Microsoft demos 'Holoportation' with real-time holograms straight out of Star Wars

Microsoft has shown off a lot of concept projects in the last year related to HoloLens, its $3,000 augmented reality headset, but this one just might be the crown jewel of them all. Dubbed "Holoportation," Microsoft Research's latest demonstration is the ability to view a live hologram of a person in another location. There's an impressive video of the tech in action below, but trust us when we say it's like something straight out of Star Wars.

At this point, a lot of equipment is used to bring the hologram communication to the real world: The person being projected in real-time must be captured from all angles by multiple 3D cameras, with both movement and speech being recorded. This is then transmitted to the HoloLens headset, where it projects the hologram for the wearer into the same room.

In addition to being used a form of high-tech, long-distance communication, the holoportation can be recorded for later playback and interaction, in addition to being shrunk down in size and placed on various surfaces.

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It's clear that this technology is still early in development and will be a long ways off before making it to consumers, as the holograms are sometimes flickery and don't track motion properly. But it's still incredibly impressive and exciting to think about using!

Microsoft's Build 2016 developer conference kicks off on Wednesday this week, and the dev edition of the HoloLens getting ready to ship soon. While there's been no word on when, or if, a consumer version will be released, hopefully the conference will have more to share on the AR headset, as well as additional holoportation details.

SOURCE Microsoft Research