IN a bid to replicate the success of using hologram technology during the then Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s rallies in 2014, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will now introduce a three-dimensional hologram of Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis through a mobile app. To reach wider audiences ahead of elections to ten municipal corporations across the state, including Mumbai, the app that will be launched later this week will allow users to ‘invite’ the 3D image of the CM, which will then proceed to deliver a five-minute video message. Conceptualised by Hyderabad-based filmmaker Mani Shankar, who first introduced the idea of 3D holograms in Modi’s campaign for the Gujarat assembly elections in 2012, the application built at an approximate cost of Rs 35 lakh uses ‘augmented integrated reality’. A user will have to download the ‘Invite CM’ app, which comes with an instructional video.
Later this year, the party will launch another version of the 3D hologram, called ‘augmented immersive reality’, which will have interactive features too.
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According to Shankar, the special aspect of the mobile application is that once downloaded it does not require Internet connectivity to function. “The 3D hologram has been created in a stunningly realistic way and people will not be able to tell the difference. The application needs a marker which helps to understand the spatial layout of the room and embed the image in a three dimensional space. We have designed the marker to resemble a rangoli to suit the Indian sensibility and it can be printed in black and white,” he told the The Indian Express.
Users need to print out the marker, place it in their home and then view the 3D hologram through the mobile’s camera. “The 3D hologram of Fadnavis ji will be life size. He will give out a five-minute long message. This first-of-its-kind image is changing the face of election campaigns. The application will facilitate the idea of inviting the chief minister into everyone’s homes and they will be able to take pictures with him as well,” Shankar said.
He added that the application would function on any mobile phone. “We needed to make an application which would work both on low cost and high-end phones. The app can be downloaded on 2G or 3G speeds. As long as the phone has a functioning camera, the 3D hologram will appear on the phone,” said Shankar.
In 2012, the filmmaker made an entry into the Guinness Book of World Records for the most number of simultaneous broadcasts of Modi’s 55-minute long electoral speech at 53 locations in 26 cities of Gujarat.
BJP spokesperson Shweta Shalini said the idea was to ensure that the CM could reach each and every household. “We wanted to give a personalised experience of sharing a moment with the CM and people can summon him in three languages — Marathi, English and Hindi. We will launch this application in the election campaign for all 10 corporations and the messages will be customised as per the issues of the individual corporation,” she said.
After launch, Shalini added, the design of the marker would be advertised in all newspapers and the party workers would visit households of people living in slums and chawls with the printouts of the markers to help people use the application.