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This article was published on April 30, 2020

This surreal AR hologram of Israel’s president is a meme in the making

It also proves the Earth has two suns

This surreal AR hologram of Israel’s president is a meme in the making

We live in strange times.

To celebrate the country’s Independence Day, each year the President of Israel opens his home to people of all walks of life and personally meets them for a brief selfie sesh, accompanied by an uplifting speech. But due to the coronavirus lockdown, the President has decided to address the nation in a responsible manner… by turning himself into an AR hologram.

According to a press release, President Reuven Rivlin is set to “visit” each and every home in Israel in his virtual form, as he believes that “now, more than ever, personal contact with Israel’s citizens is of paramount importance.”

Here’s a quick demo of a a personal visit by President Rivlin:

Pretty surreal, right?

To make all this possible, the President’s office used a technology better known as volumetric telepresence which relies on special cameras to bring a true-to-life hologram in every setting. To “transport” the President into your humble abode, you can simply scan a QR code.

Is it perfect? Well, I’m not a physicist but unless there are two suns, the shadows in the demo above are somewhat off. I, too, invited the President to my home, and was amused to find out he seems pretty short.

“I remember the first Yom Ha’atzmaut, our first Independence Day, when the Israeli flag first flew at the top of the flagpoles,” Rivlin says in the AR speech. “We felt we were witnessing a miracle. And here we are today, 72 years on, and I am together with you.”

“You know what? Let’s do a selfie,” he continues. “But I didn’t bring my camera… Come on, let’s take a picture together and don’t forget to smile!”

If you want to invite the President to your home, use your phone to scan the QR code here, and open the link.

The President’s office expects the experience to generate millions of views and hundreds of thousands of selfies with the hologram, according to a press release. I, for one, am more excited for the swathe of memes this project will inevitably produce.

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