It’s not everyday you see a hologram. First it was a new way to incorporate dead musicians into performances and now it is a way for politicans to be in two places at once. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared as a hologram this week for the annual Techweek Innovation Festival in Auckland, after she was unable to attend in person.
Ardern is believed to be the first political leader to perform an official engagement as a hologram. However, there have been some political leaders that have used holograms in the past. French presidential candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon used holographic technology last year to appear in at least seven different campaign rallies in various cities.
Recep Tayyip, the President of Turkey, also appeared as a hologram back in 2014 to attend a party meeting. Holograms first become headline news back in 2012, during one weekend of the popular music festival Coachella in Indio, California. During a performance by rappers Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre, a hologram of deceased rapper Tupac appeared and performed as well.
The use of holograms in the past has also been highly criticized, as when a projected image of the deceased singer Prince was used during the halftime performance of Justin Timberlake at the Super Bowl in Minneapolis last February.
When Ardern first appeared on stage, she addressed the crowd at the ASB Waterfront Theatre by saying,”I was disappointed I couldn’t make it to Techweek in person, so this morning, I come to you as a hologram instead.” The virtual Ardern also deemed her appearance appropriate due to the fact that the theme of Techweek was “innovation that’s good for the world.”
In addition, Ardern also discussed the country’s nuclear-free policy and action on climate change, as further ways to contributing to the theme. Holograms are also an innovative way to save time and money while working more efficiently.