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The year is 2025, and you are standing in the sold-out crowd at Madison Square Garden. You hear the lyrics “come as you are, as you were, as I want you to be,” blaring through the stadium and Kurt Cobain is standing 5 feet away from you. He reaches his hand into the crowd and high-fives the screaming fans. You are lucky enough to be within reaching distance of him. Just the touch of his hand and all your wildest dreams come true. It is as if Kurt Cobain has been resurrected from the dead.
How is it, that a man who died in 1992 is able to stand before a sold out arena and actually shake hands with his adoring fans, more than 30 years after his tragic, untimely death? The answer is the breakthrough in holographic technology. Venues all across the nation are now equipped to support holographics and everything that comes along with them. We also now have the technology for the holograms to be able to interact with the audience to the point where the hologram is tangible. The basic technology used to create these holograms has been around for centuries. In 1860, Pepper’s Ghost illusion laid the foundation for hologram research by creating an optical illusion that manipulated the visual effects using glass and lights. This concept was created by an inventor by the name of Henry Dircks. Soon after Dircks, a professor at the Royal Polytechnic Institute in London came up with a simpler conclusion that implemented Dircks’s effect in theaters by using only a sheet of glass.
Then, in 1947, scientist Dennis Gabor refined the theory of holography while he was trying to improve the resolution of an electron microscope. He then composed the term hologram from the Greek words holos and gramma, meaning “whole message.” Further development was then placed on pause for the next decade and the world was forced to wait. But then, in 1960, N. Bassov and Charles Towns created a laser with light so pure that it was ideal for making holograms.
The first holographic concert was held in Japan in 2007 and the artist was Miku. Soon after, the United States followed in Japan’s footsteps when their first holographic artist performed at Coachella Music Festival in 2012. His name was Tupac Amaru Shakur, better know by just his stage name – Tupac – and everyone in the venue was blown away.
What we are starting to see now is that more and more venues are being able to withhold the extensive technology that is needed to put on holographic concerts. The technology that is holographics has evolved beyond what we could have ever imagined, and now, in the year 2025, I have been able to see every artist that has ever influenced me in such a positive way perform live.
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