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The Future of PRE-air travel
August 11, 2012 2:54 PM   Subscribe

Kind of, sort of, "holograms" have been popping up on election night and (previously) have resurrected famous musicians. The next step may be the pre-boarding kiosk. The only questions that really remains is how close are we to having a time-traveling, Victorian era Guy Pearce in our midst?
posted by sendai sleep master (28 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
But holograms, like androids, always turn evil.

Always.
posted by The Whelk at 2:57 PM on August 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


I thought his fourth request was "pornography," rather than "chronography," and, for a moment, I felt they had struck at the primary use for a holographic compendium of all knowledge in the future. I guess there is a limit to the realism we can expect from Hollywood.
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:01 PM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


SYSTAT UPTIME 9:01 unhappy READ MAKNAM
posted by hal9k at 3:05 PM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


There are many uses for the household pornograph, but the name betrays its primary function.
posted by griphus at 3:06 PM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Why does she have stumps instead of feet
posted by XMLicious at 3:09 PM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


The next step is the Rimmer-model prototype Smeg-2000.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:10 PM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


The CNN "hologram" looks more like fancy compositing. (And even if it was projected in the studio, it still wouldn't be a hologram).

SO THERE
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 3:11 PM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Nice to know that only men can be doctor bots and only women can be airport bots and fashion retail bots.
posted by Apropos of Something at 3:12 PM on August 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Ava? They named it Ava?

Something something Bradbury effect something something.
posted by Slackermagee at 4:02 PM on August 11, 2012


That CNN "hologram" bugged the hell out of me when it was being bandied about back in 2008. To call it a hologram is to spit in the face of Dennis Gabor and innovators in the art like Emmett Leith and Lloyd Cross. They are just clearly, CLEARLY NOT FUCKING HOLOGRAMS! It's as much a hologram as.. the fucking movie projected on the screen at your local cineplex. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD PEOPLE, DON'T CALL THESE DAMNATIONS HOLOGRAMS!

Sorry.. a childhood obsession with holography was aroused and jabbed with many.. many red hot pokers since Election 2008, Tupac "Resurrected", and so on.
posted by mediocre at 4:30 PM on August 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


I'm in general agreement, mediocre, hence my nervous use of quotation marks in my post.
posted by sendai sleep master at 4:35 PM on August 11, 2012


Thinking about holograms reminds me of one of the things that always bugs me about holograms in Sci-Fi movies: they always have to make them absolutely shitty quality in order to let the audience know "you are looking at a holographic projection--the person isn't actually there in the room." I've almost never seen a hologram in a Sci-Fi movie (unless, of course, it's some version of a "holodeck" story where suddenly the hologram actually has mass etc) where there seems to be any reason at all for anyone having persevered with the technology. It's always flicker, flicker, flicker, dissolve to blue, flicker on, flicker off. You can't imagine why they don't just say "fuck it, let's switch to Skype."
posted by yoink at 4:48 PM on August 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


It's called "Pepper's Ghost".
posted by lothar at 5:15 PM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is there some contractual reason these holograms are required to dress from the 99 cent halloween store racks?
posted by ook at 5:30 PM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


And oh god I'd forgotten about that CNN election "hologram" crap. That was even more cringe-inducing and embarrassing than their actual news coverage.

"My goodness Jessica Yellin you look just like you're really here in the studio, you look like Jessica Yellin but you are not Jessica Yelling but you are Jessica Yellin and you don't at all look like a deliberately badly-choked bluescreen matte job. Isn't that remarkable she is in the other studio and yet it looks like she is here in this studio which is pretty amazing technology and surely none of our viewers is smart enough to figure out instantly that I am lying to them about seeing her here in this studio and am instead talking to the same sad blue rectangle that the weather guy usually waves his arms in front of, no it looked like she was right here and that's pretty amazing technology let's take a closer look and see what's going on-"
posted by ook at 5:50 PM on August 11, 2012


And oh god I'd forgotten about that CNN election "hologram" crap.

Well, at least it's fitting that they use smoke and mirrors to tell us about all the smoke and mirrors.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 5:59 PM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


The CNN hologram stuff is actually done using VizRT broadcast graphics software, they do some pretty slick stuff with virtual sets - sensors detecting camera position, zoom, etc. The effects can be done in real time, it's pretty sweet. They've got some cool tech demos out there on YouTube, I like the one that puts a green patch on an anchor's hand that is colored over with their flesh tone on the fly, and when the software senses the green it tracks it, and allows you to "grab" graphics and manipulate them.

I work with their core character generator/graphics program and some other stuff of theirs all the time, but I haven't used the virtual set stuff myself. It's an... interesting bit of software. The scripting is this weird half-gutted and custom-expanded Vbscript, but it's pretty powerful once you get the hang of it. ESPN and a bunch of other big names use it, too, although ESPN's got a lot of custom-built stuff to complement it.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:01 PM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Finally, a barely-visible image to match those barely-intelligible boarding announcements!
posted by Sys Rq at 6:05 PM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


These things aren't "holograms" at all. The CNN thing was just a ridiculous special effect, and the 2-Pac thing was just done with mirror showing a flat, 2d surface. Hologram means 3 dimensional Not a 2D image appearing to float in space.
posted by delmoi at 6:27 PM on August 11, 2012


Interesting Pepper's Ghost can actually project 3D images in space, but only of actual 3D objects as they actually are at that moment, you can not, for example, record or play back the 3D image. You can't show it anywhere other then right above the object and so on.
posted by delmoi at 6:31 PM on August 11, 2012


Aren't these magical things what they use at the Jeffersonian?
posted by maxwelton at 7:29 PM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


The developers have aspirations broader then just airport kiosks. Their website features different models, for use in hospitals, etc.

"Doctor, we need help - my friend's just been shot by a right-wing extremist! Help? Doctor? Doctor?!?"
posted by item at 8:55 PM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's called "Pepper's Ghost".

Literally, it's "smoke and mirrors".

(or virtually, I almost forget what "literally" means nowadays, anyways).
posted by ovvl at 9:02 PM on August 11, 2012


"Welcome back to the Citadel, Commander Shepherd..."
posted by Rangeboy at 10:18 PM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Please state the nature of the boarding pass emergency.
posted by nicebookrack at 3:57 AM on August 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


The CNN hologram stuff is actually done using VizRT broadcast graphics software, they do some pretty slick stuff with virtual sets - sensors detecting camera position, zoom, etc. The effects can be done in real time, it's pretty sweet. They've got some cool tech demos out there on YouTube, I like the one that puts a green patch on an anchor's hand that is colored over with their flesh tone on the fly, and when the software senses the green it tracks it, and allows you to "grab" graphics and manipulate them.

Can you go into this in more detail? How does the software actually work? I've always wondered how, for instance, they draw the first-down lines on football fields.

And in the last thread on this topic, somebody pointed out that we live in a William Gibson novel now, which is so true.
posted by vogon_poet at 6:54 AM on August 12, 2012


I'm not 100% sure on the details, and I don't know if the football field lines are generated in VizRT or in some other system. But the virtual set stuff gets data from sensors on the camera pedestal - position, tilt, pan, height - and takes zoom data from a sensor on the camera or zoom controller. You also set the virtual camera in the scene to have settings that closely match your real camera's field of view and all of that. And using all that data, it calculates the view of the scene, tying the real camera to the virtual one. It may or may not also have visual boundary markers on set for reference that get keyed out on the fly, I'm not sure on that point, but the rest of it is how the system's been described to me when I asked about it during Viz graphics training.

When it's used for the hologram effect, from how it was explained to me, you've got two sets - the main set, and a greenscreen set that the person to be hologrammed is on. I believe they use robotic cameras and sync their movements, and the hologrammed person is filmed on one, that video signal is layed over the main set's and the green is keyed out, and the hologram effects are applied to this keyed layer in real time by the Viz. It's a pretty simple effect that has no depth, just a blue hazy texture and a blue halo on the edges, so you don't even have to sync a virtual camera's positioning, syncing movements on your two physical cameras is enough.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:51 AM on August 12, 2012


yoink: The execrable Prometheus brought us a holodeck-type holographic full-room message (or at least, half-room) that had no mass created by magical hard light.
posted by Apocryphon at 5:56 PM on August 12, 2012


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