Skip to main content
May 17, 2012

Future Tech: What next for 'Hollowgrams'?

It was a stroke of marketing ‘genius’ that ensured some people (including none, some or all of us here at Nokia Connects) were talking about Dr. Dre’s performance at Coachella a few weeks ago for a short while – but what purpose did ‘reincarnating’ Tupac Shakur serve, and what can we expect from this technology in the future?

via Riverfront Times

It was great, yes, but you may have noticed the word ‘Hollowgram’ in the title of this post. That’s because it was a sham, a magician’s trick using (almost literally) smoke and mirrors. It wasn’t even real footage of Tupac but some (very expensive) CGI whipped up especially for the occasion. It wasn’t even true 3D as the ‘trick’ involved projecting the image onto a flat piece of glass. Hollow.

But, on the plus side, it made all these memes possible. My favourite (of course):

via Know Your Meme

So what’s next? How many more deceased artist reunions are we likely to see? Queen are going to try it, but what about The Beatles reunited? Nirvana? The Doors? Seriously, there could be a whole weekend festival line up. But Jason Rosenbaum over at Riverfront Times reckons that there is a whole legal minefield to be negotiated before anything like this could happen. Image rights issues, trademarks, copyright and more have to be cleared before anything like the Tupac stunt could happen again. But what about appearances from historical (non-musical) figures? Einstein delivering lectures, or Malcolm X?

What do I think? I think it might well have been a one-off, a gimmick that got the attention it was meant to. Job done, move on to the next innovation to get people celebs talking (warning: NSFW language). Anyone that does this now will be tarred with the ‘Yeah, but Dre and Snoop did that back in 2012’ brush. Maybe it will open the doors for something better, more lifelike (although I think the fans at Coachella were kind of impressed). Who knows? Only time, and the future, will tell….

Where do you see this technology taking us? Or do you think it’s dead already, a one-trick pony? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter or in the comments below, and see where the discussion takes us.