Microsoft took the name of their Cortana digital assistant from the hologram AI by the same name from the Halo series of video games. So… it was only a matter of time before the favour was returned and someone tried to turn Cortana the assistant into Cortana the hologram.
An event which, if you click on the video below, has now taken place. A chap by the name of Jarem Archer has done a lot of work to bring a hologram of Cortana to life, though he hasn’t manage to recreate a life-sized version of her. That would require Microsoft-money.
Instead, Archer enlisted his wife, who modelled the movements for the AI, and two Kinect cameras for motion capture and animated the blue AI in Unity 3D. The animation is combined with a clear pyramid and several cameras, which are used to construct a Pepper’s Ghost illusion that looks impressively convincing, especially given that he has also added facial tracking into the mix via a front-facing camera. The responses to questions are from Microsoft’s actual Cortana assistant and these are picked up by an integrated microphone. The whole system is powered by Windows 10, of course.
If Microsoft wasn’t working on something like this already, they almost certainly are now. Not to take anything away from Archer’s achievements here but hopefully theirs is a lot larger than something that can fit on a desk.