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Looking Glass Factory has unveiled what it calls the world’s largest holographic screen: the 65-inch Mirror 3D Display.
The Brooklyn-based hologram company in New York showed a 65-inch 8K screen behind closed doors last week at the Augmented World Expo event.
Shawn Frayne, CEO of Looking Glass, showed me the screen in dark and light conditions and it looked pretty good.
“We believe this is the beginning of holographic displays becoming ubiquitous in our lives, first with experience in shops and trade shows, but finally in homes, hospitals, schools in a very important way because that content already exists,” Frayne said. “Content creation facilities are here, and tens of millions of people today can generate this kind of content. There was simply no way to consume it.
The new display is five times larger than any 3D holographic display demonstrated in the lab by any other company, he said, and is 50 times larger than any other visible group holographic display ever introduced to the market.
This huge scale makes it ideal for visible group use, such as experiential marketing, 3D storytelling, engineering and design. The new display is the fourth display in the growing Looking Glass Factory line.
“One of the most common questions they ask us is how big can these screens be?” Frayne said. “The answer is now a ridiculously large 65,” and that’s just the beginning. Similar to the transition from photography to film, from radio to television and from black and white to color over the last century – Looking Glass 65 will introduce one of the monumental changes in the way media is consumed – 2D flat media in deep 3D. No helmet or 3D glasses required.
The new screen is already being used by entertainment companies for both storytelling and marketing, although Frayne has yet to be discovered by most companies.
This week Springbok Entertainment presents its new film, called Zanzibar: Troubles in Paradise, on a 65-inch screen at Tribeca 2022. Zanzibar: Troubles in Paradise is the first holographic film and documentary on the Looking Glass screen, and also the first holographic and documentary a film in competition at the Tribeca Festival.
“We are thrilled to be collaborating with Looking Glass on the premiere of their stunning new 65-inch 8k holographic screen,” Brandon Zamel, CEO of Springbok Entertainment, said in a statement. “The huge increase in size promises 3D storytellers the perfect canvas to push the boundaries of impressive experiences. This screen reinforces the main possibilities and applications of immersive media; effectively providing the missing piece of the puzzle for the industry, which in turn will accelerate all its growth.
Looking Glass 65 ″ is a holographic display without a helmet. It aims to show pictures, scenes and even entire movies. No helmet needed.
It is visible in groups of 50 people. Generating up to 100 different perspectives of 3D content from 100 million light points every 60th of a second, Looking Glass 65 ″ recreates reality with photons. This means that everything shown in Looking Glass 65 ″ looks real for up to 50 viewers at a time.
I found it looked good from one angle, and then moved to another angle as I moved more to the side view. The center of the image looked sharpest, but the background or side details were a bit blurry. Still, it looked pretty impressive.
The screen has 8K resolution, a color depth of over a billion colors and a 16: 9 aspect ratio that allows viewers to see the finest details of the image from multiple angles. And it’s only three inches thick despite tons of glass, aluminum and electronics. It has four times the depth of any other group-visible system, Frayne said.
And it works with a variety of content. This includes add-ons for Unity, Unreal, Blender and other software applications. Looking Glass Factory’s old 32-inch screen retails for $ 20,000, and has a 7.9-inch portrait version that retails for $ 400.
By comparison, a portrait personal holographic screen uses light field technology to produce about 45 different images so you can view content in 3D, Frayne said. Tens of thousands of content creators use it to create their own content, and Looking Glass creates software to turn 3D content into holograms that people can share online.
The 32-inch has a 53-degree viewing area and produces about 100 perspectives (two perspectives per degree) so a group of people can see the image at the same time. Your eyes see it in 3D when five to seven perspectives hit them at any one time.
You can expect Looking Glass 65 to be in the tens of thousands, but the price has not been determined yet. You can order in advance here.
Looking Glass has competition like Light Field Lab, but Frayne declined to comment on other competing technologies. But in general, he thinks that it is best to experience 3D content without the need for “equipment” with VR headphones or other technology. Frayne thinks we will have many ways to consume 3D.
“We are by far the leaders in this area, in terms of the number of units and communities,” he said. Looking Glass uses the back panel of the LCD or OLED screen as its base, and then adds optical layers that redirect each subpixel. With 100 million subpixels, it can generate a synthetic version of the light field that makes images look real. Unlike 2D screens, 3D screens have intensity, color and angle.
“Our software is a kind of magic secret behind this, because it allows us to control the direction of 100 million light points very precisely, and then recreate what looks like a real jet engine,” he said. “And this system is actually hollow, so the light is actually converging.”
Frayne grew up in Tampa, Florida and created a holographic photography studio in his bedroom. He studied physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and studied holography there. So that they understand what a real hologram is.
“The term hologram has really taken on the meaning of three-dimensional media that groups of people can see,” Frayne said. “As a hologram fan and nerd, we wanted that from the beginning. This is simply not the case with the interference pattern approach. This is with an easy field approach. So, the technical term for this system is a light field display, not a holographic display. But honestly, there are only 100 people in the world who care.
As for target markets, Frayne believes this will increase in experiential marketing, digital signage and in-store experiences.
“There’s a lot of experimentation going on, but a lot of brands are starting to use these systems for in-store experiences,” he said.
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