Microsoft’s Japanese-speaking hologram steals the show at Inspire 2019.
Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 Mixed Reality headset was front-and-center at the 2019 Inspire conference as the company showcased their latest advancements in artificial intelligence as well as mixed reality hologram technology. During a keynote held yesterday at the Las Vegas-based event, Microsoft Executive Julia White unveiled an exciting new project that uses a combination of body and voice capture, Azure AI, and HoloLens 2 technology to convert a human presenter into a 3D hologram capable of delivering a presentation in any language.
White begins the keynote by donning a Microsoft HoloLens 2 headset and sticking her out her open hand so that it may be seen by the headset, at which point a miniaturized green model of White, or “mini-me” as she refers to it, warps into existence. After demonstrating how the tiny hologram tracks and follows her hand, White states a simple voice command: “Japanese keynote. Render keynote.” This causes the simplistic green model to disintegrate into a cloud of particles, which then realign to form a near photorealistic holographic rendition of White.
This new Hologram then proceeds to deliver the rest of the keynote in Japanese, an especially impressive feat considering White isn’t fluid in the language. The Japenese-speaking hologram even sounds like White thanks to Microsoft’s Neural Text-To-Speech (Neural TTS) technology, which harnesses the power of AI to automatically create personal voice signatures based on simple voice samples.
Microsoft’s combination of mixed reality and Neural TTS technology could revolutionize how businesses, clients, and various other professionals across multiple industries deliver live presentations, such as lectures, talks, and conferences, by allowing them to create personable and engaging presentations in multiple languages simultaneously across the world.
Much like the HoloLens 2, however, the technology is still in its early stages and therefore a relatively expensive procedure. White’s hologram, for instance, was shot in near-perfect conditions at Microsoft’s dedicated mixed reality studio, which features professional lighting and camera equipment specifically designed for MR capture.
Regardless, White’s demonstration paints a fascinating picture for the future of live talks, Q&A’s, lectures, and various other forms of live presentations.