The Looking Glass is a new holographic display that lets you view, interact with, and share 3D creations in the real world. See whatever you put inside your Looking Glass — from a virtual pet to an architectural model or a CAD drawing of a rocket engine — come to life.
The Looking Glass is a patent-pending combination of lightfield and volumetric display technologies within a single three-dimensional display system. 45 unique simultaneous views of a virtual scene are captured on a computer at 60 frames per second.
These dozens of views are encoded into a video signal that is sent via HDMI to the Looking Glass®. The Looking Glass optics decode the video signal into a full-color, superstereoscopic three-dimensional scene.
As you move around the display, your eyes are exposed to different sets of 3D information, creating a life-like, 3D experience for groups of people. Multiple people standing around a Looking Glass can view and interact with different parts of the scene in the real world.
Both conventional holograms and the Looking Glass are viewable by groups of people without VR or AR headgear or 3D glasses. But whereas conventional holograms are more analogous to photographs (static — they don’t move), the Looking Glass technology is more analogous to movies (dynamic and alive).
The Looking Glass moves and updates at 60 frames per second, is in full-color, with content that is generated from a connected computer. So while a Looking Glass is technically a lightfield display with volumetric characteristics, it’s the closest we’ve ever come to putting the holograms we know and love from Star Wars and Adventure Time on our desks.
- Pricing: The standard Looking Glass will have a list price of $600 but during the pre-order window early backers can get it up to 33% off – starting at $399. The large Looking Glass will have a list price of $3,000, but during the pre-order window early backers can get it up to 33% off – starting at $1,999.
- Size(s): Two sizes:
○ Standard Looking Glass (8.9”)
○ Large Looking Glass (15.6” and ~3x the volume of the Standard Looking Glass)
- Compatible software: Integrated with Unity via the HoloPlay SDK (available with all Looking Glasses at no additional charge); Model and Animation Importer for OBJs and gLTF files (available with all Looking Glasses at no additional charge); an App Library with dozens of holographic apps will be available for PC/Mac download (available with all Looking Glasses at no additional charge).
- Required computer: The Looking Glass requires a modern PC (Nvidia graphics card recommended) or a MacBook Pro 2015 or later.
- Required other hardware/equipment: HDMI port + USB 3.0 port.
- Software: Currently, you can get your creations into the Looking Glass in three ways:
- Model and Animation Importer: Upload an .OBJ, .gLTF, or .glb file into our Model and Animation Importer and to view them immediately in the Looking Glass.
- HoloPlay Unity SDK: An integrated Unity plugin for the Looking Glass. The HoloPlay Capture game object makes anything that can be made in Unity viewable inside a Looking Glass live. This includes animated models, volumetric video capture, interactive video games, and more.
- App Library: The App Library allows anyone with a Looking Glass to access a trove of applications, videos and models made by Looking Glass Factory and other close artist and developer friends. This is a desktop application available for download on PC/Mac and will be a quick and easy way to access a library of pre-made applications for the Looking Glass.
- Coming soon: direct viewports from Maya and Blender, with future live viewports and direct export from Rhino, Tinkercad, Solidworks, and ZBrush in the works.
- Skills required of users: You should be able to create, import or download 3D content.
- What content can work in here: You can upload any OBJ or gLTF file into the Looking Glass, as well as any 3D content from Unity.
Coming soon: direct ports from Maya, Blender, Rhino, Solidworks and ZBrush.
- What accessories will work with this: So far: Leap Motion, Arduino, depth cameras like the Intel Realsense, Ultrahaptics haptic feedback array, video game controllers like the Joycon
- What it is not: Traditional holograms are static, more like laser photographs, and not like the dynamic holograms you’ve seen in sci-fi. The Looking Glass is alive and genuinely 3D, and makes it possible for groups of people to view and interact with moving, 3D content for the first time. While it is not technically a conventional hologram, it’s not a Pepper’s Ghost like the Tupac “holograms” well-known on the internet – those are just 2D reflections.
Standard Looking Glass Dimensions