Geek alert: CNN builds the Holodeck

Apart from the historic nature of the U.S. election (which I will let others discuss), the coverage on CNN set new records as far as the coolness factor goes. Not only did the channel have the Magic Wall — which until recently was the height of geek-dom, with its multi-touch input and other features — but then the network whipped out a couple of holograms just to up the stakes a little. Like Mike Arrington at TechCrunch, even though part of me realized they could have done exactly the same thing with a remote camera, a much larger part of me was thinking: “Those holograms are cool.” Plenty of other people seemed to disagree, however, calling the hologram “creepy.” I was less enamored of the virtual Capitol building, which looked kind of cheesy, but the Will.I.Am interview (which is embedded here) was just extremely cool. Yes, I agree that the Jessica Yellin interview had more than a touch of Princess Leia about it, but it was still damn cool. That is all.

Update:

According to a professor of theoretical physics and an expert in holography, what CNN used were not really holograms, since they didn’t project a 3-dimensional image into the studio — they projected it into the camera feed, which is what viewers saw, while the actual hosts were talking to empty space. Okay, not quite as cool. More here.

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