Eva Chen was still in her pijamas sitting on the sofa or her modern living room in Hong Kong. The virtual meeting with that promising british engineer, Robert Welch, was about to start in 10 minutes. Eva was the HR Manager of her chinese company. She switched on the holographic telepresence equipment and scrolled down the menu to choose the right dress that her avatar would have put on. She opted for a grey sober teilluer.
On the other side of the globe, in London, Robert was concentrating for the interview. Moving to China was his dream and that conversation could have been the beginning of his new life. He launched the application for the telepresence conference and choose the language options english-chinese-english. A beep from the screen informed him a call was incoming and he tapped “accept”.
An hologram of Robert appeared in Eva’s living room and they started their conversation. Every word pronounced by Robert in english was simultaneously translated in chinese, so that Eva was comfortably listening to Robert’s avatar speaking in chinese. And viceversa.
Then Eva projected on the wall a big Robert’s updated curicculum vitae, taking it from a set of items floating in the air in front of her eyes and that she had prepared for the interview (in particular a list of questions she would have asked and Robert’s Facebook page). The laser beam projecting the hologram was a new generation one, so she could appreciate every single subtle movement of Robert’s face muscles and even that he was sweating a bit.
After an hour, when she was satisfied with the information she collected about him, they greated each other and closed their conversation. He was really a great candidate. When the communication terminated, the screen informed her that the connection occured at an appreciable speed of 1 gigabit per second and about the remarkable balance of 2,5 tons of carbon dioxide saved thanks to the the holographic conference (instead of meeting face to face). Half of the amount would have gone on her personal balance and granted her a small discount on next year taxes. Then she navigated a few menus and ordered a “Body Language Report” of Robert, based on the conversation just finished; although she was an expert on the topic and independent view on it generated by a computer, could help anyway to take the right decision.
This is a not-so-distant future. The giant Microsoft is already building an holographic telepresence system and rumors report that it could fit into Skype at some point; the blog at this link is reporting the information properly. Several companies are developing solutions that will hopefully go mainstream some day in the future: 31december99 scouted the website of a company called Digital Video Enterprises (follow the link here) that shows some exciting demo videos. If you read up to this point and want to go for the extra-mile, I suggest to give a look at what professional futurists are saying about this topic, in this EIBTM blog (The future of meetings: holograms and brain stimulation by 2050?) that inspired this post.
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