Through the Looking Glass

By Jason Takahashi
Published on: May 14, 2021

It seems like a long time has passed since concert promoters sought to profit from beloved artists like Tupac and Jerry Garcia posthumously with ‘holographic’ technology. Luckily it appears that we have moved on from this idea, but those seeking to create holographic, volumetric displays have continued working diligently to bring these sci-fi dreams to life.

Perhaps the most formidable of these displays comes from Brooklyn-based startup Looking Glass Factory. Since 2014, Looking Glass Factory have produced some of the most effective 3D viewing environments. Following a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign, they now offer multiple cutting edge interfaces for 3D experiences. For players in architecture and design-build, these unique displays present a fascinating opportunity to showcase project designs and concepts. Utilizing a combination of light-field and volumetric display technology, the Looking Glass can present 45 different angles of a 3D object or scene simultaneously. As a result, multiple viewers can see different angles at the same time – and with interactive inputs such as Leap motion controllers, they can move and modify the scene on command.

Looking Glass Factory has partnered with creative outlets such as Vimeo and have built powerful developer tool kits for 3D designers across many platforms in an effort to help streamline content creation for their products. The latest addition to their line of displays is the Looking Glass PRO which they describe as a “fully integrated holographic solution that works out of the box”.  With 15.6” of diagonal viewing space and no additional PC required, the Looking Glass Pro is a stunning product that has the potential to be employed across multiple industries. It also has a small touchscreen display sidecar that can be used to load up apps, scenes, and models with just a tap of the finger.

NYC-based Architect Suchi Ready called the Looking Glass “magic”.  “The way in which you experience 3D,” she says, “is much more natural and instinctive in terms of seeing how you can understand the layers of a space.” As innovation continues to redefine how we present information, my expectation is that once we collectively step through the Looking Glass, it’s hard to say we will find our way back.


Jason Takahashi

Jason Takahashi

Jason is a contributing editor for Technology Designer Magazine and the Technology Insider Group. After five years in live concert production specializing in visual design and motion graphics for large-scale video setups, Jason has since taken up working with Denver’s youth to help kick-start the next generation of creative technologists.

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