The Future of Office Meetings: Beam Them Up, Scotty?

Three Dimensional Hologram Image Of Businesswoman

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Holograms may be coming to workplaces as Zoom fatigue sets in, enabling remote workers to "beam into" the office. Several companies say the technology could become commonplace in conference rooms worldwide.

The Wall Street Journal reports a number of tech companies unveiling such technology. For example, Google recently unveiled Project Starline, a video chat feature that enables participants to appear three dimensional. WeWork announced a partnership with hologram technology company ARHT Media Inc. to bring holograms to 100 WeWork buildings in 16 locations globally. Microsoft announced Microsoft Mesh, which brings 3D images to many devices.

“There’s Zoom fatigue. There’s a lot of friction to being on video all day—it is exhausting,” Brianne Kimmel, founder and managing partner of WorkLife Ventures, which specializes in workplace technologies, told the Journal. Holograms will foster “a new style of communication, where you’ll have better, more frequent interactions.”

Holograms help people read body language and bring a more personal touch to remote interactions, say proponents of hologram technology. It could also keep coworkers more connected in an office with a hybrid approach to reopening. But the costs of such technology may be a barrier to initial adoption by firms. Some companies say holograms may best be used for recorded events, trainings, or seminars. Live hologram meetings may be too complex and time-consuming, Kanishka Chauhan, principal research analyst at research firm Gartner Inc., told the Journal.