Connecting with your country's electorate can be a challenge when you're eyeing a top seat in government. That difficulty only magnifies when you're running for office in the world's second-most populous country. So to reach as many voters as possible, India prime minister candidate Narendra Modi went the sci-fi route. He turned himself into a hologram.
The unique use of hologram technology has allowed Modi to make "appearances" at hundreds of campaign rallies (often simultaneously) in a way that feels more personal than your typical "via satellite" feed. "A projector is placed high above the stage to stream visuals to the stage floor, which is then reflected on the stage background," reports the Times of India. "This background is made of a special, almost transparent material that provides a 3D illusion."
It's believed to be the first time anyone has employed holograms in the political arena — at least to this extent. Even the tech-savvy President Obama somehow refrained from beaming his likeness across the United States during presidential clashes with John McCain and Mitt Romney. The over-the-top stunt is even more questionable in Modi's case, since one of his campaign's talking points is that India should focus on building toilets before temples. (66 percent of Indian households have a functioning toilet, according to the country's 2011 census.)
By the time Modi wraps up his campaign, he'll have appeared in holographic form over 1,000 times; his next big hologram push is scheduled for May 9th.