The last time there was an election, CNN made cable news history by summoning animated images of Jessica Yellin and Will.I.Am to make competing pleas for Obi-Wan Kenobi to save them with lightsabers. These weren't holograms, per se, but CNN called them "holograms" anyway, even though it was really just Wolf Blitzer talking to a blank space in the room. I think we can all agree that this completely changed the way we watch election returns on cathode ray tubes, forever.
So, what's CNN got planned for the upcoming election? Well, once again, they will dazzle us with crazy technology until we bleed from the brain:
The network will create a live and interactive environment, called the "CNN Election Matrix," to break down data in a visual way. With this tool, King visually will whip through a comprehensive amount of information to better explain to viewers the most competitive House and Senate races. In an election filled with partisanship and strong anti-incumbent feelings, viewers will see the race through the lens of incumbencies: which incumbents have fallen, when they were elected, the nationwide impact and more. Additionally, the "CNN Election Matrix" will create a virtual representation of which party is gaining ground and potential shifts in the balance of power.
"We are taking capabilities of the Data Wall and quadrupling it in order to report the story in the clearest way we can," said David Bohrman, senior vice president and Washington bureau chief. "Viewers are ready for a rich meal of election items and with CNN's technology on air and online, paired with the Best Political Team, we will serve an unparalleled election night experience."
So, if you take the "Data Wall" and multiply it by four, you get some sort of data enclosure named the "CNN Election Matrix," that will give a "virtual representation" of numbers. Also, CNN will be using something called "Crimson Hexagon technology," which is critical, because the hexagon is the most sci-fi of all the polygons.
The only question is, who will be holding the dimethyltryptamine needed to fully experience all of this? As it turns out, it could be any one of thousands of people that are going to be invited into the Matrix the jabber about the "virtual representation" they are witnessing.
CNN will showcase the Best Political Team, including the diverse views of its political contributors, to report and analyze the political event. New hosts Kathleen Parker and Eliot Spitzer will add their insight to the coverage. Senior political analysts Gloria Borger and David Gergen will join CNN correspondents in discussing the returns, including national political correspondent Jessica Yellin, who has spent months on the campaign trail, and senior congressional correspondent Dana Bash, who has delved into campaign finances and advertising. Congressional correspondent Brianna Keilar; senior White House correspondent Ed Henry and White House correspondents Dan Lothian and Suzanne Malveaux also will add their insight. Political contributors span the ideological spectrum: John Avlon, Paul Begala, Bill Bennett, Donna Brazile, James Carville, Alex Castellanos, Erick Erickson, Roland Martin, Mary Matalin, Ed Rollins and Hilary Rosen.
All of those people will be heavily armed with iPads and LiteBrites and TriCorders, I'm sure. And good news, everyone: those "holograms" will be returning:
Building on hologram technology unveiled during 2008's Election Night in America, the network will create an entirely new way to display exit polling data using three-dimensional graphics.
Wait, so we're going to need those Avatar-glasses and special teevees to comprehend exit-polling numbers? This is why scientists are saying the future is going to be far more futuristic than they originally predicted:
Election 2010: Technology Front and Center for CNN's Midterm Election Coverage [TV Newser]