tech

5G to help Star Wars-like hologram calls become a reality soon

Thanks to 5G, Hologram phone calls may become reality soon.

A still from Star Wars: The Clone Wars - Blue Shadow Virus
A still from Star Wars: The Clone Wars - Blue Shadow Virus (StarWars/Wikia)

The idea of holographic calls has remained central to science-fiction movies like Star Wars for decades. Finally, the concept is now getting close to a reality and may even see commercial adoption soon.

Technology giant Huawei on Thursday said that it had successfully demonstrated a hologram-based call at Moscow Museum exhibition hall in Russia. To facilitate the hologram-based call, Huawei leveraged futuristic technologies such as Mixed Reality (a combination of Virtual and Augmented Reality) and 5G.

Huawei says Holographic communication technology requires high bandwidth and low latency which is only possible through a faster 5G network.

During the demonstration, Huawei and its local partner Beeline used frequencies between 26,600-27,200MHz. This spectrum range is within the recently standardized 3GPP band n258.

"A commercially available Huawei 5G base station - the gNodeB - was used to make the holographic call. The base station consists of an active antenna array (HAAU 5213) and a new generation of BBU5900 digital processing module with a 5G board. The radio interface uses TDD mode in the 100 MHz frequency band and MIMO 64x64 technology. One of the first commercially available 5G CPE devices based on the Huawei Balong5G01 chipset is selected as the subscriber terminal, which includes an RF module (ODU) and 5G/WiFi router (IDU)," said the company in a release.

Huawei, however, is not alone in its endeavours to make hologram calls a reality. Earlier this week telecom giant Vodafone demonstrated the UK's first live hologram call. Vodafone projected 3D image of a person in Manchester to the event in London. The holographic image could be seen through a virtual reality headset.

 

Earlier this year, UK physicists created 3D holograms that one could see from any angle without requiring any virtual reality glasses. The holograms, however, are pre-recorded videos.

"This is doing something that a hologram can never do — giving you an all-round view, a Princess Leia-style display — because it's not a hologram," said Miles Padgett, an optical physicist at the University of Glasgow, UK.