Captain Kirk just beamed himself across continents.
William Shatner, most famous for piloting the fictional USS Enterprise in Star Trek, gave a keynote speech at an advertising conference in Sydney on Thursday as an ultra-realistic hologram. The actor himself was in a studio back in California but could respond in real-time across 7,500 miles as if he were in the room.
“You’re there in Australia and I’m here in Los Angeles,” Shatner told the audience. “But thanks to Proto hologram, we’re together.”
Proto has developed what it calls “the world’s first and only holographic communications platform” and a patented self-contained hologram device that together have made “holoportation” a reality. The seven-foot hologram machine, which is called the Proto M, reportedly displays three-dimensional images that are so lifelike it feels as if there is actually a person (or object) inside. Live subjects can be beamed from any camera or mobile phone to any Proto device anywhere in the world.
The Los Angeles-based tech company, which now has offices on five continents, says it regularly beams executives, artists, athletes, teachers, and doctors all around the globe. Proto has also been used by celebrities, such as Jimmy Kimmel, Chris Pratt, Whitney Cummings, Logan Paul, Manny Pacquiao, and, of course, a certain 92-year-old sci-fi legend.
“William Shatner stamped the idea holoportation on our imaginations with his performances on Star Trek and now he can beam anywhere on Earth, in real life,” David Nussbaum, inventor and CEO of Proto, said in a statement. “With Captain Kirk advising us, there’s nowhere Proto can’t go.”
Shatner has joined Proto as an official advisor, but he’s not the only big name in the mix. The company is backed by Tim Draper (Tesla, SpaceX, and Skype), Mike Walsh (Uber), Sean “Diddy” Combs, Howie Mandel, and Paris Hilton. Protos has an impressive roster of clients, too, including Amazon, Christie’s, IBM, Verizon, and Walmart. It has also done marketing events with the NFL, NBA, NHL, Audi, Kia, Netflix, H&M, and more.
Even you at home can start holoporting. The Proto M is up for grabs for $6,900 a pop.