Forget The Magic Wall. CNN Now Has Holograms

CNN is cool. In addition to the huge touchscreen “Magic Wall” (which was originally military technology), CNN’s Wolf Blitzer gets to play with Holograms today during their coverage of the presidential elections.

CNN’s Jessica Yellin is the guinea pig, appearing virtually with Blitzer.

I have no idea why Yellin doesn’t just go to the studio instead of being wherever she is, or why they don’t just point a camera at her and bring her into the story in the normal way, and I don’t care. They have a hologram, and if I wasn’t getting on a plane in twenty minutes I’d be watching CNN the rest of the evening.

Update: (Robin Wauters) since Michael’s on a plane, here’s a bit more information about the technology side of all this:

The network has created green-screen virtual-set environments that will be set up in mobile trailers outside the Obama and McCain headquarters and will use a mix of mechanical and infrared camera-tracking technology to create a realistic holographic image of the correspondent on the floor of the “Situation Room” set in New York. The field correspondents will have a 37” plasma monitor showing a return feed of the “Situation Room” set with Blitzer to give them a frame of reference.

CNN Senior VP and Washington Bureau Chief David Bohrman, who has been evaluating the technology at NAB shows for years, has indicated that introducing discreet virtual set elements into a real-world set is something they hope to do more of in the future, e.g. for live interviews.