I Just Don’t Get The Fascination With These Things

December 8, 2023 by Dave Haynes

There are some good examples of real-world installations of those madly-spinning LED light wand thingies, and when I come across them, I write about them. But I have also seen so many crappy demos, like this one off in a corner at this week’s sensory-overloading LDI show in Las Vegas.

The companies who market this tech have touted virtual presence avatars as a use-case, and this one had an oversized avatar of tech billionaire/TV star Mark Cuban talking about something or other to the people passing by.

The photo looks particularly crappy because of how cameras interact with these things, but the real-life visual experience – just looking at it – is not a whole bunch better. It was a darkened hall – the way LDI does things because of all the lighting tech – and the visuals still looked vague.

And you can see all the metalwork in behind that keeps all those madly-spinning rotors in place, and runs the power and signal.

Again, I do think there are some good use-cases for this tech, but with life-sized LCDs out there – at full brightness and in 4K – this ain’t it. And I don’t care that the featured person appears out of thin air.

All that noted, the ultimate in eye candy – the new MSG Sphere in Las Vegas – has something like this in its lobby. But it’s not an avatar.

  1. Jackie Walker says:

    I have to admit that the dancing robot one was pretty awesome – I took a video of it to show my Transformers obsessed son and he and my daughter were pretty amazed. I think we need to be realistic about where some of this tech has a real practical application vs where the whole reason for its being is to be something cool and eye catching with the right spectacular creative. I think this tech sits firmly in the latter camp. But the creative had better be spectacular.

  2. Alan Brawn says:

    Agreed. One quick look and the interest passes.

  3. marian csosz says:

    Actually, i had this kind of problem with clients who wanted a ‘hologram’ but did not want to accept the right technology that would be best for their needs.
    My option for this inquiry would have always been Holobox – https://youtu.be/xZrw6JUzS50

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