Sounds like Star Wars, but it’s already reality: With hologram communication, virtual avatars sit at the digital conference table in the office or in the living room at home. On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the O2 network, Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder made a hologram phone call.
Next generation telephony expected in 2026
The technical requirements for virtual avatars to make phone calls have already been created. The basis for hologram telephony is the powerful 5G network with high data transfer rates. The short response times ensure that the data is transmitted in real time. The new technology should be available from 2026.
“The development of mobile communications has changed people’s communication behavior and is taking our society further and further forward: 2G made voice telephony possible while on the move. With 4G, video telephony found its way into everyday life. With 5G, we are taking the next step and ensuring that families and meet friends from afar as a lifelike image and business partners come together at the conference table,” says Markus Haas, CEO of O2 Telefonica.
How communication via hologram works
Two devices are required for hologram communication: VR glasses or a tablet and a smartphone. The smartphone’s selfie camera records the physical data of one of the participants in the conversation. These are transmitted via the 5G network to the VR glasses of the other participant, who sees the other person as a 3D image. So far, only the conversation partner wearing VR glasses can see the other person as a digital avatar.
O2/ Telefonica, as well as Vodafone and Deutsche Telekom, are currently developing the application further and are working on interfaces to other mobile networks. It is currently impossible to predict how well the transmission will work in everyday life.