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This week's feature

The Holograms Are Coming!

If you were born in the 1980s, you may remember the animated feature Jem and the Holograms. Three decades later, what was then science fiction for kids has become reality: The Holograms Are Coming!

The mind-altering technological process is currently mainly being used in the music industry, which has seized on it to create all kinds of artistic projects.

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In this Issue 63, we dive into this half-virtual, half-real universe with:

  1. A concert performance by duettists separated by 4,000 km
  2. Hatsune Miku, the first singer-hologram
  3. Festivals peopled by holograms
  4. The creator of the first karaoke in hologram form
  5. A hologram museum
  6. The Top 5 cult holograms
  7. An interview with Sean F. Johnston, specialist in the technology

So fasten your seat belts as we gun the engine and zoom into pop culture!

And as singer Kendrick Lamar said:

Tupac as a hologram is the next level.

Sing on the same stage when you’re 4,000 km apart? It’s possible!

Music - August 24, 2016

Los Angeles and New York are a mere step apart… especially with technology. Soul rebel Janelle Monae and inflammatory rapper M.I.A. met to give a concert despite the fact that they were 4,000 kilometres apart that evening. The Audi marque was behind the event as a way of promoting the début of its A3 model.

Titles by each of the two artists, “Bad Girls” and “Q.U.E.E.N.”, were performed using hologram technology. Janelle Monae guest-starred at M.I.A.’s concert, and conversely – to the delight of the audiences. We’re witnessing the birth of a generation 2.0 of concerts in this spectacle that blends sound and monochromatic light coloured with neon.

Even if purists will insist that it’ll never replace a real “flesh and blood” concert, this technological exploit that pushes back the limits of the impossible deserves praise.

Janelle Monae and M.I.A. Live Holographic Duet from Obscura Digital on Vimeo.

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Hatsune Miku, the first singer-hologram

The infographic - August 24, 2016

Portrait of a virtual diva of J-POP!

infographic-hatsune-miku-singer-hologram-japan

 

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3 questions à Sean F.Johnston

The 3 questions - August 24, 2016

Author of such books as Holographic Visions and Holograms: A Cultural History, historian Sean F. Johnston is one of top specialists in the technology. He explains the origin of the spectacular process.

Orange Pop: How were holograms invented?

Sean F.Johnston: Holograms were invented after the Second World War in England, and were intended as a way of improving the image quality in electron microscopes. They were rediscovered in Russian and American optics labs that were dedicated to military development in the late 1950s. When the laser was invented in the early 1960s, three-dimensional holograms could be viewed for the first time.

O.Pop: Why are holograms used so much for live concerts?

S.F.J: Holograms have never been used in live concerts. The spectacles sometimes described as “holograms” are a visual trick invented in the nineteenth century called “Pepper’s Ghost” – a projection onto a glass or plastic sheet which cannot be seen by viewers. This technique became popular again in stage shows and exhibitions such as Disneyland in the mid 1960s.

O. Pop: What is the future of holograms?

S.F.J: Genuine three-dimensional holograms are now about fifty years old. There have been very few new developments over the past 25 years. Most innovation has occurred in generating holograms via computers, but these are nothing like the imagined holograms of science fiction or the mis-identified spectacles in performances.

holograms-a-cultural-history-sean-johnston-specialiste-historien

Absolutely everything you ever wanted to know about the history of holograms ©Oxford

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Where is the museum where you dance with holograms of the stars?

Shine at parties! - August 24, 2016

It’s a real rejuvenation for the venerable Madame Tussaud’s Museum. Since April, the hundred-year-old institution’s Tokyo museum offers an all-new three-dimensional attraction to complement its traditional wax figures. It’s now possible to dance a waltz with holograms of Leonardo Di Caprio, Brad Pitt or Marilyn Monroe. To do it, you just have them scan your face, which is then transposed onto the body of a hologram dancer. It’ll do until, sooner or later, the London Music Hall of Fame offers us a chance to sing a duet with Freddie Mercury, John Lennon and other legends of rock.

musee-tissauds-tokyo-artistes-hologrammes-gatsby

Share a dance with Leo in Gatsby regalia ©Youtube

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Rob Thomas, the first singer to start a karaoke hologram

Who's who - August 24, 2016

Already the winner of several Grammy Awards for his work with Santana in 2000, Rob Thomas has taken on a new challenge: the karaoke hologram. Thanks to a start-up called VNTANA, you can now sing a duet with the holographic version of the American singer, after turning yourself into a hologram. Once the performance is over, you’ll even be able to share the video of it on the social networks. The technology was tested all summer by the American songwriter during a tour with the folk-rock group Counting Crows. You can’t stop progress!

 

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TOP 5 appearances of cult artists as holograms

Gimme 5 - August 24, 2016

Le temps d’un show, ces figures de la pop-culture font un come-back fracassant. Ou pas.
1. Tupac Shakur at Coachella in 2012. On stage, alongside Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre, the shirtless hologram of the rapper, murdered in September 1996, suddenly appears. He performs the titles “Hail Mary” and “2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted”, then disappears. The audience loves it.

artiste-hologramme-tupac-snop-dog

Snoop Dogg and Tupac, together like in the good old days ©HologramUSA

2. Michael Jackson at the Billboard Music Awards in 2014. Surrounded by five musicians and a dance troupe, the hologram of the King of Pop demonstrated moonwalks and bouncy dance steps at shows recorded in Las Vegas. Impressive.

michael-jackson-hologramme-billboard-music-awards

The return of the King of Pop ©Billboard

3. Elvis Presley during the program American Idol, in 2007. On the stage of the American talent show, the King, all in white, performed his song “If I Can Dream” in a duet with Céline Dion. Since then, another hologram of the Memphis crooner is reportedly in the works. “One For The Money, Two For The Show”!

celine-dion-elvis-presley-american-idol-duo-chanson

A virtual song contest on the set of American Idol ©Youtube

4. Whitney Houston on the program The Voice, in 2016. With everyone awaiting the return of the diva — who passed away in 2012 — via synthesised image, the planned duet with Christina Aguilera ended up being cancelled. Reason: The hologram didn’t really look enough like the singer of “I Will Always Love You.” But the rehearsal images are still out there as a consolation prize.

whitney-houston-the-voice-hologramme-chanson-musique

Christina Aguilera rehearsing with the hologram of Whitney Houston ©HowardJonas

5. Notorious BIG, in 2016. Nearly twenty years after his death, the famous New York rapper is slated to rise from his ashes. The pixellised version of Biggie is to appear in a clip by his widow Faith Evans, then leave on tour. Maybe this is an opportunity for a reconciliation with the hologram of his bosom enemy Tupac?

notorious-big-hologramme-rap-musique

Notorious B.I.G. and wife Faith Evans, awaiting their virtual reunion ©BadBoyRecord

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Will tomorrow’s festivals have holograms as stars?

The killer question - August 24, 2016

It all began with the hologram of the late rapper Tupac Shakur, at the USA’s Coachella Festival in 2012. Then it was the turn of the lamented Ol’ Dirty Bastard, a member of the Wu-Tang Clan, to appear in digital form at a Rock the Bells concert the following year.

Since then, holograms have invaded festival programs, with varying degrees of success. In 2015, a hologram appearance by Chief Keef at the Hammond (Illinois, USA) Music Festival was cancelled live by the local constabulary. Why? There were several warrants out for the Chicago rapper’s arrest.

But holographic concerts continue to fascinate, as this fake Coachella line-up posted on an American site shows. Among the headliners are Nirvana, Bob Marley and Mozart!

bob-marley-nirvana-hologramme-festival-musique-coachella

The dream line-up for a 100% hologram festival ©Aux.tv

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Holovit, tailor-made holograms

Stories - August 24, 2016

Holograms will probably soon settle in our living room thanks to Holovit. This is a transparent screen that can be used with our smartphone, tablet or computer in order to project a film as a 3D hologram.

Currently in a funding campaign, Holovit promotes futuristic technology within all our households. A holographic video game has been created around the Hologram Battle app. We support the project!

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Holographic selfies

Stories - August 25, 2016

Thanks to Lumii, you don’t need a 3D device to print holograms. This technology (Lumii Light Field Engine) allows you to replicate a picture (here a face) like a hologram via a scan.

This method works with a simple inkjet printer. Printed transparent sheets are layered and bunched, giving a 2D portrait a 3D illusion.To better understand Lumii, let’s watch the video below.

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Magic Leap is reinventing holograms

Stories - August 26, 2016

A whale jumping around spectators in a gym? As a good digital native, you couldn’t miss this video as surprising as impressing. The American start-up Magic Leap is the one behind it.
A little bit of technology: they mix hologram and augmented reality. This system projects a picture within the retina in order to create a holographic image integrated in the real world.
Discover how Magic Leap imagines our life in the future…well, not so far in the future!

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Make room for holographic make-up!

Stories - August 29, 2016

This summer, retro-futuristic looks are flooding the make-up tutorials. Products (like nail polish and stick) and some brands like Milk Makeup are appearing – for the great pleasure of beauty bloggers/instagramers/Snapchatters.
Tynan Buck, beauty reviewer for online magazines like Xovain, ELLE, Nylon or Pop Sugar beauty, made a tutorial on Snapchat last week. After his Snap, followed a funny and sarcastic article written on Xovain. Let’s all take your make-up brush!

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Holoverse, the park full of holograms

Stories - August 30, 2016

Holoverse is the first holographic park in the world and opened its doors on the 4th of June 2016 in South Port, Australia. Behind this crazy concept: Bruce Dell and his company Euclideon (specialized in 3D technology). The visitors are immersed in a full hologram world.

You can find their not less than 40 holographic rooms where everyone is able to fight with robots, explore an old civilization or see wings growing in their back while confronting a dragon. Yes that is right! We are all tempted to take a flight to the Gold Coast.

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See you next week!

To be continued - August 24, 2016

Next week, we’re gonna slow down, it’s still summer! 😉

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