PORTL’s CEO demonstrates its holoportal systems. (Image Credit: PORTL Inc.)
ARHT Media and PORTL Inc. started shipping out each of their portable plug-and-play, cabinet-based holoportal systems. These systems allow a user in the studio to appear in a fill-size, lifelike 3D form, where they can interact with anyone in the world. These booths connect to the companies’ networks through the internet. However, it has a pretty hefty price tag, with PORTL’s system starting at $60,000. Users can opt to rent instead at a much lower price. Meanwhile, ARHT is listing subscription prices, starting at $15,000 and rising to $40,000 per year.
Measuring 2.1 m tall x 1.5 m wide x 0.6 m deep and weighing approximately 180 kg, the PORL Epic cabinet requires an internet connection and wall outlet to operate. Users must sign in to PORTL’s cloud-based network, which uses Amazon Web Services. However, the latency is currently one second, with plans to lower it down to below 100 milliseconds.
Both sides of the booth’s bezels feature a two-way audio speaker-mic system. Meanwhile, two cameras are embedded at the top. Intel’s RealSense camera captures a user in the cabinet, allowing the presenter in the studio to see them. The other camera, Logitech’s Brio 4K camera, provides a detailed view of the surroundings.
The presenter only needs a simple studio (available as a kit from PORTL). It contains a tripod-mounted softbox (LED illumination), return-feed monitor that shows the user interacting with the presenter, 4K camera on a tripod, and a lavalier or boom microphone. You can also use Wi-Fi, Ethernet, or 5G to gain access. In addition, the setup requires a stage, which beams the presenter. It produces a white backdrop by comprising cyclorama seamless white paper. An acrylic board sets over the paper, where the presenter stands and moves around.
The cabinet works by capturing and displaying the walls’ shadows and the floors’ reflections. It also features an open-cell touch LCD panel, positioned 12 cm away from the bezel to provide a window effect. Meanwhile, the booth’s interior depth measures 43 cm. Both shadow reflection and panel provide the volumetric depth appearance.
PORTL is an excellent device for presenting virtual fashion shows, museum exhibitions, art, and product advertising. Even more, instructors can use it as a way to teach students. Not only that, but engineers can also showcase prototypes by beaming themselves to colleagues who have access to these cabinets.
AHRT’s HoloPod cabinet also comes with cameras and a two-way communication system. A video feed projects onto a woven material covered with reflective paint. Then, the image is shown to the audience. Adjusting the lightning on the speaker’s sides allows the viewer’s eyes to combine the data, which creates the volumetric effect.
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