Researchers at the University of Western Ontario in Canada have performed the world’s first international holographic teleportation. This combination of hologram and teleportation occurs when the image of a person or object is instantly transmitted from one place to another.
According to scientists, in April of this year NASA did something similar, “teleporting” a doctor inside the International Space Station (ISS). The difference is that now a person has managed to cross an international border virtually with the help of special glasses.
“We had the incredible opportunity to demonstrate the first international two-way holographic teleport. We transported a person from Alabama, USA, to Ontario, Canada, and then we went the other way, without having to pay for accommodation or airfare”, jokes engineering professor Adam Sirek, lead author of the project.
To carry out this incredible technology experiment, the researchers used HoloLens — virtual reality (VR) glasses developed by Microsoft — and specific software created by Houston-based company Aexa Aerospace.
The system involves a special camera capable of creating a holographic image of a given subject that, after being processed, is sent to the chosen destination. A person on the other end of the line using HoloLens is able to see this image as if they were physically in the target environment.
“If they’re both using HoloLens, they can interact in each other’s environment as if they were actually there and that’s very shocking. It’s like I can practically shake hands with the person on the other end of the line,” adds medical student Adam Levschuk.
Real world applications
Currently, all the equipment used in holographic teleportation costs around US$ 5 thousand (approximately R$ 26.5 thousand at the current price). A high cost, but relatively lower when compared to the price of air tickets or accommodation if the person has to physically move to the place.
The idea is now to improve the prototype, adding biosensors capable of monitoring heart rate and blood oxygen saturation, as well as haptic sensors that can transmit the sensation of touch and increase interaction between HoloLens users.
In the future, the researchers believe that this technology could be used to facilitate access for doctors to remote areas or, simply, to connect people from miles away, increasing the interactive experience during a virtual conversation.
“We look at this from a spatial perspective. Have you ever thought about what it would be like if an astronaut who was on a three-month mission in space could come down and sit in his living room, for a family dinner whenever he felt like it? That would be amazing, to say the least,” concludes Professor Sirek.