May 24 2021

Google Enters Hologramland

Six months ago I wrote When The Big Companies Show Up about Sony releasing their first holographic display and what I thought about that development, given my role as an investor via Foundry and board member in the 40-person purveyor of fine holographic interfaces in Brooklyn called Looking Glass. In that post, I wrote:

“When I ponder my life in 2040, I am confident that I will not be spending 12 hours a day in videoconferences on a 2D display. I’m also not going to have a headset encapsulating my face. I’m ready for my holographic future, and I’m having fun being an investor in a company that helps create it.”

That future is coming fast, and last week I was involved in several discussions about holograms.

The first was with Shawn Frayne, the CEO of Looking Glass, reporting that by the summer they will have shipped a personal holographic display to 10,000 people around the world.

The second was a chat about Google announcing a holographic system of their own at Google I/O. Following is a brief excerpt from one of the articles floating around about that announcement:

“Pichai said “We have developed a breakthrough light field display,” probably with the help of the people and IP it scooped up from Lytro, the light field camera company that didn’t manage to get its own tech off the ground and dissolved in 2018.

Light field cameras and displays create and show 3D imagery using a variety of techniques that are very difficult to explain or show in 2D. The startup Looking Glass has made several that are extremely arresting to view in person, showing 3D models and photographic scenes that truly look like tiny holograms.

Whether Google’s approach is similar or different, the effect appears to be equally impressive, as the participants indicate.”

Needless to say, the Looking Glass community has some strong opinions about this new development.

Will Google or Sony or Looking Glass or some other contender deliver on the full potential of the holographic future we’ve all been waiting for? While my bet is on Looking Glass, this future now feels more inevitable than ever. 

If you’re interested in building out this future with the band of misfits at Looking Glass, drop me an email and I’ll connect you.