get travel tips directly from (holograms of) locals…

When you’re waiting for a flight at the airport, you’ve usually got some time to kill. Some people watch Netflix on their phones, some have a drink at the bar, but KLM has come up with another constructive way to capitalize on these moments.

They’ve developed a “bar” currently at airports in Amsterdam, Oslo, and Rio de Janeiro where people can connect with others in the country they’re off to visit to gather tips on local customs, culture, and sights.

Dubbed “Take Off Tips”, here’s how it works:

“KLM is matching travelers up with people at the destination they’re flying to. For example, someone at Schiphol Airport who is about to fly to Norway will be connected with someone at Oslo’s Gardermoen airport who is waiting to board a plane to Amsterdam. To connect the people on opposite sites of the world, the bar is equipped with hologram technology so it can project a real-time virtual image of the traveler at the other airport.”

Why It’s Hot:

From a brand perspective, it’s a great new example of KLM “social airline” experience – connecting people to enhance their otherwise impersonal flying experience (see “Layover with a Local” and “Meet&Seat”.

From an experience perspective, it’s a brilliant solution to a common problem – our current main recourse to get the same tips would be Googling, dredging Trip Advisor, etc. – secondary resources to gain a first-person perspective. Plus, it removes quite a bit of work involved in that process.

From a cultural perspective, it’s getting us off our screens and in touch with each other. Increasingly, the promise of technology is not going to be “there’s an app for that”. As digital infiltrates the physical world, technology is facilitating more human-friendly interactions, such as sitting down at a booth and being projected holographically so that it’s just a face-to-face meeting, no devices needed.

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HoloPlayer One – A Three Dimensional Holographic Interface

This past weekend I went to the PlaycraftingNYC indie game expo and saw a bunch of aweosme innovative games and tech. The one that stood out to me the most is the HoloPlayer One by Looking Glass Factory. It’s a three-dimensional interface that allows multiple people to interact with holograms with full-color, fully dynamic floating 3D worlds/objects with a touch of their fingers.

 

The 3D worlds are visible from a range in front of the device, so multiple people can view the world without the use of VR glasses.

 

 

The interface detects touch in a three-dimensional way, so you can create 3D objects by just touching the air inside the hologram.

 

 

I got to sculpt a 3D object the same way you would with clay, move lighting around a 3D world, and even use a sword to slice up fruit in a 3D version of Fruit Ninja.

 

The team is based in Greenpoint and said we can come by anytime to check it out or have them come in to give us a demo of it. They have a free Unity3D SDK that developers can use to create experiences for the HoloPlayer One. The device is set to launch at the end of November.

Why it’s Hot:

  • Unique three-dimensional interface
  • VR without needing googles
  • Based in NYC and can come in to demo it for us

More info: https://lookingglassfactory.com/product/holoplayer-one/

They just announced a class through PlaycraftingNYC to teach you how to create hologram experiences: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/hack-the-hologram-with-unity-tickets-39410817817?mc_cid=7b7c55772a&mc_eid=7dee0694e7

holograms, benjamin…

Some genius developer has boldly chosen to experiment with perhaps the world’s most forgotten voice assistant, Microsoft Cortana, and imagined what interacting with her could be like if you added another dimension to it.

In his words – “It’s basically what I imagined Microsoft’s version of Alexa or Google Home would be like if they were to use the holographic AI sidekick from the Halo franchise.”

As seen in the video above, in his prototype, it’s as if you’re speaking to an actual artificial person, making the experience feel more human.

Why it’s hot:
Amazon recently released the Echo Show, which allows skillmakers to add a “face” to their interactions, but this makes that look like a kids toy. This shows how what started not long ago as primitive voice technology on a phone, could quickly turn into actual virtual assistants that look and act like humans, powered by the underlying technology. Plus, apparently 145 million people may not ignore they have access to Cortana in the future.

The future of customer service? I certainly hope not!

Ricoh has created a virtual customer service assistant that aims to combine a hologram with an information kiosk.

And let’s just say that there’s work to do on the creative end.

Why it’s Hot

In addition to scaring little children that you don’t like, this item is hot because it proves that a new tech idea is only useful when it is well-executed.