Skip Zoom? Holographic tech allows you to 'beam' into your next meeting

The hologram device has been announced as a CES 2023 Innovation Awards Honoree. That's two times in a row.
Sade Agard
Holographic concept
Holographic concept


Zoom-like webcam chats could be going the way of the dodo, a new holographic technology is making waves to bridge the gap between the real and virtual worlds.

People from all walks of life are beaming themselves into meetings in real-time from anywhere in the world, igniting the science fiction dreams of many who have eyed the likes of Star Wars, Avatar, and Prometheus (to name a few).

The original, patented hologram device from Proto M, created by a Los Angeles firm called Proto, was this week announced as a CES 2023 Innovation Awards Honoree in the category of Digital Health. Yup, that's two years in a row now.

"I appear like I'm a guy trapped in a box"

Proto's 'Epic' human-sized hologram system is so lifelike that it gives the impression that there is an actual person (or item) within its seven-foot-tall machine — even if they are thousands of miles away and in an entirely different country. 

According to the firm, the wifi-enabled device can be plugged into a standard wall outlet, and all one needs is a camera, white background and connection. With LunaNet now in the works, could we soon gain a more realistic feel of astronauts in space? After all, who's to say planet Earth is the limit?

"I appear like I'm a guy trapped in a box. This is how I believe people should be broadcasting – with their full body. People see a full body and they can have a deeper connection with the person beaming in," revealed Proto's CEO David Nussbaum to MailOnline

Although Nussbaum's appearance was experienced in Proto's $6,900 desktop, tablet-like version, Proto M, the screen could still create a perception of depth, one in which a digital experience can be somewhat "felt," and without the lag typical of a Zoom call. On the subject of price, the Proto Epic would cost you at least $65,000.

Proto M not only enables two-way communication but also plays pre-recorded messages and can show realistic 3D pictures of products, including virtual ones like NFTs.

It's now time to be(am) with the doctor 

Better yet, Proto's technology is already being used in the medical industry. 

For instance, the University of Central Florida's College of Health Professions and Sciences have already 'beamed in' a doctor from Australia to teach students in Florida.

According to FierceHealthcare, students are benefitting from the technology's cutting-edge patient simulation for in-class training to improve their clinical capabilities. 

And that's not all. Noah Rothstein, head of operations at Proto, told the publication that medical schools are interested in using the holoportation to help with diagnosing Parkinson's disease patients. There is also interest in its uses for speech-language pathology and physical therapy.

As you can imagine, the holographic devices could drive meaningful interactive meetings beyond the healthcare industry.

Burberry, Netflix, the NBA, HBO, Virgin Media, and CBS Sports are amongst the numerous other businesses that have worked with Proto. 

Public figures have also made use of the technology, including Manny Pacquiao, Ellen DeGeneres, Usain Bolt, and Lewis Hamilton. Dallas Cowboys' DeMarcus Ware surprised his fans with a hologram recently, as can be seen in this Twitter post:

Nussbaum suggested that holograms might be used in unconventional ways in future versions of his company's technology. Better yet, it might not even rely much on hardware.

Imagine inserting your hand through a screen and removing something (or someone). Okay, that's probably a little too far-fetched at this time. But that's not to say it couldn't happen in the future, right?

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