May 26, 2010

Star Wars meets the World Cup: A fun idea to discuss

So much of today’s technology is created or adopted outside the U.S. that it gets overlooked by media here. Think 3D, virtual life, or of wireless and quick response codes, audio tweets, augmented reality and radio frequency identification.

Such was the case with last week’s bid by Japan to host the 2022 World Cup. Lost -- well, not exactly lost but certainly under-reported and under-tweeted --  was Japan’s plan to beam holographic broadcasts of the event around the globe. Think Princess Leia and Ben Obi-Wan Kenobi meet Lionel Messi and Wayne Rooney.

For the small sum of $6 billion, Japan is suggesting that by 2022 it could project lifelike 3D images onto real pitches in real stadiums around the world and have fans watch players playing real games, holographically speaking.

That technology doesn’t yet exist. But it may within the next five or 10 years.

"You may say the required technology is like a dream and smacks of a sci-fi movie," said Keio University professor Jun Murai, an Internet pioneer who serves as director of technology at the committee. "But it is important to see how technology will evolve within 12 years. I think it will be realized or become usable by around 2016," he told a Tokyo press conference.

Japan's bid proposed broadcasting the matches to 360 million people at nearly 400 stadiums in 208 countries. The games would be captured from 360 degrees by 200 high-definition cameras. If the technology has matched the bid committee’s vision, those games would be projected onto the field itself. If not, they would be shown on giant screens.

Putting aside the question of whether holographic TV would render 3D TV moot -- and it may be 5 years before that technology is adopted by the masses, if at all -- the whole notion of holographic TV is just cool to think about. And discuss. Too bad it has gone mostly unnoticed.

The better question might be, do you think the technology will be ready by 2022 for a sci-fi World Cup?

NAB 2009: Holography update {TVB}
Technology fuels Japan’s 2022 bid {Japan Times}
Japan: Let’s broadcast World Cup with holographic teams! {Wired.CO.UK}
In 2022 World Cup bid, Japan offers holographic games {PopSci}
Japan proposes global holographic World Cup broadcast {pcworld}
Japan’s holographic World Cup to be powered by solar, crowd excitement {ecorazzi}

No comments:

Post a Comment