First subject was Maharashtra CM Fadnavis, who made "virtual" 3-D pitch to thousands in run up to municipal elections
In the statewide municipal elections in Maharashtra, just concluded, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, 'entered' the homes of thousands of voters and made an appeal right in their front rooms. What's more, he cheerfully appeared with his hosts in 'selfes' -- all without ever leaving his headquarters in Mumbai.
The CM's virtual pitch to constituents, in colour and 3-D, was made possible by an app created by Hyderabad-based startup Avantari, which skilfully morphed Augmented Reality (AR) and holographic techniques, to create what it called Augmented Integrated Reality or AIR.
Says Avantari CEO Bhairav Shankar. 'We are very excited about this app because our aim is to have Augmented Reality appear in every household and this is a perfect launchpad for that. It is also the first time that AR is being used in such a large-scale way to communicate a personal message to an audience. It was a great privilege to work with CM Devendra Fadnavis."
Here is how it works: Download the Invite CM app on phone, from the Google Play store Print out a marker (which is available online here). Place place it on the floor. Focus the phone camera on the marker. The app will recognise this marker and a 3D hologram of Fadnavis will appear on it. Hear CM Fadnavis deliver a five-minute-long address. One can choose between English, Hindi and Marathi. You can also insert yourself into the hologram with the CM and snap a selfie. If that sounds complicated, there is an explanatory video on You Tube. You can find it here.
The technique has huge possibilities and for Avantari, the Fadnavis hologram is just a pointer to things to come.
By the way, Bhairav Shankar is the son of film maker Mani Shankar maker of " Tango Charlie" fame.