Tupac: Still Dead, But Resurrecting Hope for a Real Life Holodeck

If you’re reading this, it’s safe to assume that you don’t live under a rock (or, the rock that you live under has a great internet connection). Either way, you’re probably aware of the buzz heard ‘round the world about the Tupac hologram performance at Coachella.

But while Hologram Tupac may win the award for the best performance by a set of abs on a computer generated artist, he isn’t the first hologram to ever grace a musical stage. Or even tug at our hearts and imaginations.

First, we must pay homage to the artist that really paved the way and pushed hologram boundaries to make a real-yet-fake music performance even fathomable: Jem and the Holograms. Granted, it’s not the exact same technology they used at Coachella. That would involve a computer named Synergy and a really sweet pair of earrings. Also, Jem was only 2D. But the idea had to start somewhere.

Still, Hologram Tupac isn’t even the first performance by a hologram at a real life music event. Nope. That honor goes to Japanese pop star Hatsune Miku. If this is the first you’re hearing of Hatsune Miku, you may look at her performance and think that she looks like an anime character. Astutely observed! That is because she’s not real. And this isn’t a Milli Vanilli type conspiracy either – Hatsune Miku’s voice? Completely synthesized.

Even fashion shows are getting in on the action. Last year designer Stefan Eckert presented a whole fashion show using only holograms. The result seemed more like a trippy music video than a fashion show, but had a distinct lack of tripping models. So, we can chalk that up to a trade off.

And finally – for this blog post at least – we must give due credit to Star Trek. Yes, Star Trek. Because, let’s face it, the fake futuristic technology seen on Star Trek is slowly but surely becoming our modern day technology. (Anyone own an iPad? Cool…Star Trek totally did it first). Holograms used for entertainment is no exception. Any day now (*ahem* people who invent things), we could be having hologram experiences of our very own. I even have a name for it: iHologram. Nailed it.

Image courtesy of Subspace Communique

But, none of this is to meant to mitigate the accomplishment of Hologram Tupac. Because ultimately we do have to hand it to him; he may be dead, but darn it if Tupac doesn’t keep finding ways to keep on living.

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