We have all seen Star Trek with their fancy interstellar calls where they beam up holograms of the people they are talking to. Although we haven't mastered the interstellar travel part, there is one aspect of these calls that has now become available: the technology to have hologram calls.
The technology is the work of entrepreneur David Nussbaum, the founder of Portl Hologram which brings you hologram calling machines at $60,000 apiece. And his company is doing well having raised $3 million from venture investor Tim Draper, executive Doug Barry, and seasoned awards-show producer Joe Lewis.
If you think the portals are too pricey to be profitable, it should be noted that Nussbaum has already sold a hundred of these machines. “We’ve manufactured and delivered several dozen,” Nussbaum told Tech Crunch.
The public is actually already familiar with the technology used by these portals. It is the same one employed in Coachella in 2012 to render a performance by the late great Tupac Shakur. Portl Hologram bought that tech and then installed several upgrades to make it even more immersive.
However, Nussbaum does acknowledge that the size of his portal (now about the size of a human being) may be problematic, that's why he is working on a miniaturized version of the system. This device would be about the size of a desktop computer and would be capable of recording and sending holograms to anyone with a Portl device.
“The minis will have all of the features to capture your content and rotoscope you out of our background and have the studio effects that is important in displaying your realistic volumetric like effect and they will beam you to any other device,” Nussbaum told Tech Crunch.
What Nussbaum is doing is creating the mode of communication of the future. Just like cellphones were once a novelty product available only to a few, Portl holograms may now be only affordable to a small population but soon we may just see them in all homes. Beam us up, Scottie!