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Tufnell Park inventor Dominic Faraway creates ‘world’s first holographic mannequin’

PUBLISHED: 10:17 15 April 2016 | UPDATED: 13:03 18 April 2016

Islington inventor Dominic Faraway

Islington inventor Dominic Faraway

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A Tufnell Park animator claims to have created the world’s first 3D holographic mannequin.

Dominic’s talking holographic headsDominic’s talking holographic heads

Dominic Faraway, 50, believes his invention could be used everywhere from department stores to museums and is set to showcase it at the VM and Display show at the Business Design Centre this week.

“I came up with an idea where only the head was holographic,” he told the Gazette. “At first I didn’t think it would work but it did.

“The head is a virtual image made using a technique called ‘Pepper’s ghost’, which reflects onto specially coated glass and produces a virtual image.

“It’s impossible to understand how it looks without looking at them, but each holographic head is 3D and moves and speaks like a regular person.”

Dominic’s talking holographic heads Dominic’s talking holographic heads

He added: “I think they can be used for a range of things. In retail you could have a mannequin in a shop talking about the clothes it’s wearing. It would also be good in museums and art galleries to help bring historical figures to life.

“It could even be used at corporate events – I’m sure celebrities like Richard Branson would love it.”

Dominic has lived in Hugo Road for 20 years with his partner and works out of a small studio in his home – though he admits it’s “more of a spare room than a studio”.

He said: “I have an eight-year-old son and work really long hours so it’s nice to work at home because it means I get to spend more time with him.”

Despite being an inventor, Dominic sees himself as an animator first and foremost.

He continued: “I went to art school and worked in advertising as an art director before teaching myself film and animation.

“It’s given me a unique ability to approach a project from the first brief, to developing concepts and storyboards through to production, post-production and delivery.”

According to Dominic, people in trials so far have remarked that they feel real eye contact with the mannequins – almost as if they were standing in front of a human.

But he shrugged off any suggestions his invention heralds a new robot-led dystopia.

“My mannequins are still only static figures,” he said. “They can only move their head.

“I’m thinking of adding robotic limbs and possibly some voice recognition – but that’s also a very long way away.”

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