The Future of Speaking.

Technology is constantly changing, and challenging, the norms of our culture.

In the speaker world, technology is slowly but surely making positive changes. Live-stream options on popular social media channels allow speakers to share their message across a larger demographic. YouTube’s translation capabilities give viewers the option to read translations of keynotes in their native language. Also, new sites and programs allow speakers to move on from the “90s-chic” PowerPoint (with animated WordArt), and create snazzy, modern presentations. Essentially, speakers are able to reach more audiences internationally.

With all these small but mighty innovations, we can’t help but wonder- what’s next?

At the Microsoft Inspire partner conference, Microsoft unveiled a technological invention that will definitely impact the future of speaking. Microsoft transformed Azure CVP, Julia White, into an exact hologram replica using the HoloLens 2. The HoloLens 2 is a mixed reality headset that they collaborated on with Azure. The even cooler part? This replica was able to deliver her keynote in Japanese!

The Verge brings you the story:

“Microsoft has created a hologram that will transform someone into a digital speaker of another language. The software giant unveiled the technology during a keynote at the Microsoft Inspire partner conference this morning in Las Vegas. Microsoft recently scanned Julia White, a company executive for Azure, at a Mixed Reality capture studio to transform her into an exact hologram replica.

Future of Speaking

The digital version appeared onstage to translate the keynote into Japanese. Microsoft has used its Azure AI technologies and neural text-to-speech to make this possible. It works by taking recordings of White’s voice, in order to create a personalized voice signature, to make it sound like she’s speaking Japanese.

Microsoft has shown off holograms of people before, but the translation aspect is a step beyond what has been possible with HoloLens. This looks like it’s just a demonstration for now, and you’d need access to a Mixed Reality capture studio to even start to take advantage of this. Microsoft’s studios are equipped with lighting rigs and high-resolution cameras to capture a fully accurate digital hologram of someone, which isn’t something that can be done easily at home with a smartphone just yet.

Still, Microsoft’s demonstration is certainly impressive and it speaks to the company’s ambitions with Azure, HoloLens, and beyond. The HoloLens 2 might be targeted at businesses for now, but Microsoft is attempting to build software and services that will scale to wherever augmented reality might end up heading.”

Warren, Tom. “Microsoft has a wild hologram that translate HoloLens keynotes into Japanese.” The Verge, July 17, 2019. View the original article here.

TED GRAHAM Head of Open Innovation at General Motors