Will Someone Please Tell Me Exactly What a Looking Glass Can Do?
A few weeks ago I wrote about the launch of the Looking Glass, a desktop holographic display made for 3D creators. Since then, over a thousand people have purchased a Looking Glass for their desks. I think part of the reason for this attention is that the Looking Glass is filling a much-needed hole in the REPL for Hardware flow alongside additive and subtractive desktop 3D printers and laser cutters. It also helps that the Looking Glass works without a VR or AR headset.
If you have ever used a 3D printer, has Unity, Maya, or Blender on your computer, or isn’t scared by terms like “volumetric video” and “light-field photography”, you should probably have a Looking Glass. For 48 more hours, you can get one of your own for 25% off here.
It’s right around this point in the post that I can hear the skeptics asking themselves (reasonably), “But what can the Looking Glass do right now”? It’s a question that comes up a lot in the area of new human-computer interfaces, one of my favorite Foundry Group investment themes particularly because it lives on the edge of the comfort zone. The same question famously came up repeatedly for the personal computer back in 1983, answered by this Apple ad.
Rather than waiting for a killer app on the horizon, the crew at Looking Glass Factory are taking a page from the early-Apple playbook and answering this challenge with a daily flow of new holographic applications. They’re aiming to get to 100 practical (and in some cases not practical but joyful) things a 3D creator can do with their Looking Glass by the time most of the units ship in December. Here are just a few that have come out over the past few weeks:
WYSIWYG preview of 3D models before 3D printing.
Check out the field of view on this Hologram Player by https://t.co/c06Fr6V9rh !
Will wee evaluate 3D models this way before #3dprinting them?
The Klein Bottle – https://t.co/2K51AfTDQc | #MathArt #TheLookingGlass #Hologram pic.twitter.com/tKLuxzmqFR
— Dizingof (@dizingof) July 14, 2018
Exporting 3D scenes directly from Autodesk’s Maya – and soon supporting a live viewport direct from Maya into a Looking Glass.
New exporter for rendered scenes from Maya to the Looking Glass is fully operational! @AdskMaya @autodesk #ImpossibleThings More here! https://t.co/539XGUR48r. Psst, we’re at #SIGGRAPH2018 Booth #645 if you want to see the Looking Glass IRL! pic.twitter.com/JP343LlrIS
— Looking Glass Factory (@LKGGlass) August 14, 2018
Ramping up other integrations for other 3D creation programs like Blender.
I’m such a #b3d nerd that I have Suzanne on my desk inside a default cube made from glass. Just kidding, it’s a hologram… pic.twitter.com/C8HnOgKe9Q
— Gottfried Hofmann (@BlenderDiplom) July 27, 2018
Voxatron in the Looking Glass: this is a voxel-based engine that was developed by an indie game developer Joseph White in Tokyo. What’s remarkable about this is that Joseph started to develop Voxatron back in 2004 on the belief that one day a holographic display would exist to house it. I really like how in this example a tiny bit of code generates a holographic app in a Looking Glass.
This year, #voxatron will emerge as a fully formed fantasy console AND support a real holographic display: the Looking Glass by @LKGGlass. Here’s a tiny demo cart with src in reply!
☆☆ Order one now via KS, and @ $750k every display comes with Voxatron!: https://t.co/xuUxpaW8dg pic.twitter.com/ZYsMwNyDda
— zep @ lexaloffle (@lexaloffle) August 9, 2018
Display of 3D architectural models.
Our good friends at @occipital sent us one of their Canvas scans taken by one of our favorite tools – yup, the @structure! – and we were able to bring that model immediately into a Looking Glass. That is one good-lookin’ space, if we do say so ourselves https://t.co/PuFTNkk7RC 🙃 pic.twitter.com/zZN6nLoQwF
— Looking Glass Factory (@LKGGlass) July 24, 2018
Photogrammetry drone scans of a terrain.
Our friends at @3DRobotics just sent over this drone scan and it looks INCREDIBLE in the Large Looking Glass 😲 Thanks @chr1sa! Large Looking Glasses can be found here: https://t.co/ZW3jpZaBCb pic.twitter.com/ZAZTXRKlgW
— Looking Glass Factory (@LKGGlass) July 26, 2018
And this completely impractical but joyous sloth captured with an iPhone X.
Fun fact: sloths sleep for about 15-18 hours a day, but this sloth is ready to 🎉🥳 PARTY 🥳🎉 iPhone X front-facing camera + the Looking Glass = Sloth parties all day. #ARKit #ImpossibleThings https://t.co/ENWwu8DM22 pic.twitter.com/AGTUQxgSbC
— Looking Glass Factory (@LKGGlass) August 18, 2018
I have a feeling this is just the beginning and I believe this team and the community of 3D creators coalescing around the Looking Glass are going to blow past 100 holographic apps and integrations very quickly.
To see for yourself, head over to the Looking Glass Kickstarter launch. The Standard Looking Glass is normally $600, but you can pick one up for $450 if you grab one of the last units in the next 48 hours.
And as the Looking Glass founders Shawn and Alex say, thanks^3.