Lady Gaga, the Grammys, and the Internet of Augmented Things

Lady Gaga, the Grammys, and the Internet of Augmented Things

Today's award show magic is tomorrow's PowerPoint

Want to see the future of interoffice communications? Lady Gaga might be a surprising muse, but her tribute to David Bowie last night at the Grammys showcased the increasing sophistication of augmented reality — technology that might soon find its way into an office near you.

Gaga began working on the performance with Intel last September, but after rock icon David Bowie's death in January, the artist decided to make her performance a tribute to Bowie and his many faces.

To literally pull that off, Intel worked with Gaga to 3D capture her face and performance, and then projected "digital skin," including iconic lighting bolt make-up, right on Gaga's face.

They also added a very large spider:

 

There were a lot of technical tricks that went into the performance, from the real-time modeling of Gaga's face to properly map the projection to the Intel Curie ring used to control holographic backup dancers:

Vanity Fair has a good breakdown of how Intel pulled it all off, including how the tech team integrated a writhing robot piano into the performance.

But while the performance was largely about visual flare, the key concept of projecting fantasy on top of reality, in real time, is driving a lot of the most interesting work in digital communications, including Microsoft's own HoloLens efforts.

In fact, just a few days ago, JPL opened up a little bit about how they were using the HoloLens to build virtual prototypes for engineers to kick around and play test, without having to physically fabricate a thing:

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