Actually, we’re already there. Ever hear of Hatsune Miku? She’s been playing sold out concerts in Japan since early 2010.
Okay, so Mitsune is a cartoon, which is a little easier to manipulate than an actual human form with all its individual movement characteristics. But it’s being done. Who can forget Tupac’s Coachella performance in 2012?
All right, so that’s not really a hologram; it’s an effect known as Pepper’s Ghost, an illusion with roots going back to 1862. But since that Coachella show, the concert industry has been looking for ways to put long-dead performers back on the road again. Elvis, Michael Jackson, Sinatra–they’re drooling at the prospect of resurrecting superstars who will perform without (a) being paid huge guarantees; (b) getting tired and cranky and sick; and (c) demanding stupid backstage riders.
Discover looks at where we are with this technology.
There’s little doubt that if Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin or Jim Morrison headlined a concert today, it would be the hottest ticket in town.
It could happen tomorrow.
Entertainment companies are spending big bucks to fit venues with holographic technology capable of resurrecting beloved musicians, comedians and even Jesus Christ. For all the futuristic glitz holograms exude, today’s notable holographic performances are still based on a 19th century parlor trick. However, there are researchers around the world working to bring holographic technology into the 21st century.