The Bhutto Assassination -- Are There New Ways to Protect Public Figures?

Posted by: Reena Jana on December 28, 2007

Recent events in Pakistan bring to mind how we can possibly use innovative new technologies to better protect public figures at risk of assassination, kidnapping, or other dangerous threats.

I’m not talking 1980s style “Pope Mobiles.” But instead, why not use, say, holographic images such as those used by Richard Branson, Madonna, and other famous figures to “appear” in lifelike, 3-D form at events such as conferences and award ceremonies within the last few years?

Of course, nothing takes the place of seeing a powerful and inspiring political figure — or CEO, or entertainer — in person. But if that person is aware of serious assassination attempts, perhaps the use of holographic systems could be deployed as part of a larger security or campaign strategy that would still allow for public appearances and spectacle.

I’m not saying that the holographic system would replace in-person speeches, but perhaps supplement them. By not announcing in advance where the public figure would appear in the flesh or in holographic form, assassination plots could possibly be thwarted.

While this might seem like a farfetched, even sci-fi idea, the technology obviously already exists…and is not outrageously costly.

(Here, see video of Branson’s use of a holographic-effects system at a conference:)



What comes next? The Bloomberg Businessweek Innovation and Design blog chronicles new tools for creativity and collaboration, innovation case studies in both the corporate and social sectors, and the new ideas that have the power to change the way things have always been done.

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