Kim Kardashian’s father resurrected as hologram in birthday present from Kanye West

[It’s still limited to the wealthy and famous, but as technology improves and becomes less expensive, will the “presence after death” technology described in this story from The Guardian become common in the future? The story includes the two versions of the video Kardashian West tweeted, the first with the text, “For my birthday, Kanye got me the most thoughtful gift of a lifetime. A special surprise from heaven. A hologram of my dad. It is so lifelike! We watched it over and over, filled with emotion.” The second tweet reads

“I can’t even describe what this meant to me and my sisters, my brother, my mom and closest friends to experience together. Thank you so much Kanye for this memory that will last a lifetime. Here’s a more close up view to see the incredible detail.”

TMZ adds these details:

“A lot of work went into the hologram … our sources say Kanye spent a lot of time in the studio pouring over old video and audio of Robert to bring the vision to life, and AI was used to finish off the project, which Kanye started in early September.”

–Matthew]

Kim Kardashian’s father resurrected as hologram in birthday present from Kanye West

Dead celebrities appearing via hologram is not unprecedented, but the high cost optical illusions are typically the purview of concerts and museums

By Alyx Gorman
29 October 2020

Six years on from her Paper magazine cover shoot, Kim Kardashian West’s ability to break the internet remains unrivalled. Just one day after a string of 40th birthday tweets led the reality star to instant meme-ification, she has wrestled back her narrative by sharing another birthday-related message.

One from beyond the grave.

As a birthday gift, her husband, musician Kanye West, arranged for “a special surprise from heaven” – a birthday message from her late father Robert Kardashian, who rose to fame as one of OJ Simpson’s defence attorneys delivered in holograph form.

“I am a proud Armenian father” the holograph says in the message, referencing Kardashian West’s heritage and her ongoing efforts to draw attention to the struggles of Armenian people.

The hologram also expresses pride in Kardashian West’s decision to become a lawyer “and carry on my legacy”. In a humble nod to West, the hologram refers to her husband as the “most, most, most, most, most genius man in the whole world” and early in the video dances to the Barry Mann song Who Put the Bomp.

Robert Kardashian is not the only departed celebrity to be resurrected in holograph form. Tupac Shakur, Amy Winehouse and Ronald Reagan have all received similar treatments – albeit for live performances and museum exhibitions rather than as birthday gifts.

These projections are not technically holograms but instead rely on an optical illusion, first discovered in the 19th century called Pepper’s Ghost to create the appearance of a three-dimensional image. True hologram technology is still far from any commercial application.

A production company named Kaleida has claimed responsibility for the “holographic resurrection” of Kardashian. According to their website, the project was displayed in Tahiti, confirming the “secret” location of Kardashian-West’s 40th birthday party.

The company specialises in a very thin gauze called Holonet, which is likely how the effect was achieved.

In 2012 MTV reported that the development of the Tupac hologram cost between $100,000 and $400,000. However, as Deepfake technology improves, manipulating the visage and voice of dead people is likely to have become significantly cheaper.

Although they do not advertise their rates online, there is another existing service, Artistry In Motion, that creates “holograms” of dead people for “high-wealth clientele”.

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