When 35-year-old Akihiko Kondo married a desktop hologram recently, the event made headlines around the world. Even his mother disapproved. The bride, the perpetually 16-year-old Hatsune Miku, sings, dances and turns on the lights when he comes home. A souped-up Japanese version of Alexa or Amazon's Echo, she is not simply a quirky news item but a symbol of fast-changing technology and how it is changing our lives.
The idea of holograms can be traced back to the writer Jules Verne in 1893. It is now present in the tiny security devices found in credit cards. And that is not all. Star Wars fans will recall the series' opening act some 40 years ago in which Princess Leia appeared as a hologram. In real life, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi has used holographic technology to appear at multiple rallies at the same time. There are plans for holographic lectures by at least one British university, and holographic phone calls. Vodaphone, in a recent test of 5G services, had Manchester City football club's captain Steph Houghton give football tips to a young girl using holographic imaging.