I know it’s technological razzle-dazzle and some purists will argue that the money could somehow be better spent on nuts-and-bolts, boots-on-the-ground journalism, but at 7:15 p.m., CNN beamed a hologram of correspondent Jessica Yellin from Grant Park in Chicago to its election headquarters in New York, and it was stunning.
Bathed in a pool of light and glimmering around the edges, Yellin suddenly appeared in the center of the CNN newsroom to chat with anchor Wolf Blitzer about the huge crowd massing in and around Grant Park in Chicago in hopes of a victory by Barack Obama.
After detailing events in Chicago, Yellin explained the technology that made her hologram possible.
She was standing, she said, in a tent in Chicago surrounded by a ring of 35 high-definition cameras that were in sync via computer with cameras in New York. The 35 Chicago cameras created her image and then sent it to the cameras in New York, so that she appeared in real time as a hologram.
“It’s like I follow in the tradition of Princess Leia,” Yellin said jokingly.
The most impressive use of software and hardware for me continued to be the goodies from Perceptive Pixel. They introduced a portrait version of the Magic Wall to reference exit poll demographics throughout the evening.
Soledad O’Brien had no problem with it. Remember when she co-hosted with Leo LaPorte on Tech TV? Bill Schneider, being a creaky old fart like me, had trouble a couple of times reaching the top of the touchscreen.
CNN looked like a division of Apple, last night.