The startup company ‘Looking Glass’ has developed a screen that can display 3D models as a hologram. The screen is called “The Looking Glass” and is primarily intended for use by 3D artists who make animations for movies, games, VR experiences and the like. You can connect different types of hand controllers to the screen, which also allows the user to “touch” their 3D models.
“The hope is that at first people get the system because the content feels more alive, and then they realize, ‘Oh I can design my characters faster and better in this system,’”
“Then it’s this virtuous cycle of the designers creating new media for this system, and then people consuming that and enjoying it and learning from it.”
– co-founder and CEO Shawn Frayne told Digital Trends.
Looking Glass Factory is a Brooklyn-based company founded in 2013 that has been tinkering with hologram technology for the past five years. It has produced and sold several products since, including L3D cubes, the Looking Glass Volume, and the HoloPlayer One, but it’s clear everything has been leading up to the new Looking Glass product.
It is made up of a combination of light-field and volumetric display technology. The light-field display recreates the rays of light that bounce off the 3D content, which helps you visualize it, and the volumetric display helps create these animated objects in three dimensions.
The device still needs a host computer to run. Looking Glass recommends an Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM, and a Nvidia GTX 1060 graphics card at a minimum (plus an HDMI port for display data and a USB-C port for power). On the software side of things, The Looking Glass will support OBJ, FBX, STL, and gLTF formats, along with an export tool for directly sending objects from Maya. Looking Glass is also working on tools that will allow for live viewing objects from Maya, Zbrush, Blender, Tinkercad, and Solidworks straight on The Looking Glass, which will be provided to backers for free further down the line.
Available for preorder today on Kickstarter, the Looking Glass comes in two sizes: 8.9-inch and 15.6 inch. Right now, you can get the 8.9-inch model for $399 if you join the crowdfunding campaign while the 15-inch will go for $1999.
Looking Glass promises that the first 100 units will ship early starting in September 2018. The rest of the devices will ship a few months later in December.