8i and 8th Wall Debut Live Interview Between Holograms

by Boaz Feldman

One of the best things about immersive technology is the leaps forward it takes. When they happen, it’s not a little trickle of innovation here or there; it’s a massive surging waterfall.That was the case during a live event during the third week of October when 8i Hayes Mackaman and 8th Wall CEO and Founder Erik Murphy-Cutorian got together with AR/VR industry influencer Catherine D. Henry to talk about what they had been working on.The result was nothing short of spectacular, as both Mackaman and Murphy-Cutorian were “scanned in” via a volumetric studio, transformed with digital technology, and then streamed via a QR code and a company media player to talk with each other on everyone’s smartphone who was watching the presentation.

Showing Off 

8i Hayes Mackaman is the consummate showman, driving the presentation in a series of video presentations as he breaks down the process and the technology behind it to show how his company’s dazzling designs with self-effacing humor and cool jumps between reality and virtual reality.
His goal is to produce images that can absolutely be identified as the person behind them; not an avatar that you can “sort of” squint your eyes and make a tenuous connection from one to the other.
Once the images are scanned, they are brought to life with powerful Artificial Intelligence which analyzes the recorded images and uses algorithms to draw their movements in real time.
“Anytime you need authenticity, like when it has to be this person delivering this message. Or if we need human connection within this messaging or this experience. If that is something you desire, this is the way to achieve it,” said Mackaman during the holographic part of the interview.
Another impressive function is “Conversational XR” which will allow other people to talk to the holograms from remote locations in real-time. So theoretically, the two company heads could have fielded questions as their hologram representations during the interview session. At the current time, the technology can allow up to five people to interface remotely with the hologram technology. 

The Assembly Line

Perhaps even more impressive is the fact that the technology is already available for commercial deployment, with Mackaman revealing there is already an anonymous client getting the tech installed. 
“We are installing the technology with a household name customer in Japan,” he said.“Unfortunately, I cannot disclose their name at this time. They’ll be focused on consumer mobile AR and enterprise VR applications.
”To share the recordings with customers, 8th Wall’s technology produces QR codes for phones that allow anyone to access the video feed.
Murphy-Chutorian says there are 3.5 billion smartphones in the world that can engage with their platform. The costs for the capture studio and software range from US$350,000 - US$1 million. If that’s out of your budget range, there are green screen studios available for rent in Tokyo, Seoul, Bangkok, Brisbane, Chicago, and Los Angeles.