In response to the unveiling of its own holographic display from Sony in October, Shawn Frayne, CEO of Looking Glass Factory, quickly wrote a letter welcoming the electronics mainstay into the field, with a post-script detailing their own disclosure for December 2020 teased.
That day has finally arrived, as has the Looking Glass Portrait, the latest version of the company’s holographic display technology, which is now priced for the consumer market.
Weighing in at 1.3 pounds, or about an ounce lighter than the 12.9-inch iPad Pro model, the Portrait is a 7.9-inch light-field display with 2048 pixels by 1536 pixels at a 4: 3 aspect ratio. Along with a built-in computer that displays 3D content at 60 frames per second, 3D images and video appear to float out of the frame without the need for 3D glasses.
With a retail price of $ 349, or $ 20 more than the 10.2-inch iPad, interested parties can claim one for $ 199 through Kickstarter on December 2 and 3, with devices shipping in the first half of 2021.
In comparison, the previous Looking Glass 8.9 costs $ 599, but requires a connection to a PC or Mac (although the Looking Glass Portrait also has the ability to connect to a PC or Mac via USB-C). The Looking Glass Pro, a dual-screen device that acts as a standalone device like the Portrait, retails for $ 6,000.
“Ever since I was a little kid, I dreamed of when I could have my own holographic display,” Frayne said in a statement. “I imagined what it would be like to send someone a holographic birthday message, or say hi to my great-great-great-granddaughter as a hologram. Looking Glass Portrait, the culmination of six years of work by our Brooklyn and Hong Kong Kong-based team is making those dreams come true for more people than ever before. ”
The consumer-quality display also allows the average consumer to interact with 3D content captured from other devices. Users can capture content with 3D scanning phones such as modern iPhone, Samsung Galaxy and Galaxy Note and Sony Xperia models and upload them to the included HoloPlay Studio software for PC and Mac for editing and then viewing on the portrait.
In addition, the device supports volumetric video recording via depth-sensitive cameras such as Azure Kinect, Intel RealSense and iPhone cameras with TrueDepth cameras on the front (namely any model with the notch) and sharing with other Looking Glass users.
For developers, Portrait integrates with Unreal Engine, Unity, Autodesk Maya and Blender for application and content development. For example, users can stream motion capture content from an iPhone via Unity’s Facial AR Remote Component and view the results on the Looking Glass Portrait.
Portrait’s arrival comes at the right time, with Sony’s Spatial Reality display “coming soon” for a hefty $ 4,999 price tag. Looking Glass Portrait not only costs a fraction of the price, but also allows multiple users to view holograms simultaneously, while Spatial Reality is a single user experience. It’s a decisive response from Looking Glass Factory, who looks poised to play David for Sony’s Goliath in the 3D display race.
“Our approaches are different: your system is designed for one user and ours for many. But it’s clear that we both recognize that what has always been needed is something exponentially more realistic than 2D displays. We finally have that with holographic renderings, ”said Frayne in the aforementioned open letter to Sony. “So again, welcome to building the future.”