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March 24, 2015

Sub-Saharan Africa: Tech Talk – Holographic Technology

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By Kim Muller

Over four years ago, Michio Kaku wrote on Big Think that “a new device has been created that can transmit 3-dimensional images in close to real time. This could result in major advances in holographic tele-presence technologies,” he said…and since then, it slowly but surely has. Holographic technology has extended beyond the outlandish sci-fi realms of Star Trek and Star Wars, and has become part of a new movement in the events industry. Tupak rose from the dead to perform at Coachella in 2012 in the form of a hologram, stunning 90,000 festival goers. The likes of Christian Louboutin, Michael Kors, the Grammy Awards, Starbucks Coffee, Google, and so many others have been using it as a new way to market their products, not only at launches, conferences and exhibitions, but in the boardroom, too. In November a new product was launched that will bring 3D hologram tech into the confines of the home. It’s inevitable that this technology will eventually become the new norm. To help you get your head around it, I’ve compiled a short list of the key players who likely to impact the global eventing industry in the future through holograms.

  1. Musion: World Leaders in Holographic Technology

Based in London, UK, Musion is the brainchild of Uwe Maass, who has a wealth of experience in the live events industry. Founded in 1997, the company continues to create award-winning and unique projects, like HRH Prince Charles’ holographic keynote address at the World Future Energy Summit and a Guinness World Record for their work with Indian prime Minister, Narendra Modi. This is the company that digitally resurrected Tupac Shakur, helped Mariah Carey perform in five European cities at once and helped create extraordinarily branded events for the kings and queens of the fashion industry. Musion’s products include Eyeliner, the core of their technology, a visual effect created through a holographic projection system. Others include EyeSay, EyeCandy, TelePresence, Digital Resurrection and Musion 3D Studios. www.musion.com

  1. AV Concepts: Where Tech and Creativity Converge

AV Concepts is one of the oldest companies in the game, having been founded by two industry veterans in 1987. Constantly developing new technologies, the company has experience in doing general sessions, breakout rooms, product launches, experiential events, entertainment events and immersive events. These include the Grammys, Coachella, Epson Infocomm 2014, Nike and Dell World. With seven venues across the states, AV Concepts is also a leader in experiential marketing and offers clients full services including AV staging and production, exhibitor services, project management, content development and more – and that’s aside from their holographic stages, projection mapping, displays and digital signage. www.avconcepts.com

  1. Holoxica: Serving Integral Industries in the Modern World

Located at Edinburgh University, Holoxica designs holograms that service the medical, scientific, engineering and architectural industries. In medicine, they design holograms using data from medical scanners like the CT Scan and MRI, to serve hospitals and medical students for informative and display purposes. Through scientific visualisation, Holoxica creates holograms from 3D presentations for scientific applications from particle physics to astronomy, while in the engineering fields, they make graphic models of machinery in the energy, automotive, aerospace and other sectors. Finally, Holoxica’s holographic prints also enable architects to show clients their designs in a cost-effective, digital way with channelling that allows for multiple views. www.holoxica.com

  1. LXI: Leaders in 3D Holographic and Interactive Touch Technologies

Servicing Africa, Europe and Asia, LXI works in a number of areas in eventing – from event and corporate displays, to mall, exhibition and content shows. Located in Johannesburg, LXI offers full turnkey eventing services along with the brilliance of 3D holographic technology, as well as virtual in-house teambuilding, digital activations and billboards, stand design, build and installation, and memorable campaign concepts including animation, production and app development. But perhaps the most interesting thing about LXI is its sheer range of digital products – touch screens from windows to tables, video walling, digital info desks, and holographic products such as the Hoload, Holocube, Holovision, 3D Holo Mist and of course the unforgettable staging offerings. www.lxi.co.za

  1. BLEEN: The Future of Home Entertainment

The Bleen Projection System, announced late last year, is set to bring holographic technology into the consumer market. Bleen uses large-scale 3D reconstruction to create moving holographic images projected over 8ft in height. The unique thing about this new tech is that it doesn’t require and screens, lenses or glasses for viewing, but instead is contained in a compact, geometric or egg-shaped structure, inconspicuous enough for the office, gallery or living room. Content designed to display from Bleen must be specifically produced for the system, which will be available for purchase froman online app market. Bleen, Inc. has launched an Indigogo Campaign to crowdfund its first round of home hologram systems. Devices should be available in late 2015, and are expected to retail for $800, although Indiegogo contributors can pre-order one for $400 (around R4,800). www.bleen.com

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