U.S. company offers at-home hologram machines

08/08/2020 | 05:32am

Are you tired of Zoom calls?

A Los Angeles-area company has created phone booth-sized machines that can beam AI-powered holograms straight into your living room.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) FOUNDER AND CEO OF PORTL, DAVID NUSSBAUM, SAYING: "What if you could stand opposite your loved ones and look at them in their eyes in their real human-sized form?"

The device made by PORTL lets users talk in real time with a life-sized hologram of another person.

Here's how it works.

Each PORTL device is seven feet tall, five feet wide, and two feet deep.

It can be plugged into a standard wall outlet.

Anyone with a camera and a white background can send a hologram to the machine in what CEO David Nussbaum calls "holoportation."

"So just to the left and to the right of my head are my head-level left and right stereo speakers, so that when I'm talking, the sound looks like or sounds like it's coming right out of my face. Directly above my head is a camera that sees the audience that I'm being beamed in front of. In real time, I can beam anywhere and this would give me the ability to hear, see and interact with the audience that I'm being beamed in front of."

The machines are also equipped with technology that can enable interaction with recorded holograms of historical figures, like Ronald Reagan,

or relatives who have passed away.

Prices for the machine start at $60,000, a cost that Nussbaum expects will drop over the next three to five years.

The devices can also be equipped with AI technology from Los Angeles-based company StoryFile to produce hologram recordings that can be archived.

Adding that to the current device brings the cost to at least $85,000.

© Thomson Reuters 2020
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