Back in 2012, the world was introduced to the idea of augmented reality by the way a hologram of the long deceased Hip Hop artist Tupac. While the idea was not quite a “hologram” as we understand them to be, Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg were certainly utilizing AR to perform alongside the CGI recreation. As reported by Hollywood Reporter, the Sundance Film Festival was home to what’s shaping up to be one of the first hologram performances there with actor Jon Hamm being transformed into a hologram for an experience based on one of the event’s feature films.
Marjorie Prime, the feature film that this AR experience was inspired by, has a premise that sounds like it fits right in with an episode of the British sci-fi anthology Black Mirror, which is available on Netflix. In the film, there’s a service that produces life-like holograms of deceased loved ones and a man named Jon (played by Tim Robbins) takes the opportunity to come face to face with his late father in law (played by Jon Hamm).
The demonstration is powered by 8i, a company that received $13.5 million toward its goal of realistic 3D human capture, Hamm’s character from the film will make an appearance at Sundance and can be interacted with using VR or mixed reality on mobile devices.
“It is amazing to experience the future in the here and now,” says Marjorie Prime producer Uri Singer in the report. “When we first started working on the movie, the script dictated that the holograms would be portrayed as a futuristic reality. Making an actual hologram, not only on film but one that can be experienced with VR/AR, attests to how present the future has become.”
And in case you haven’t seen it, Hamm does in fact star in one of the best episodes of Black Mirror — the White Christmas episode which itself includes some elements of mixed reality. The episode is on Netflix and highly recommended.