Geek alert: CNN builds the Holodeck

by Mathew on November 5, 2008 · 10 comments

Apart from the historic nature of the U.S. election (which I will let others discuss), the coverage on CNN set new records as far as the coolness factor goes. Not only did the channel have the Magic Wall — which until recently was the height of geek-dom, with its multi-touch input and other features — but then the network whipped out a couple of holograms just to up the stakes a little. Like Mike Arrington at TechCrunch, even though part of me realized they could have done exactly the same thing with a remote camera, a much larger part of me was thinking: “Those holograms are cool.” Plenty of other people seemed to disagree, however, calling the hologram “creepy.” I was less enamored of the virtual Capitol building, which looked kind of cheesy, but the Will.I.Am interview (which is embedded here) was just extremely cool. Yes, I agree that the Jessica Yellin interview had more than a touch of Princess Leia about it, but it was still damn cool. That is all.

Update:

According to a professor of theoretical physics and an expert in holography, what CNN used were not really holograms, since they didn’t project a 3-dimensional image into the studio — they projected it into the camera feed, which is what viewers saw, while the actual hosts were talking to empty space. Okay, not quite as cool. More here.

  • http://www.darrenbarefoot.com Darren

    I'm surprised that nobody made the “save us Obama, you're our only hope” joke. It was just hanging there over the plate for somebody to hit.

  • Pat

    Holograms sucks!

  • Lemoine

    @Pat: it's not a hologram, it's a ghost. Dumbass.

  • Mart

    Goerge's Lucas is behind this. It's not a ghost you sick bastard. I have a real laser saber at home and i will cut your head with it.

  • http://www.republicofinternets.com Sach

    Yep – Totally cool !

    http://tinyurl.com/5fhj65

  • http://www.republicofinternets.com Sach

    Yep – Totally cool !

    http://tinyurl.com/5fhj65

  • Pingback: bwl zwei null · Obama, CNN und das Hologramm

  • steve

    Keep in mind that in the studio, Anderson Cooper doesn't actually see Will.I.Am as it appears here. Cooper is gazing off into empty space, pretending he's looking at Will.I.Am, who is being inserted afterwards into the picture. (Cooper's really looking at a monitor just out of range.)

    It's all sort of interesting in a can't-believe-they-went-to-all-this-trouble kind of way, but not nearly the technical feat that CNN wants you to think it is.

  • http://www.sensidea.com Jaafer Haidar

    CNN has a fascination with being “web cool”. Rick Sanchez going nuts over Twitter (everyday), using “holograms” like Start Wars, and the magic wall. The drive to to embrace new technology to drive younger viewers.

    To us webheads it's a little like the kids watching the parents trying to be cool but you have to applaud them for trying. Keep it up!

  • http://www.sensidea.com Jaafer Haidar

    CNN has a fascination with being “web cool”. Rick Sanchez going nuts over Twitter (everyday), using “holograms” like Start Wars, and the magic wall. The drive to to embrace new technology to drive younger viewers.

    To us webheads it's a little like the kids watching the parents trying to be cool but you have to applaud them for trying. Keep it up!

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