This is so amazing. While this is the quarterly reporting season and thus there are many stories here on the Communities Dominate blog about smartphones, there is life in the world beyond smartphones too. And this is a truly amazing story. Plus its about a rapper and me being one of the world's oldest white dude European fans of rap music haha - of course I have to celebrate the return of Tupac.
Tupac Shakur was a chart-topping rapper who was killed very early in his career. There are some recordings of his performances and some music videos etc. But now, a company called AV Concepts has worked with the record label and helped create a virtual avatar version of Tupac. So this is not using his films and videos to create something out of past recordings like they did for example with Michael Jackson's death. No, this is an actual human-sized and very realistic robotic avatar, created with programming not just to look like Tupac but to move like him with his mannerisms etc, and of course to sound like him. And that virtual Tupac just made his stage debut in California with Dr Dre and Snoop Doggy Dog.
Now, this is not a real holograph like say the Princess Leia character in Star Wars. This is using a magician's stage trick with a projection on a glass pane, but to the audience he looks perfectly real and the two other rappers were able to choreograph their moves and rhymes to work with Virtual Tupac. It is the modern digital virtual electronic version of a animatronic puppet like you might see in Disneyland but this is far more realistic, and it being only software, they can easily make this new Virtual Tupac to change his dance moves, sing different lyrics, say hello to the audience etc. It is VERY cool technology. Take a look at the AV Concepts site for a video. And here is MTV news covering the story.