February 29, 2024

In what seems like a scenario from a sci-fi movie, a UK university will soon be projecting guest lessons from professors halfway across the globe.

Loughborough University in Leicestershire, England has begun beaming in lecturers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) using holographic technology, the Guardian reports. The lecturers, specializing in sports science, will teach fashion students how to create “immersive shows,” according to the publisher. In addition, management students will also be taught.

Loughborough University’s pro-vice-chancellor Professor Rachel Thomson told the Guardian that the strategy could help the university with its sustainability goals, particularly when it comes to flying in guest lecturers from around the world. The university’s director of undergraduate studies, Professor Vikki Locke, added that the holographic images are “a lot more engaging and real” to students.

The technology will be officially indoctrinated into the university’s curriculum in 2025, after a trial year. The holographic figures will be projected into classrooms with the help of Proto, an LA-based company offering holographic communications.

David Nussbaum, Proto’s founder, said in an interview with The Guardian, “It’s awe-inspiring, it’s jaw-dropping, I’ve been in shock at how amazing the interactions are. AI is part of our life, whether people like it or not.”

Holograms might soon make a splash in the world of academia, but the technology has long been used for entertainment purposes. Posthumous performances have taken place, from Tupac Shakur headlining at Coachella in 2012, to other artists and groups like ABBA, Whitney Houston, and Amy Winehouse. Holographic meetings are also on the horizon, but as Mashable reported – the tech might not be just there yet.