Liam Payne created quite the buzz for his holographic performance at the BAFTAs last night. This means we’re in the future right? 


Before he took the BAFTA stage, an augmented reality experience was broadcast to fans through a mobile app called The Round where Liam’s movements were transformed into the avatar on people’s phones. Turns out this was the first time ever a real-time AR mobile experience was performed through a mobile app. Later on, his BAFTA opening performance of “Midnight” featured Liam interacting with the same avatar that was sent out through the app on stage. So, he was basically doing a duet...with himself. I know it might be a lot to wrap your head around (it definitely was for me), so here’s the performance so you can see for yourself. 


I feel like this is a huge deal. I always wondered if there would ever be a day where I realized how insanely advanced technology is, and this seems like one of those days. Although I saw a lot of people talking about it on Twitter, most of those people were obvious Liam Payne fans. Why aren’t there more people talking about this? 


Maybe I fall under the fan category because even though I’m not always on top of Liam’s career, I used to be a huge One Direction stan. When I see one of their names, I still get a little excited and want to know what’s going on. But this to me isn’t just another single that dropped, it’s tech history. It’s celebrity-meets-reality in a way we’ve never seen before. Maybe I’m being a little dramatic, but I think anyone who does a performance with themself should be getting some more recognition. 

One reason this may be the case is because the coolness didn’t translate well on television. Since there was this extra piece about him recording his avatar live through an app before the performance was left as an exclusive for fans, some people watching might have not gotten that part. So when an average audience member is watching the opening performance of the BAFTAs, they may not understand the impressiveness of the technology that went into making this happen. Another huge obstacle was probably the fact that the app couldn’t be downloaded outside of the U.K.. I could also see how watching Liam interact with an avatar of himself could come off as a little random. His vocals were great and it was super cool to watch, but since it’s just a performance on TV, I guess we’ve gotten used to seeing special effects making the impossible a reality. 


Liam is now history, and his history went well. So as we continue with the virtual award shows, how many more holograms will we be seeing? And will they hologram at the Oscars?