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It's time for 3D creators to embrace holograms

Pioneering developers have been bringing 3D creations to life as holograms for years. 2021 is the year you should join their ranks…

A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away...

When we think about holograms, many of us picture moments from classic sci-fi films like Star Wars and Minority Report. But what if, instead of Princess Leia, the word “hologram” was synonymous with your latest Unity or Blender project?

Looking Glass Factory, the leaders in holographic display technology, recently announced a new display that will enable and empower 3D artists everywhere to become holographic magicians in their own right.

Say hello to Looking Glass Portrait — the world's first personal holographic display.

Radically light in terms of weight, price, and effort

While it seemed like holographic technology was still light years away—it’s actually been around for quite some time. Thousands of artists and developers around the world are already using holographic displays like a Looking Glass to view content in 3D without the need for VR/AR headgear.

Where Looking Glass Portrait becomes a game-changer is price. At $249 it’s by far the most affordable holographic display on the market. As 3D tools become more widely available and easier to use it’s important that display systems keep up. Looking Glass Portrait is up to that challenge.

A canvas for 3D creators, present and future

Looking Glass Portrait is portable and designed with standalone functionality so that today’s creators can finally view work in real-time 3D as they go.

Looking Glass Factory’s software suite supports just about every pathway to the third dimension with free plugins for Unity and Unreal Engine. The ability to easily import glTF and OBJ files gives you a holographic viewport for everything on 3D sites like Sketchfab and Turbosquid.

CIBER GEISHA by Oscar Creativo (3D model imported from Sketchfab)

Their recently built-in Blender compatibility (via an open source add-on already being distributed and in beta) has already got the stamp from the likes of creators like French illustrator Dedouze and Finland-based game artist Marcela Rodriguez.

Volumetric filmmakers have found that holographic displays are the premiere stage for 3D storytelling, as they can edit captures from an Azure Kinect in programs like Depthkit in real-time. Photogrammetry artists can finally enjoy their captures as if the real object was sitting right in front of them.

If you're more of a hands-on kind of person, it's no sweat to build interactivity into a holographic experience. You’re only limited by how far you can stretch your own imagination.

This XR hack leverages several tools, including Unity, an iPhone with Record3D, and a Leap Motion controller. Learn more here.

Please, don’t silence your cell phone

Looking Glass Portrait also serves as an invitation to the next generation of 3D creators. With many of the newest smartphones allowing users to easily capture depth in a single Portrait mode photo or a high-fidelity LiDAR scan, it’s clear that the existing pool of 3D creators is about to widen dramatically. Similar to how social media apps like Tik Tok are democratizing XR by making their tools easy to use, Looking Glass Portrait does for 3D creators armed with only a smartphone.

Recent developments in depth capture technology have equipped thousands of smartphone users with incredibly high-quality depth cameras and LiDAR scanners—and when your smartphone can capture 3D depth, why not use it to make holographic home videos of your cat?

Looking Glass Portrait comes with free access to Record3D, allowing users to capture 3D videos via an iOS app.

Made for today, with tomorrow in mind

We’ve been building to this moment since the first moving images made from still photographs. 3D capture technology is more affordable and easier to use than ever, so it’s high time that there was a display to match. Looking Glass Portrait is that display.

“If everything moves along and there are no major catastrophes we're basically headed towards holograms.” - Martin Scorsese

And at the end of the day, who can argue with Scorsese?

You can pre-order Looking Glass Portrait at look.glass/portrait

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