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Hologram lecturers will teach classes at this London uni

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New technology which creates a hologram-like image of lecturers is going to be introduced at Imperial College London’s business school.

New technology which creates a hologram-like image of lecturers is going to be introduced at Imperial College London’s business school.

The technology, the first of its kind in UK universities, was demonstrated on Thursday.

The images which resemble a "hologram" are generated by a high-definition monitor which is calibrated to project lifelike images of lecturers who may interact with students by making eye contact and pointing. More than one lecturer can be reflected at one time.

While the images are technically not holograms nor do they use the costly Pepper’s Ghost effect, the illusions are cost-effective, simply requiring a glass screen and backdrop to create the effect of depth.

“The alternative is to use video-conferencing software but we believe these holograms have a much greater sense of presence,” explained Dr David Lefevre who is the current director of Imperial’s Edtech Lab.

“It runs at the low thousands each time, so for the first time universities can afford it."

Drawing on concepts developed by the Canadian company Arht Media, lecturers will use a lit-up “capture studio” where they film against a black backdrop to project their lifelike image.

Imperial plans to project lecturers from two external studios, in Los Angeles and Toronto respectively, enabling guests speakers from different countries to deliver lectures overseas to students at the London campus.

While there is the risk of technical difficulties, the university expects the technology to reduce disruption, engage students and become widespread in UK universities.

Featured images courtesy of Imperial College London

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