BEING THERE: “The HELIX” brings holographic projection to SAP
By Manfred J. Pauli, Director of The Helix Network, SAP SE and Bill Kozel
It’s almost as if they’re right there in the room.
“Helix,” a new technology developed by the SAP Co-Innovation Lab in collaboration with the EBC and Global IT, uses a patented method to project three-dimensional, holographic images of people into a specially-equipped conference area.
And while it’s not quite a “Beam me up, Scotty” moment, it promises to transform the way SAP personnel interact with colleagues and customers.
A Low-Bandwidth Solution
Holography is not new. In 2008, for instance, CNN broadcast a live holographic image of wil.i.am in the studio with Wolf Blitzer. But there was a flipside to it: The TV audience could see wil.i.am standing in front of Wolf Blitzer – but Wolf could not! In those days, all holograms were fake.
In addition, holographic transmission has traditionally required extremely high reserved bandwidth. What is novel about SAP’s technology is that it uses a standard broadband LAN or WAN connection — and people in the Helix can really SEE the hologramt standing right in front of them!
How it Works
The Helix environment consists of a grand immersive panoramic projection, complete with surround sound. The room can be outfitted with standard off-the-shelf equipment that is available worldwide and sourced locally.
When attendees wearing 3D glasses sit at the center of the room, a holographic image – whether a presenter or an object – can appear in front of them. The presenter can be live or pre-recorded. The presenter looks three-dimensional and vivid, and there is only minimal lag time in movement and responses – which is why we call it “HoloPresence.”
That makes the Helix ideal for a wide range of applications, including workshops, multi-site collaboration, presentations, storytelling, sports showcasing, and self-service.
An Innovative Showcase
Just think of the implications.
Suddenly, we can immerse visitors into a virtual scenario where they can interact with the presenter. And, we can showcase innovative SAP solutions in an innovative environment.
What’s more, we can dramatically reduce the need for costly and time-consuming travel on the part of our employees and senior managers.
An Expanding Network
The Helix system is already operational in Walldorf and Palo Alto, and further installations are planned throughout the world. The holographic person can be connected in from SAP’s Newtown Square and Walldorf offices, or from abroad with a mobile “beam pad” that is available.
To learn more on this exciting new technology or to visit the Helix, send a note to Manfred.firstname.lastname@example.org .