Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Obama Wins Election, and all Tech Geeks Can Talk About is Holograms

So I admit that I wasn't tuned into CNN last night, but apparently I missed something quite news-worthy. No, I'm not talking about the election coverage, but rather the network's odd decision to conduct interviews via holograms of the interviewee teleported from another city. I'm not sure of the reason behind it. Perhaps to keep young voters interested, or to help differentiate themselves among a sea of networks supplying election coverage. Nonetheless, after having seen the footage via the numerous online videos circulating the Web, I have to admit that it was pretty...weird.

In the video I viewed, CNN Reporter Jessica Yellin, who was physically in Chicago, was "beamed", so to speak, to the network's studio, appearing as though she was being interviewed there. The one glowing indication that she wasn't actually there was an odd ring around her body. The set up required 35 high-definition cameras placed around her, grabbing an image of her body at varying angles to create the 3D figure. Her image was then sent back to the studio, analyzed by cameras there, and voila: it's news history!

So is this the future of TV interviews? Forget teleconferencing, or even flying someone out to meet with you in person. Just film them at 50 different angles so that it only looks like they're sitting right next to you. Call it Photoshopping for the 21st Century, if you will.

Anyway, in case you've been stuck under a rock for the past 24 hours, Barack Obama has been elected the 44th President of the United States of America. While he's no doubt a three-dimensional person, there's no word yet on when he'll be appearing in 3D hologram form for interviews.

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