Proto Tilts Its Hologram-Ish Display Stalls To Landscape Mode For Virtual Meetings Use

June 5, 2023 by Dave Haynes

The company that introduced the concept of hologram-ish virtual presence transparent LCD displays, and spawned numerous firms “inspired” by the idea, has started showing an interesting variation that turns the unit on its side for virtual meetings.

Proto has a post and video up on Linkedin and Twitter that shows its shower stall-like enclosure set in landscape mode and elevated to the height of a typical boardroom table or credenza, creating the illusion that the people at that end of the table are actually there and not attending remotely.

The set-up requires a remote studio and green screen or other chroma key set-up, as well as clever lighting and a nigh speed connection.

The Devil’s Advocate arguments here would likely include the suggestion that while the transparent display and good video capture can produce visuals that suggest depth and that the people are actually there, it also means a big metal housing needs to be built into a meeting room. It probably also means a lot more cost than a large-format conventional flat panel display mounted on a wall, or even on a pedestal at the same end-of-table position.

Someone will take this on, but I can’t really imagine broad adoption. The surprise and delight of these transparent LCDs is in someone appearing life-size, head to toe. I think that gets lost when you have people sitting at desks. I also wonder how many companies – setting aside those run by CEOs with giant egos – want and need “surprise and delight” to sit through budget and project planning meetings.

There are other ways to do this and Google is a good example of a company that started down this path with a “Project Starline” demo that was a chunky, very involved booth and is now, in its most recent prototype, looking much more like the video conferencing set-ups people will see next week if they wander around InfoComm and into vendor booths that sell video collaboration tech.

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