by Jincy IypeFeb 25, 2021
From the pantheon of Star Wars films to the towering holograms scaling hundreds of floors in the science fiction classic Blade Runner , holographic technology has been a staple of sci-fi and fantastical representations everywhere. However, in the 21st century, Holograms are still bordering on the precipice between fantasy and reality. We have all seen a rudimentary version of these come to life through layers and layers of vinyl stickers superimposed over each other, but the technical prowess of this century finally seems to have paved the way for a practical, digital, multi-medium solution to create holograms within a medium: the Looking Glass Portrait. Thanks to Looking Glass Factory, holograms can now be part of commonplace home accessories. The Looking Glass Portrait allows you to showcase your photographs in 3D, letting you view them from different angles without the need for special 3D glasses or equipment.
The Looking Glass Portrait has a 7.9 inch display, similar to a desk photo frame, with the ability to add photos from your phone using its portrait mode to create 3D images using that depth of field, or by using multiple camera pictures stitched together and even actual 3D models. Adding depth and dynamism to still pictures, the product design is powered by re-designed proprietary optics and dramatically improved ambient anti-reflective properties, which makes the images ‘float’ out of the device, creating an illusion of dynamism and motion. An additional edge: a 3.5mm audio jack to enable speaker or peripheral device connectivity for videographic presentation, allowing your holograph to ‘talk’.
Without putting on 3D glasses, eye-tracking, or headsets, the Looking Glass Portrait can be viewed at once by multiple people, each seeing a unique stereoscopic view of the holograms generated. It achieves so by generating upto hundred perspectives of a 3D image and simultaneously projecting those perspectives on its display, resulting in holograms with additional depth and layers, share the makers.
The Looking Glass Portrait comes with all the hardware and software chops required to bring out the best holographic experience. The device works even in the tethered mode with PCs and Macs, surpassing the need for sophisticated hardware to even view simple holographic media. Thanks to its built-in computer and a proprietary holographic software stack that can run high-fidelity recorded holographic media at 60fps, it is the first system with a Standalone Mode: plug in the Looking Glass Portrait into power via the included USB-C cable and you are good to go.
Owing to the new HoloPlay software and new capture capabilities in phones like iPhone X, 11 and 12, one can upload, edit and load about 1,000 pieces of holographic media, turning pictures of your dearest memories into holographic photographs. The experience gets even the more excitable with the option available to create holographic video messages on an infinite loop.
With its headquarters in Greenpoint, Brooklyn and additional operations in Hong Kong, Looking Glass Factory reveals that with the capabilities of Azure Kinect, IntelⓇ RealSense™ and iPhone cameras with Portrait mode, users can capture holographic video and share it with other Looking Glass Portrait users.
Advanced users and someone interested in pushing the device to its limits can create a range of interactive applications, animated 3D characters and 3D art using multiple supported integrations and development software such as UnrealⓇ engine, UnityⓇ, AutodeskⓇ MayaⓇ, and Blender. Coming in at 1.3 lb (660g), this portrait-oriented system is not only an advanced holographic display, it is also promises to be one of the most affordable and user-friendly technologies in its category for anyone who wants to view, create, and experience true-to-life, 3D holographic images, video and applications right on their desk.
“Ever since I was a little kid, I dreamed of the moment that I’d be able to have a holographic display of my own,” says Shawn Frayne, CEO of Looking Glass Factory. “I imagined what it would be like to send someone a holographic birthday message, or to say hello as a hologram to my great-great-great granddaughter. Looking Glass Portrait, the culmination of six years of work by our Brooklyn and Hong Kong based team, makes those dreams real for more people than ever before.”
(Text by Sharmin Oanali, intern at STIRworld.com)