On CNN, Wolf Blitzer is talking to Jessica Yellin, the correspondent covering the Obama rally in Grant Park in Chicago. Jessica appeared as a hologram in front of him on the CNN Election Center set. My wife immediately said she looks like Princess Leia being projected by R2D2.

Yellin just made the Leia reference herself, and explained the technology — she’s in a high-tech tent in Chicago, surrounded by 35 high-def cameras shooting her at different angles to transmit a whole-body image back to New York, and they move in sync with the cameras in Wolf’s studio.

Wolf introduced this segment by saying, “We’re going to do something you’ve never seen on television.” Unless you’ve ever seen a “Star Trek” episode, of course.

Unfortunately, Yellin’s image looks ghostly and shaky like a bad green-screen special effect. A simple live shot would have been better.

Update 6:36pm: NBC’s high-tech counter is Ann Curry in their virtual reality studio, with a giant cylinder rising out of the floor to show off exit poll info. I think it was Lynn Sherr who worked with this kind of graphic first, back in 2000. Unlike Yellin on CNN, Curry has no electronic halo around her.

Update 6:41pm: There’s a lot of extraneous noise around Diane Sawyer, Charlie Gibson, and George Stephanopolous on ABC — a very bad job of sound design. Perhaps they wanted it to seem like a busy working newsroom, with ringing phones, keyboard typing, and people talking, but it comes off as clutter.