Coachella music festival may be the premiere place to see great live acts, but there were more than just living legends roaming the Empire Polo Grounds at this year’s event.
Festival-goers were treated to a veritable tech smorgasbord of automatons and holograms, including zippy neon “landsharks” and interactive robots.
Hot Shot the Robot, originally created for Burning Man back in 2004, is actually a veteran Coachella goer, having attended the show every year since 2006.
The life sized, sassy machine, which rock and rolls its way around the festival grounds on three wheels, flashing its neon blue lights, often pauses to chat up attractive women, take photos with fans, and even high fives people who come to talk to it.
Presumably remote controlled and animated from a distance, HTR is capable of having incredibly natural (if rather socially awkward) conversations. He flirts, answers back, and responds happily when fans sidle up to take photos, even widening his eyes in response to light flashes.
The robot can apparently also DJ and MC events, and has been known to make celebrity appearance at other events, including some recent American Idol auditions.
The Tupac performance was not a hologram; it was a flat 2-D display. While the recreation of Tupac required a lot of computational horsepower, the display technology dates back to 1862 (google "Pepper's Ghost"), and you can have seen it in action over the last several decades at Disneyland and Disneyworld.
I honestly think that could be the biggest moneymaker ever. I was so impressed by the Tupac hologram... the whole crowd was. Yes, it sounded like it would just be a cheesy gimmick, but seeing it live....wow... words can't describe. I'd pay to go and see a full hologram concert any day, if it was an artist I loved. Imagine all the royalty money that could be "reincarnated" from the likes of Amy Winehouse... Michael Jackson... Jimi Hendrix... Kurt Cobain... so many dead people to see in concert!!!