The next phase of the holographic display is upon us, and Looking Glass is aggressively making sure that it's at the tip of the spear when it comes to leading that charge.
On Tuesday, the Brooklyn, New York, and Hong Kong-based startup unveiled the latest in its product line, the Looking Glass 8K Immersive Display.
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Earlier versions of the product — the Looking Glass Standard, Large, and Pro series — were all effective in showing us exactly where such a touchscreen and gesture-based holographic display might fit in between the world of traditional computing interfaces and emerging augmented reality solutions. In particular, the Looking Glass Pro enhanced the experience by supporting 4K resolution.
Therefore, as you might guess, the new Looking Glass 8K builds on those previous dynamics. But it turns out that the increased resolution actually takes the holographic display into new territory. I had a chance to visit the company's Brooklyn offices a few weeks ago to sample the new 8K display up-close, and the realism was stunning.
It's difficult to translate here what I saw via tradition 2D images and videos but, in some cases, the 3D imagery on the new 8K display almost seems like its extending outwardly from the screen.
The end result is a location-based 3D interface and experience that, while trapped in a rectangular construct, nevertheless delivers a holographic-like experience.
The new device, officially called The Looking Glass 8K Immersive Display, delivers 33.2 million pixels and over a billion-count color gamut at 60Hz. The way the team explains how the new display works is through using its proprietary 45-element light field technology.
After spending some time with the 8K version, it's easy to see how the massive 8K 32-inch display could work for everything from mapping, medical imaging in the realm of academia and real-world pre- and post-surgery analysis, as well as entertainment.
I even got a chance to see how the 8K display might work for remote communication. Imagine the person you're speaking to, who is situated thousands of miles away, appearing to peek into your office via the Looking Glass 8K screen (rather than via a flat, 2D screen dynamic) and you begin to see some of the potential future uses for such a product.
Using such a dynamic, I could also see this being the way we interact with many virtual assistants represented as 3D avatars through smart homes and public spaces.
However, the price isn't cheap. Although the team won't disclose specific pricing, the previous Looking Glass Pro will run you $6,000, so expect to pay significantly more than that to lay your hands on the new version.
The beta supply of the device is already committed to a list of clients, but the team is accepting pre-orders today, with delivery expected in the spring of 2020. Those interested can contact the sales team via the website.
Although the Looking Glass series of devices doesn't compare to the mobility of interacting with virtual objects and interfaces in AR through headsets and smartglasses, it's feasible that this dynamic could live alongside AR smartglasses in the coming years as a way to supplement those who aren't equipped with a pair of AR smartglasses.
If you're desperate to get a look at it in person, the first public demo of the display will occur at the Digital Content Expo in Japan from November 13 to 15 (booth D207).