HONOLULU — A University of Hawaii lecture has been simultaneously broadcast in a classroom in American Samoa using a hologram, a report said.
University of Hawaii-Manoa faculty member Chris Shuler appeared as a hologram at American Samoa Community College last week, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Sunday.
The researcher was lecturing about his study of water contamination in American Samoa in the first use of what the community college in Pago Pago calls a “HoloCampus”.
University of Hawaii system President David Lassner also appeared as a life-size holographic form while speaking from a studio on the Hawaii campus.
“The work we’ve been doing since January has all come to fruition today,” Lassner said.
The two island institutions hope to expand the program, the first of its kind in the Pacific region. The schools plan to develop HoloCampus course programs that will allow students in American Samoa to earn credits and grades toward University of Hawaii degrees.
The project was made possible after Hawaiki Submarine Cable LP of New Zealand deployed a 9,320-mile (14,998-kilometer) undersea cable last year. The 67-terabit, fiber optic cable connects New Zealand, Australia, American Samoa, Hawaii, and Oregon, and is designed to connect Tonga, Fiji, New Caledonia, and Vanuatu.
“This is super cool. But now comes the hard part: How to operationalize it in the classroom,” said Garret Yoshimi, the University of Hawaii system’s vice president for information technology.
“It’s our opportunity now to look at partnerships on both sides (of the Pacific) to make it happen,” Yoshimi said. “Now we’ve got to figure out what else we can do now that it’s here.”