July 14, 2021 report
Looking Glass develops second-generation holographic displays
Holographic display maker Looking Glass has announced that it has developed two versions of its second-generation holographic display. On its website, the team at Looking Glass provide a video showing off features that buyers can expect from the two new products, the 4K Gen2 and the 8K Gen2, both powered by what the company calls its advanced light-field technology.
Looking Glass displays are of a window design, and the name comes from another name for a mirror, made famous by Lewis Carroll's "Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There." In practice, they resemble the shoebox dioramas created by grade school students, though in this case, the images in the box are computer generated.
The new products come as updates to the company's first-generation holographic display, Looking Glass Portrait. Those were sold via a Kickstarter project for as little as $249. The second-generation devices come at a much steeper price— $3,000 for the 4K version and $17,500 for the 8K version.
The second-generation models are not a technology upgrade; they are a size and quality upgrade. While the Portrait has a 7.9-inch display, the 4K version is 15.6 inches and the 8K version is 32. The two new versions are also lighter and thinner and incorporate methods to reduce ambient reflections. All three of the company's devices can be used to convert and display photographs taken with a smartphone (using a Looking Glass app) into 3D pictures or videos that show the picture as if from a moving camera. The device can also be used to create and display 3D objects—the introductory video shows them being used to design and show off a new shoe. The displays can also be used to create and display 3D characters in an animation. All three devices use the Looking Glass software called HoloPlay Studio.
The devices work with Unity, Unreal Engine and Blender, 3D programs, allowing users to create a wide variety of content. User content can also be shared with other Looking Glass users. Both of the new second-generation devices are now being sold directly on the Looking Glass website.
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