Birthdays can be a bittersweet time for anyone who’s lost a loved one. But when you’re as rich as Kanye West and Kim Kardashian are, there are things that you can do that us mere mortals can’t, like creating a hologram replica of your dead dad, for instance.
On Friday morning (Australian time), Kim Kardashian West posted on social media about a surprise hologram gift that her husband, Kanye West, had bought her.
“For my birthday, Kanye got me the most thoughtful gift of a lifetime. A special surprise from heaven. A hologram of my dad. ✨ It is so lifelike! We watched it over and over, filled with emotion,” she tweeted.
For my birthday, Kanye got me the most thoughtful gift of a lifetime. A special surprise from heaven. A hologram of my dad. ✨???? It is so lifelike! We watched it over and over, filled with emotion. pic.twitter.com/jD6pHo17KC— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) October 29, 2020
Attached to the post was a two-minute video of a hologram ostensibly of her late father, Robert Kardashian, who died in 2003.
In the video, ‘Robert’ addresses Kim directly, congratulating her for her birthday, telling her he’s proud of her, even dancing to a song that he used to play in the car on the way to school.
Oh, and he even tells her she married the “most, most genius man in the world” (it’s safe to assume that Kanye had a bit to do with the scripting).
And we say ostensibly because the hologram’s looks, movements and speech exist in the uncanny valley of being good enough to seem real, but not so good that it doesn’t make you feel extremely uncomfortable about watching this simulation.
Of course, holograms aren’t new: they’re actually a remarkably old ‘futuristic’ technology. It was almost a decade ago that ‘Tupac’ performed at Coachella via hologram.
But the idea of personalised, hologram of your dead father being conjured up to celebrate your 40th birthday (while also putting in a good word for your husband)? That is a relatively new development.
But be careful what you wish for: perhaps soon enough, we’ll all be celebrating our live events with holograms with all our extended families which would be a bit of a buzzkill.