With 3D rendering maker Looking Glass Factory raising nearly $ 2.2 million in its crowdfunding campaign for the Looking Glass Portrait consumer-grade device, the company now has a companion 3D content generator.
On Wednesday, Looking Glass Factory unveiled a new conversion service that can convert any 2D image into a 3D hologram. After applying some machine learning magic to build a depth map from the source material, the tool creates multiple perspectives for display on the sight glass portrait.
The company’s HoloPlay Studio 3D content editing software can already convert photos in portrait mode for free. However, the new service expands the universe of potential holograms with scanned family photos, comic book panels, hand-drawn art and other digital images, which can then be uploaded to the Looking Glass Portrait after conversion via HoloPlay Studio.
The service, which costs $ 20 per 100 converted images, will launch this spring, first through the Looking Glass Factory website and then through the HoloPlay Studio suite as a premium feature. However, if the Kickstarter campaign hits $ 2.5 million on January 14, all backers will get their first 20 free conversions.
“The idea that any 2D photo can be turned into a holographic image is something that has been discussed in research groups for years, but there has never been a service that non-technical people could use to actually access these kinds of capabilities. I am so excited about this announcement, “said Shawn Frayne, CEO of Looking Glass Factory, in a statement.” Now extremely realistic holographic memories of all kinds can be created and enjoyed by more people than ever before, taking us one step closer come to a world where we create, communicate and relive our memories through holograms. “
In our practice with the Looking Glass Pro about a year and a half ago, we came to the conclusion that, based on the user-friendly interface for interacting with holographic-style images, the 3D display could serve as a placeholder for the eventual arrival of AR smart glasses and headsets designed for consumers. Except the high price.
Now that Looking Glass Portrait has solved the price comparison for an affordable $ 349 (or $ 249 until Jan. 14), it could very well usher in the 3D viewing era. With the Portrait device paired with the new 3D content conversion service, the next-generation image frame will also have a steady stream of consumer content.