Wait, that’s actually a thing? Putting Star Wars tech to real-world use

Holograms, virtual reality and robots. These technologies come from a galaxy far, far away, but are no longer the works of fiction. While signature Star Wars elements like intergalactic starships and lightsaber-wielding heroes remain unattainable in our own world, technology in this galaxy has developed nevertheless.

With the latest installment of the series now in theaters, let’s take a look at how some of the technology mythicized in the films is actually available here and now – plus some tips on how it shines through in B2B marketing and public relations. 

“Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope”

Made iconic by Princess Leia’s message to Obi-Wan Kenobi, holograms are an invention for bridging physical gaps for the purposes of communication. Holograms can send messages across the galaxy and allow Jedi council members to remotely join meetings. Think of it as GoToMeeting or WebEx, but instead of remote co-workers’ voices coming through the phone, holograph versions of them are sitting in the chairs next to you.

Unreal, right? Well, not really. Accenture CEO Pierre Nanterme attended a company conference in Chicago via hologram by using an Accenture broadcast studio in Paris. The light-beam transmissions saved Nanterme a seven-hour flight and allowed him to join the conference and contribute ideas. Holograms are still rare in corporate settings due to the cost and bandwidth requirements, but that may change in the near future.

Imagine remote thought leadership presentations or even routine phone interviews gaining the intimacy of face-to-face communication, without the hassle of travel? With seven Accenture broadcast studios around the globe, jumping to another continent via hologram is much easier than booking a flight – even if a jump to light speed is possible.

Move over fantasy droids, real-world robots are taking over

From Luke Skywalker to Poe Dameron, generations of intergalactic heroes depend on droid pals capable of thinking for themselves and handling a variety of sticky situations. Just take R2-D2 and BB-8 – they use a variety of gadgets and gizmos to call for help, pilot ships and even defend themselves!

While today’s mobile robots are not quite so clever, advanced navigation technology, integration and machine learning opens up a variety of possibilities – across a variety of industries and functions. There are plenty of advanced transportation solutions for warehouses and even over-the-road transportation. But think back to our previous hologram example. What if you want to continue your productive hologram meeting outside of the boardroom, or add a tour to that webinar or media interview?

Take the Double 2 Telepresence Robot by Double Robotics. Instead of having to sit down at a computer and have a video chat, the Double 2 fastens an iPad to a mobile robot that the iPad user can then direct with a remote control. The Double 2 is equipped with a 150-degree angle camera that allows users to immerse themselves in the remote world, swiveling and maneuvering down trade show aisles and over extension cords. 

With augmented and virtual reality, the Force is always with you

star wars tech

The Force is something you can’t see, but know is there. Now flip that narrative and think about being able to see and interact with something you know is not there. That’s where augmented reality and virtual reality take center stage.

In honor of the newest movie in the franchise, Google has unveiled Star Wars-themed augmented reality stickers specifically for use on the Google Pixel and Pixel 2. These stickers combine AR with the environment displayed on the phone’s camera to bring the Force into the real world. Now users can battle Stormtroopers and interact with penguin-like porgs in their own homes. 

AR and VR opens up new possibilities across a variety of industries, from enhanced training and screening tools to groundbreaking experiences. While a trade show is limited to the confines of an exhibit hall, VR can provide prospects and editors an immersive experience that takes their understanding of the industry and other technology to a new level.

Embrace the force of change and use your imagination

While a certain space-based cultural phenomenon introduces many seemingly out-of-this-world technical concepts, some contemporary offerings are surprisingly similar. What does this mean for marketers? As technology develops and the diffusion of innovation continues, brands can leverage technology to create more immersive experiences and send clearer messages than ever before. Staying up to speed on the latest developments opens opportunities to both enhance everyday programs and pioneer groundbreaking experiences.