Bringing Human-Size Hologram Booths to Your Living Room

A new technology looming on the horizon may one day replace video calls with a more futuristic tool: real-time, full-body holograms.

Picture this: you’re sitting in your living room having a cup of coffee when the phone-booth-size box in the corner dings, alerting you that you have an incoming call. You accept it, and within seconds your best friend (or your partner, your grandmother, your boss) appears in the box—in the form of millions of points of light engineered to look and sound exactly like the real person. And the real person is on the other end of the line, talking to you in real time as their holographic likeness moves around the box—you can see their gestures, body language, and facial expression just as if they were really there with you.

The box is called an Epic HoloPortl, and it’s made by PORTL, a company whose founder was inspired by the holographic version of the late Tupac Shakur that performed at Coachella in 2012; after seeing the 2012 performance, David Nussbaum quickly bought the patents for the technology that made it possible, and has been working on turning the tech into something useful, fun, and scalable ever since.

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