World Leader Addresses Nation Via An AR Hologram
This year Israel’s President, Reuven Rivlin, is pioneering a new technology to deliver a message of goodwill to his nation. When COVID-19 forced the cancellation of many of the country’s celebrations, he needed an alternative medium to connect with his people. He chose to use holographic video to “visit” constituents in their homes and asked everyone to take a picture with him.
Holograms and holographic video are a new media format that allow viewers to view content from any angle, much like standard digital assets. This feature makes them ideal for augmented and virtual reality applications, where the viewer is able to control their view on 3D content. While you may have seen similar experiences with avatars, holographic video has a key difference. Unlike avatars and other digital assets, holograms are built from real-life images. The result looks like the captured person, retaining all of their body language and facial expressions. Fidelity to the actual capture subject makes holograms ideal for connecting with people, as in President Rivlin’s app. The President’s office is expecting the project to reach each and every house in Israel, to generate millions of views, with hundreds of thousands of impressions and selfies with the President Rivlin hologram.
To create this experience, the President’s speech was filmed by a volumetric capture system that created his true-to-life hologram. That hologram was compressed into a format that will real-time stream and render in browser on mobile devices, without the necessity of downloading an app. Finally, the experience is presented in augmented reality, so viewers are able to interact with the hologram using their mobile phone. This project was a collaboration leveraging years of innovation and technology by partners Omnivor, TetaVi, and 8th wall, with creative direction by Nim Shapira.
For the first time in history, a country leader will be telecasted in full augmented reality as a 3D hologram to visit constituents in the privacy of their home. This historical moment is likely just the first of many holographic apps, as many others look for ways to deal with event cancellations. To see the experience yourself, navigate to https://tetavi.8thwall.app/israel72/ on a mobile browser. When you’re done watching President Rivlin’s speech, be sure to take a picture and share.
Adam Kirk is the CEO of Omnivor. Previously, Adam was Vice President of Engineering for Kernel Labs, the incubator that founded Omnivor. Prior to focusing on startups, Adam held a position in the Advanced Technology Group at Adobe Systems and he was a Principal Engineer at Microsoft leading a group focused on new product development. He earned a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of California-Berkeley, where his research focus was computer graphics and computer vision.