UK University to Use Hologram ‘Avatars’ of Lecturers for Teaching Students

UK University Holographic Lectures
Image Courtesy: Proto
In Short
  • Loughborough becomes the first university in the UK to explore holographic technology to live-beam in guest lecturers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
  • The university will use Proto's hologram device to project the holographic figures into the classroom.
  • After one year of trial, the hologram technology will officially be introduced to the university's curriculum in 2025.

Over the past few years, innovation and Artificial Intelligence have set and broken all the records. The Hologram technology has been used in the Entertainment industry for years, and now, it’s all set to splash the world of academia. Gone are the days of boring classroom lectures or Zoom calls. A UK University is all set to project guest lessons given by professors across the globe. Some universities are already using groundbreaking hologram technology to bring some of the world’s greatest artists like Michael Jackson and Albert Einstein to the classroom.

Image Courtesy: Loughborough University

According to a report by The Guardian, Loughborough University in Leicestershire, United Kingdom will be the first in Europe to explore this tech. The university has already begun to use holographic technology to live-beam in guest lecturers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The lecturers specializes in sports science and will teach fashion students how to create immersive shows. In addition, they will also teach management studies how to navigate tricky business situations.

Prof Vikki Locke, the director of undergraduate studies at Loughborough, said students “absolutely love” the technology. She further added that Zoom calls made students “feel like they were watching TV … there’s a distance. A holographic image is a lot more engaging and real to them.” Therefore, they would prefer “a guest speaker from industry beaming into a classroom to a 2D person on the wall”.

After a year of experimentation, the technology will officially be introduced to the university’s curriculum in 2025. A Los Angeles-based company named Proto will project the holographic figures into the classroom. Proto already makes box-based holographic units for IBM and BT to reduce the need for corporate travel. Also, the fashion retailer H&M in Sweden works with Proto to make interactive product displays.

David Nussbaum, founder of Porto launched the company four years ago, after working on dead-celebrity holograms. He now envisions bringing some of history’s greatest minds back to life with the help of AI.

He told The Guardian that “Proto has the technology to project an image of Stephen Hawking, or anybody, and make it look like he’s really there. An AI Stephen Hawking would look like him, sound like him and interact like it was him. It’s awe-inspiring, it’s jaw-dropping, and I’ve been in shock at how amazing the interactions are. AI is part of our life, whether people like it or not.”

Nussbaum’s firm ambition is to make hologram technology more feasible and accessible to the public. He added, “You shouldn’t have to be an eccentric millionaire or a celebrity to have a hologram.”

Professor Rachel Thomson, Loughborough University’s pro-vice-chancellor said that the hologram avatars strategy could help the university with its sustainability goals. Rather than flying in guest lecturers across the Atlantic Ocean, beaming in guest lectures feels more feasible.

Comments 0
Leave a Reply