Whitney Houston 'hologram' to tour in 2016

3D moving image of the late singer currently in development at US company
Whitney Houston on stage at the 2009 American Music Awards.
Whitney Houston on stage at the 2009 American Music Awards.

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A US entertainment firm is currently developing a 3D moving image of the late singer, Whitney Houston, which it hopes to take 'on tour' next year.

Hologram USA is working with the Houston estate to create its patented "high-tech version" of a 16th century illusion known as 'Pepper's Ghost'.

The traditional illusion is based on the use of foil and glass, to which Hologram USA has added its own blend of computer generated images (CGI), moving parts and audio material.

Developing an image of a deceased person can cost millions of dollars, and involves the co-operation of the person's estate. Among the list of famous faces Hologram USA has already developed are classic entertainers such as Patsy Cline, Frank Sinatra and Liberace.

Speaking to the BBC, head of marketing at Hologram USA, Owen Phillips, said: "For a live hologram, like for a chief executive to beam into a meeting, you just need a camera and a green screen. It's expensive for the presentation process but there's no development expense.

"However," he continues, "if the person is deceased the team needs access to a lot of past material. The participation of the estate is crucial - not only to do with their approval but also to provide access to material that may never have been seen before, perhaps because it may not be presentable from a quality standpoint on its own."

The digital reincarnation of the late singer, who died in February 2012, is reportedly receiving full support from The Houston family.

Pat Houston, Whitney's sister and president of her estate, said: "It's a great opportunity for her fans to see a reinvention of one the most celebrated female artists in history and to continue a legacy of performances that will not be forgotten in years to come. I look forward to the partnership."

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