Holographic Video Conferencing is Here

I’ve been bouncing around the world of video conferencing for a while.  The guys at Raindance – a company I was on the board of from 1997 – 2002 – knew this stuff cold (and what worked / didn’t work) as they were previously the founders of LinkVTC (one of the first video conferencing bridge service companies.)  One of the applications of the stuff Oblong (one of our new investments) is doing applies to video conferencing, and the little cameras on top of my computers occasionally get used.

While video conferencing is "ok" (and definitely 10x better today and at least 100x cheaper than it was a decade ago) it still sucks.  My reaction to the demo of Cisco’s On-State TelePresence Holographic Video Conferencing system was "bitching."  It’s pretty amazing to see it, even via online video. There are definitely some hacky aspects to it (as my partner Ryan points out, there is some sort of transparent screen being used), but it’s still incredible.

Another reason for airlines to be scared.

  • Jeff Spicoli dropped the g to arrive at bitchin'
    😉

    • Yeah, but I’m not cool like jeff Spicoli so I need my g’s.

  • Out of this world!

    The next phase is to capture that ball 🙂

  • Aziz Grieser

    Help me Obi Wan…. You're my only hope.

  • Brad – Thanks for pointing this out to me. I would love to know the cost structure and cost curve for this technology. Any ideas? At what price points will it be interesting to Fortune 500? Hospitals? Universities? The General Public?

    Also now that there are more than 6 billion people on the planet what happens when the cost of getting the optimal set of people together for any situation trends to zero?

    Very exciting.

    • Cisco and HP currently have high end video conference stuff that sells for $250k – $300k per install (per site). I think this is the F500 price point. It comes down dramatically as you get to mid-sized and small companies, but there are still interesting service opportunities. Every emerging technology like this has had a service bureau concept before there was broad market adoption – expect to see that here also.

      • I see your point. My back of the envelop calculation suggest an hourly rate that is much cheaper than the cost of a business trip from LA to NY.

  • I see your point. My back of the envelop calculation suggest an hourly rate that is much cheaper than the cost of a business trip from LA to NY.

  • I'm a bit confused. When he tosses the beach ball in to the audience, you can still see it and hear it after it's gone from the stage. Is this supposed to be an extension of the display on in to the audience, or is something else going on here?

  • The background and room is dark. How does the quality of the images being holographed hold up when you put this technology in broad daylight?

    • I have no idea. I expect the level of the light has a huge impact at this stage of the technology.

  • Yeah, but I’m not cool like jeff Spicoli so I need my g’s.

  • Out of this world!

    The next phase is to capture that ball 🙂

  • Help me Obi Wan…. You're my only hope.

  • Cisco and HP currently have high end video conference stuff that sells for $250k – $300k per install (per site). I think this is the F500 price point. It comes down dramatically as you get to mid-sized and small companies, but there are still interesting service opportunities. Every emerging technology like this has had a service bureau concept before there was broad market adoption – expect to see that here also.

  • No clue on that one.

  • I have no idea. I expect the level of the light has a huge impact at this stage of the technology.

  • Jeff Spicoli dropped the g to arrive at bitchin'
    😉

  • Brad – Thanks for pointing this out to me. I would love to know the cost structure and cost curve for this technology. Any ideas? At what price points will it be interesting to Fortune 500? Hospitals? Universities? The General Public?

    Also now that there are more than 6 billion people on the planet what happens when the cost of getting the optimal set of people together for any situation trends to zero?

    Very exciting.

  • Bardia Afshin

    The background and room is dark. How does the quality of the images being holographed hold up when you put this technology in broad daylight?

  • Kevin Fox

    I'm a bit confused. When he tosses the beach ball in to the audience, you can still see it and hear it after it's gone from the stage. Is this supposed to be an extension of the display on in to the audience, or is something else going on here?