Visitors to Manchester Airport may be a little startled when they meet customer service reps John and Julie – these newest additions to the staff are ‘holograms’. Created by UK based Musion, the EyeSay displays use powerful projectors to create a lifelike image on a transparent surface. By cutting that surface into the shape of people, Musion has created ‘holograms’ that appear to be 3D physical characters. The EyeSay displays play video recordings based on two of Manchester Airport’s actual staff, John Walsh and Julie Capper, and provide automated audio reminders about liquid restrictions and boarding passes. They are currently on display in Manchester Airport’s Terminal 1, and should help give their human counterparts time to handle more important tasks. Watch the EyeSay ‘holograms’ in action in the video below. I get the feeling I’m looking at the 21st century equivalent of cardboard cut-outs.
I know many of you will point this out if I don’t say it first: Musion’s EyeSay displays aren’t real holograms. They are simply lifelike rear projections on a well made surface that tricks your eye into accepting it as a three dimensional image. (You can clearly see the lens flare from the projector in the center of the video above at 0:21.) That’s okay, for this purpose we don’t need real holograms. As we’ve seen in previous coverage of Musion, these faux ‘holograms’ are sophisticated enough to give viewers the sense that they are sharing their space with a real 3D person.
Manchester is very proud to be the first airport to use these kinds of ‘holograms’ in their facilities, so it’s hard to separate out the hype when judging how useful the displays actually are. Certainly they provide an eyecatching image that visitors may pay more attention to than they would to a simple audio recording. Because the John and Julie-grams can be replicated as many times as needed...
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