Ever since "Star Wars" first beamed a pint-sized Princess Lea onto the screen in three dimensions, holographic communication has been a dream for SciFi geeks everywhere.

In 2007, Al Gore made us realize that such technology was moving into the realm of reality when a life-sized version of the former VP appeared in front of a crowd during Japan's participation in the Live Earth concert series. Prince Charles, also excited about what the technology could do to reduce travel (and subsequently, carbon emissions) did something similar a year later by appearing virtually at the 2008 Abu Dhabi World Future Energy Summit.

Fast forward to present day, where suddenly concerts featuring a "holograph" are selling out in Japan. I remember System of a Down frontman Serj Tankian talking about what holographic touring could do for bands that wanted to reduce their carbon footprint. He was just waiting for the technology to catch up. If what we're seeing in Japan is any indication, that future may arrive sooner than later. From HuffPo:

Holographic idol Hatsune Miku is the creation of the group Crypton Future Media, using software from Vocaloid, and the group has put the avatar on tour with a live band. The sight of thousands of screaming fans waving glow sticks while the holograph "performs" on stage is straight out of a science-fiction novel.
While it's by no means a living person, it's still a shockingly realistic performance — and gives a clear indication that holographic concerts are no longer SciFi only. There may come a day when Lady Gaga is not only performing in Chicago, but also London, Paris and L.A. at the same time. Check out the video below.

Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

Holographic rock tour selling out in Japan
Holographic idol Hatsune Miku is drawing huge crowds. Is this the future of music touring?