Back to the Future Part II missed wildly on many technological advances for the year 2015, such as flying cars and rehydration ovens. However, it connected on several predictions, such as video calling and biometric security, and it was in the ballpark (pun intended) on others, such as the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series.
List artificially intelligent holograms in the latter category. That's right, soon you will be able to order a Pepsi from an AI hologram.
A combination of holographic displays and augmented reality software developed VNTANA and AI technology from Satisfi Labs has produced a hologram concierge with AI that is capable of interacting with people with no headset or mobile device required.
The concierge greets visitors with a customized message as soon as they stand in front of the display and responds to questions as they are asked. Companies integrate the hologram concierge into their e-commerce systems, allowing it to serve up recommendations.
The system also employs facial recognition to track behavior and record the conversation to learn purchasing preferences. VNTANA and Satisfi will also offer sentiment analysis, which will enable the AI hologram to notify staff when displeased customers are encountered.
On display this week at Advertising Week in New York, the technology is aimed at businesses in the retail, sports entertainment, and hospitality industries. The companies envision implementations such as digital greeters informing customers about sales and hours of operation or holographic athletes directing fans to their seats or concession stands at the stadium. Of course, a virtual hotel concierge could complete check-in and make restaurant reservations for guests.
For its part, VNTANA has been creating holographic experiences with technology partners and customers such as Microsoft, Intel, Nike, Pepsi Mercedes-Benz, ABC, AT&T, and Universal Studios. One of their implementations, Hollagram, integrates Microsoft Kinect into their holographic hardware and software to create interactive AR experiences for attendees at conventions and sporting events.
"Our hologram technology has helped numerous brands better connect and engage with their consumers, and we are thrilled to offer this new addition on our platform," said Ashley Crowder, CEO and co-Founder of VNTANA, in a statement provided to Next Reality. "By partnering with Satisfi, we are able to integrate AI and AR for the first time, so our holograms can interact with consumers on a more advanced level, while using our trusted platform to track data to create more personalized experiences and advertising."
Satisfi has developed AI-based applications for Major League Baseball Advanced Media, SoftBank Robotics, and Mall of America. For instance, Satisfi leveraged IBM's Watson AI platform to create a customer service application for Macy's department stores.
"We are super excited to partner with VNTANA and launch what promises to be an unprecedented opportunity for the development of both AI and Holograms," said Don White, CEO and Co-Founder Satisfi Labs. "Consumers will be transfixed by the technology and will truly appreciate the ease and intelligent interaction they can have with the hologram."
Update: This story was originally published at 9 a.m. Eastern Time and subsequently updated at 3 p.m. to include photo and video of the hologram in action.