Earlier this week, what was described by fans as an extremely life-like hologram of the late rapper Tupac was unveiled at the Coachella Music & Arts festival in California. Coachella, for many years a safehaven for apathetic indie rock fans who’ve come to see nostalgic acts reunite, out-did themselves this year with the thug-poet’s resurrection, complete with requisite Timbs, six-pack, and synthesized voice.
Technically not a hologram at all, the tech firm (incorrectly) calls the spectacle a “holographic image” that has it’s foundation in a 16th century optical illusion called “Pepper’s Ghost”. The technology harnessed by San Diego firm AV Concepts carries a price tag in the ballpark of $100,000 – $400,000.
Dr. Dre has recently explored the possibility of bringing the Pac ‘gram on tour, and as the gimmick gains popularity, it’s availability will be democratized. Holograms will go from being a luminescent symbol of authenticity on New Era’s, Topps cards, and Driver’s Licenses, and become a truly ubiquitous part of daily life. Join me as we explore the utilization of holograms in popular culture, past, present, and future.