We've got three major things to cover so I'll get straight to the point.
1. Do Androids dream of holographic sheep?
Thanks to all of your help with test photos from dozens of different Android phones over the past few weeks, we've determined which Android phones can capture Portrait mode photos with depth of the quality necessary for great holographic images. So at long last, we can share that these Android phones will be supported at the same level as iPhones* in our software in a free update shortly after shipments go out:
- Most of the newer flagship Samsung phones, including A7, A9, S10, S10e, S9+, S20, S20+, S20 Ultra.
- Some of the Huawei phones with "Aperture" mode, including Mate 20, Mate 20 Lite, Mate 20 Pro, P20 Pro, P30 Pro.
- Newer Pixel phones, including the Pixel 3, 4, and 5 models.
Generally the newer the phone, the better the depth maps and consequently, the better the holographic photos that will result.
We'll likely be expanding this list as we test more phones, so please don't hesitate to let us know if your phone isn't in this list.
*As a reminder for iPhone folks, the iPhones models that we will support are Phone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, iPhone SE (2nd generation), iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone XR, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone X, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone 7 Plus
2. Any 2D Image can now be transformed into a holographic photo 🤯
That's not a typo -- you read that right.
Any 2D photo, including scans of childhood photos, the thousands of non-Portrait-mode photos you might have in your photo album, and even many images from the internet, can now all be transformed into a super realistic three-dimensional holographic image in your Looking Glass Portrait.
As one example of many we've been playing around with in the team over the holidays, here's a scan my Mom made of a photo from my 3rd birthday party, with a depth map generated by this new process and then turned into a hologram via our HoloPlay Studio software:
We've toyed around with this sort of thing for years and the results were never at the level necessary for public release, but we recently started working with a partner that's pioneered a powerful new process for deducing high quality depth maps from 2D images, and now we're excited to bring that capability to you and your Looking Glass!
Any 2D photo will work. This includes:
- Not just Portrait mode photos -- which of course can be converted using HoloPlay Studio for free --but now even non-Portrait-mode photos taken with any phone can be turned into holograms
- Old childhood photos, e.g. a digital picture or scan of a physical picture as noted above
- Comic book illustrations
- Almost any image from the internet, like this one :)
You'll all be able to start experimenting with this when you receive your Looking Glass Portrait systems, first on our website and then in an update the second half of the year as a premium feature in HoloPlay Studio. There's no programming required to do any of this - it's fully automated and takes just a few seconds per photo.
Note that this is a cloud-based service, so it costs us money to operate. Even so, we want to let y'all try this for free. That's where the new stretch goal comes in!
All Looking Glass Portrait backers will get their first 20 flat photo --> 3D holographic image conversions for free, with additional conversions priced at $20 for 100 photos (can be added as an Add-On).
3. Up close and personal with Looking Glass Portrait
For those of you who want to see some unbiased third party perspectives on what we're building, some great reviews of Looking Glass Portrait have come out in the past few days, including this review of a beta system by Norm at Tested and this review by Jeremy Horwitz at VentureBeat.
But I know some of y'all still have questions and want to see more of what the Looking Glass Portrait can do live, so we gave a live demo at our very first virtual event for Looking Glass Portrait. You can view the full event below, and find questions from the Q&A answered here.
I know this update was a bit long, but it's really just the tip of the iceberg. So many more wondrous things are in store and I'm excited to continue to share the growing capabilities of Looking Glass Portrait with y'all in the coming weeks!
To the future!
-Shawn & all of us here in Looking Glass Factory*
*yes, it's a real factory now - production is starting! More on that soon :)