Holograms are making the leap from science fiction to reality
On first inspection, Looking Glass Factory’s newest display looks pretty much like any other display. But once the device is powered on, viewers won’t cling to this misconception for long.
By firing 60 angled beams per second from 100 million origins, the display creates massive three-dimensional holograms like those previously only seen in science fiction.
The effect is a product of the way the human eye receives and calculates information, said Shawn Frayne, Founder and CEO of Looking Glass Factory. Tech Radar Pro.
“Everything in the room we are in feels more real than in a photo or video because the light shines in a direction. It’s overflowing,” he said.
“Instead of showing a single point of view like normal 2D, monitorRather than showing two different points of view like VR headset, our technology shines in 100 different perspectives simultaneously, replicating how light rays bounce in the real world. ”
Looking Glass Factory is pretty much the only one in the field of group-viewable holographic displays. Its new 64-inch model is said to be 50 times larger than any other model on the market and 5 times larger than comparable systems tested in a lab environment.
But while the company operates in a niche within a niche, it believes that demonstrating the scalability of its technology can bring about a generational shift in how we consume media. It’s about showing things in ,” Frayne said.
the bigger the better
New 65-inch, 8K holographic display announced in June 2022 is the fourth to be developed by Looking Glass Factory, also coming to market in 16-inch and 32-inch models, as well as a personal picture frame-sized system doing.
Reaching this latest milestone is the result of years of development dating back to Frayne’s childhood. “I fell in love with the hologram dream” when he was eight years old, he said. Back to the Future II When Marty McFly was attacked by a holographic shark.
After working in laser technology for several years in high school, Frayne studied holography and physics at MIT and founded the Looking Glass Factory in 2014.
“In the early 2010s, a lot of energy was going into the transition from 2D to 3D. People were talking 3D printer Oculus had just launched its first developer kit on Kickstarter,” said Frayne.
“There has been a lot of new energy infused into the belief that 3D is the next step in enabling people to connect, create and communicate in more real ways. ”
Each display released by Looking Glass utilizes the same technology, but the company is particularly excited about the opportunity enabled by the first and largest display capable of generating life-size human holograms.
Frayne said the increased quality of spectacle made possible by the 65-inch model came as a shock to the team itself.
“A 4x quantitative size jump led to a 10 to 20x jump in experience,” he said. “I think a big reason is that it now feels more like a window into another world than a device. about it.”
When it comes to the upper bounds of technology, Looking Glass Factory believes there is plenty of room for further expansion. Multiple holographic displays side-by-side are already possible, but larger single units are also within the realm of possibility.
Innovation, but at a price
Ultimately, the goal is to change the way media is consumed in all settings, but it’s still a while before the Looking Glass system becomes a staple in every living room.
Full-size displays are prohibitively expensive for the average consumer (the second largest is over $20,000, and Frayne declined to share the latest pricing information).
One of the largest sections of Looking Glass Factory’s customer base is 3D design Many companies were introduced to their products by their own employees and now use them as part of their creative process and showcase their work.
“Small devices are great for immersing yourself in the holographic world,” explains Frayne. “Many of his 3D creators who develop holograms for fun buy our system at the smallest size, and many of them happen to work for companies that use 3D at their core.”
Over the past year or two, enthusiasts playing with 8-inch looking glass portraits ($400) have been bringing their creations into the office, leading to corporate demand for larger displays, he said. he said.
Another primary way Looking Glass products are deployed is in the context of marketing and events. Big brands have been developing 3D content for years. metaverse It grabbed the attention of the public and is currently looking for better ways to display it.
“Every building ever made, every shoe ever designed, every spacecraft ever modeled is made in 3D. You can visualize it for your customers and team members without having to prepare for it.”
“Our system is the only commercial system on the market that allows multiple people to see something in 3D without wearing headsets. We will look back on this moment as completely insane.”
Frayne hesitated to predict how quickly the Looking Glass Factory could bring holography into the mainstream. “History will tell when and where it goes,” he said.
But the company asserts that when the technology is mature enough, it will pervade every corner of our personal, social and professional lives.
“We see holographic displays and holograms as the next form of media after 2D video, photos and apps,” said Frayne. “This will be a ubiquitous technology, which means they will have a way to experience three-dimensional entertainment holographically and in groups in their homes and offices.”
Unlike many new technologies and platforms, this is not a chicken or egg issue. There is already a lot of 3D media out there waiting to be presented in the form of holograms.
The next few years for Looking Glass Factory will therefore not only involve further investment in R&D, but also getting holograms in front of as many new people as possible. Like the first time someone puts on his VR headset, just experiencing holography up close and first-hand is expected to drive people crazy.