Science fiction has become science fact as the titans of virtual meeting spaces come together to launch a new technology platform called BeamMe. Developed by a tech incubator financed by Microsoft (creators of Microsoft Team) and Zoom, with assistance from Industrial Light & Magic (of “Star Wars” fame), BeamMe promises to transport users anywhere in the world — all from the comfort of their sofas.
Using holographic projection inspired by the same tech used to give life to Tupac — and more recently, Whitney Houston — for their posthumous performances, BeamMe will allow users to transmit three-dimensional holographic images of themselves in real time to a remote location. No longer will perpetually traveling professionals have to fear becoming absentee parents. With BeamMe, users can enjoy a seat at the kitchen table with the spouse and kids while ordering room service in a hotel hundreds of miles away.
“In recent history, applications like Apple’s FaceTime have revolutionized intrapersonal communication by helping friends and family maintain a deeper sense of connection through enhanced audio-visual capabilities,” said Zoom lead engineer Leonard Kirk. “We wanted to take things a step further. Now, instead of looking at a two-dimensional screen, you’ll be able to walk, dine and watch TV with a three-dimensional version of your loved one.”
BeamMe’s installation includes a series of sensors that are placed throughout a room to scan the user from every angle. Proprietary software then pieces these separate images together to create the lifelike, real-time projection. To receive transmission of the hologram, recipients must have a BeamMe dock station — nicknamed a “Scotty” in homage to the “Star Trek” series. Simply plug the Scotty into a standard wall outlet or USB port, and you are ready to receive transmission.
“I was skeptical of the BeamMe technology at first,” said early adopter Sam Beckett. “It just sounded too much like something out of a movie, but after demoing it at a recent tech conference, I was sold. I’m gifting one to my mother-in-law this year to save myself from an actual face-to-face visit at Christmas.”
The starter BeamMe set retails for $499 and comes with scanning sensors and one Scotty. Additional Scottys are available for $199 each.
Also … April Fool’s! We know these are challenging times for many, so we hoped to alleviate some stress with a little levity. While the BeamMe technology isn’t real, the ability to share your story with the world is, thanks to the power of public relations. If you’re looking for help on that front, or professional service marketing, branding or business development, contact Terry M. Isner at firstname.lastname@example.org.