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Musion and Masergy unite in London hologram teleconference

Live from London: a hologram demo made possible by a collaboration between Musion and Masergy produced star performances and vibrant 3D images.

Projection system developer Musion partnered with network service provider Masergy to demonstrate the potential for 3D hologram technology on Thursday 8 March at the former’s London HQ.

Superstar performances from and Pixie Lott (pre-recorded from previous shows), and live pictures of Musion MD Ian O’Connell (pictured) transmitted from Masergy’s Farringdon HQ, showcased the contrasting features of the separate codecs used for both pre-recorded and live material.

Said to be a first for the telepresence industry, two of each codec – Polycom 8000 and HaiVision Mako 1060 – were placed in each venue, and interchanged during the presentation via an HDSDI and DVI matrix switcher. The former delivered higher-quality sound and pictures but also had a higher latency, making it more suited to live videoconferencing and speeches. By contrast the HaiVision codec exhibited lower latency to transmit pictures faster, complementing entertainment content.

Kingston upon Thames integrator AVSolution – a Polycom gold partner – had been enlisted to fit the equipment at Musion’s Lonodn HQ. Content was powered by Barco FLM HD18 and projectiondesign F32 projectors, with images processed by a Christie Vista Spyder. Video was then spilt by Musion’s Eyeliner 5x4m patent-pending foil technology to create the 3D hologram. Audio arrived through a Yamaha 01V 96 digital mixer, and Polycom room microphones picked up sound from both locations.

Richard Mathewson, vice president of EMEA sales at Masergy, said: “Musion were looking for a network that had the capability to run that type of data. We were the only ones really that had the expertise to help them deliver what they needed to. I consider this all to be very exciting because it’s different, it’s almost like: could this be the future of telepresence? And from a technical point of few it’s interesting to see the challenges it throws at us in terms of network.”

He added: “Demand for the technology at the minute tends to be concert and event orientated, and we’ve also seen it used for launching new products. It hasn’t been adopted yet as a mainstream technology for videoconferencing or within businesses as a firm communication solution. But one of the other applications we’re looking at is the virtual assistant – where if you walk into a reception or a public place, the image of an assistant arrives and tells you how things work. I think that may have potential, but we shall see.”

Managing director of AVSolution Graham Fry concluded: “There’s definitely requirements for the higher end telepresence at the minute, and there’s a lot of demand for room systems and massive growth at the desktop. High end is definitely getting higher but obviously it’s not for everyone.”