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Twitter was abuzz last night with word of a rare performance by the rap legend Tupac, who hasn’t been seen onstage since he died in 1996. But thanks to advancements in holographic technology, the hip-hop legend appeared alongside Dr. Dre and Snoop Dog in a vivid, lifelike cameo.
The Japanese have been making use of holograms to create virtual pop stars for several years now. But the Tupac performace was unique in that it relied on footage of live performances from Tupac’s career to create a striking replica of his onstage look and presence, right down to iconic gestures.
Where will this technology go from here? No doubt Vegas could pack the house for a live performance from a holographic Elvis Presley. I’d certainly pay to see a convincing hologram of Kurt Cobain, Sam Cooke or John Lennon do a live set. All the more so if it was based on footage of an actual performance and captured the singers mannerisms.
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