Looking Glass Factory releases an amazing viewer.
Looking Glass Factory has expanded its product line and is now offering a 31-inch, 8K (33.2 million pixels) display, a 45-view horizontal-only. This is the third and latest development in the company’s 3D volumetric display product line, and something the industry has wanted since they saw the first 8.9-inch prototypes.
The display works by creating 45 different points of view in a light field to create the volumetric display changing the lighting of the subject as the viewer moves or moves the object. However, that cuts the effective resolution by 45 (from the original image resolution). Our brain helps because the lighting and 3D’ness of the image increase the viewer’s perception.
To get the original images, the company used a stepper motor attached to a linear rail and a hacked-up Bluetooth selfie stick that automatically takes 45 photos—one per view displayed in the Looking Glass. Then they developed software (that’s available as part of their SDK) to automate importing light field captures into the Looking Glass, as well as panning, cropping, and even refocusing.
From the introduction of the 8.9-inch version, which we reviewed last year, the company has shipped thousands of developer kit versions.
Next, the company introduced a larger version at 15.6-inches (shown above), and late last year it privately showed its 31-inch 8K version to a few lucky souls at its lab in Brooklyn. The comparison of the three products is shown in the following table.
All the units use an HDMI and 2 × DisplayPort input USB Type-B input and all the units have 10-bit color capability.
The Looking Glass 8K delivers 33.2 million pixels with over a billion-count color gamut at 60 Hz, making it not only the largest holographic display in the market today but also the highest fidelity.
The Looking Glass 8K operates on optical principles and a software platform that doesn’t require any head-tracking or VR or AR headsets, making it ideal for companies that want to view or interact with 3D content in areas such as engineering, mapping/GIS, medical imaging, entertainment, and more.
All the Looking Glass displays are restricted to a horizontal 3D view. That might seem like a limitation at first, but given the size and likely placement of the display, it really shouldn’t be.
To add in the content creation of material for the display, the company recently added an Epic Unreal engine capability, and its HoloPlay Core SDK designed to translate a wide range of input 3D formats to the 45-view format of their light field display.
What do we think?
The 31-inch model is big in every parameter, size, weight, power, pixels, and probably price. A simple scaling would put in the $30,000 range.
Had there been a SID conference, and had Looking Glass Factory attended, it would have been the darling of the show with this fantastic display.