London, Nov 15 : Remember how Darth Vader and Princess Leia exchanged messages via video conferencing in the 'Star Wars' movies? Well, the day isn't far when you too will be able to communicate with your loved ones in the same fashion.
That's what happened on Nov 11, when engineers used a new technology to 'beam' a man from London to Berlin. The technology allowed a life-sized hologram of a person to be transmitted live to appear in front of an audience 600 miles away. It was the first time a hologram with real time interaction was used and researchers are hoping that it will open new doors for the next generation of video calling.
Thus, experts say that within years consumers will be able to make phone calls that will project a holographic image in front of the person they are calling, creating the impression of being in the same room. Making use of an old stage trick, the hologram device creates life like three-dimensional images. Originally developed by Professor John Pepper with an illusion known as Pepper's Ghost, the technique makes use of lights and mirrors to make a figure in the orchestra pit appear as a ghostly presence on stage.
Musion have replaced glass with a lightweight coated foil to create the images and it uses high speed fibre optic cables which enables it to beam the image into a room hundreds of miles away.
However, at 35,000 pounds, the system is out of reach for every day consumers, but experts expect the price will come down as the technology advances.
The technique works by taking a high definition video of the user which is then transmitted to a portable device that uses a series of mirrors and lenses to project the image onto a specially coated foil film, creating the illusion the person is actually there in real life.