwater, but this new research only needs air.
So basically this is part one of the imagined story I opened the article with, here’s part two.
Beverly Hills based, Hologram USA, a technology company that specializes in visual recreations of celebrities, announced that it would use the likenesses of Andy Kaufman and Redd Foxx and parts of their previously recorded routines to create hologram shows that will be presented across the country as holographic comedy tour next year. Hologram USA has previously created projections of the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and the late-night comedian Jimmy Kimmel. Mr. David said these holograms were no different from other forms of nonfiction storytelling.
Alki David, a billionaire entrepreneur, the founder and chief executive of Hologram USA said about Foxx and Kaufman, “both of them influenced so many comedians after them,.. they’re comedy icons.” He also made clear in an interview that the company is “working with other estates of famous funny guys and funny girls, these just happened to be amenable estates who see the vision.” Michael Kaufman, the comedian’s brother and a representative of his estate, said in an interview that the hologram show was “the right platform for the new generation of audiences to experience Andy.”
The shows offer fans fresh opportunities to see the work of artists who each had a significant impact on comedy but have been out of the cultural consciousness for decades. Mr. David said these shows “will have residencies in multiple locations in tourist-oriented cities across the country.” The company is preparing holographic versions of Billie Holiday to perform at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, and of Whitney Houston for a worldwide concert tour next year. It is also working with the National Comedy Center, an attraction being built in Jamestown, N.Y.
So it turns out that the media world is all about bringing back the dead. Why have it limited to just superstars right? Pretty soon the software will exist to scan any two dimensional image of a person and model a 3D figure in their likeness (see article on matterport). When you combine this visual holographic technology with acoustic tractor beams into a mobile platform that could be placed in stores, stages, parks, sidewalks. You are creating a media outlet unlike any that has ever been seen before. The researchers think this delicate manipulation might one day be used to create sound-based assembly lines or help manipulate drugs in a patient’s body.
Now when these two factors; Acoustic Tractor Holograms and Visual Holograms are merged together, you are corrupting our sense of what’s real. If you go the extra mile and combine these other elements like Holograms that you can feel, and how Smartphones will be generating tactile holograms as well. Prepare!
This will make Ghosts a common day reality.