Businessman David Nussbaum, founder of PORTL Hologram, announced raising $ 3 million for the development of his project. The money came from venture capitalist Tim Draper, show producer Joe Lewis and former Electronic Arts executive director Doug Barry. The latter also became the operational manager of PORTL, as he sees great potential in pseudo-holograms.
Strictly speaking, Nussbaum did not invent anything new, he only bought patents for modern versions of rotoscoping technology and the Pepper’s Ghost effect from the 19th century. For example, the system for creating a holographic image of the late Tupac Shakur at the Coachella festival, shown eight years ago. All of them are not holograms in the literal sense, but together the PORTL toolkit allows you to remotely create the effect of a three-dimensional image of a person in real time, simulating any of his movements.
The main advantage of PORTL is ease of use and adaptation for widespread use. In the simplest case, you only need a white background and a video camera to record a pseudo-hologram and use it for communication or broadcast. The system is interactive, the output camera for displaying the hologram is equipped with microphones and its own video cameras, so the interlocutors can conduct a full-fledged dialogue. This creates the effect of a real holographic connection.
Nussbaum’s company has already produced dozens of PORTL designs that adorn the foyers of hotels and cinemas, and are used in airports and shopping centers. Next in line is the development of a miniature tablet-sized version that can be installed on the desktop. This is covid development, a reaction to the shift of most people to teleworking and the increased demand for video calling. Instead of worrying about your appearance and background, you can send the interlocutor a hologram with arbitrary visual effects.