In 1977, a science fiction adventure called Star Wars was released. The epic was met with unprecedented anticipation and fanfare. The general populace and media alike were fascinated by the concepts depicted in the movie.
One of its most famous scenes involved a princess leading a rebellion who records a distress signal in the form of a holographic message. At the time, it felt like a distant and innovative concept. However, a few decades later, it has become a reality.
Even politicians are relying on holograms to contest elections. With the United States elections of 2020 only eighteen months away, candidates have already incorporated holograms into their campaigns.
One of the highest profile cases of a politician using holographic images to generate buzz is that of President Joko Widodo of Indonesia. Widodo has used a hologram to beam himself to areas and voters in key regions in anticipation of the election.
As Indonesia is the third largest democracy in the world and with elections fast approaching, Widodo and Ma’ruf, his vice presidential candidate, began projecting three dimensional images at campaign rallies. This allowed them to reach their followers in various hard to reach regions of the country and overcome stringent time constraints as well.
As more than 190 million voters were registered to participate in the elections, time was of the essence and through hologram campaigning, Widodo was able to deliver his message to more prospective followers.
The life size hologram was simply moved from one place to another across Indonesia as voting day grew closer. Widodo is not the only high profile example of a politician banking on the power of holographic images to reach his followers. Others include Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
As Widodo shuttled around the archipelago, the 57-year-old tactics seemed to have paid dividends, since the latest polls have shown that Widodo and party held a lead over their rivals.
Modi, the incumbent Prime Minister of the largest democracy in the world, solved the conundrum of how to reach the maximum number of people all the way back in 2014. The BJP leader used holograms to address rallies across India and convey his message to the largest electorate on the planet.
Indian voting can typically last longer than a month which means that campaigning can become frantic at times. However, Modi successfully used the aid of holographic images to address various rallies simultaneously.
Once he emerged victorious in the aftermath of the elections, experts lauded Modi for pioneering the use of holograms in the country and using them to great effect. In a vast country such as India, embracing the technology meant that Modi was able to reach remote villages and garner greater support for his cause.
These two prominent examples show that hologram campaigning is no longer just a concept depicted in science fiction, but has become a reality.