Beta launch of Volume
Since we were kids we’ve had this particular sci-fi dream — the dream of the hologram. My co-founder Alex Hornstein has notebooks from when he was in high school full of designs of wild machines that could conjure three-dimensional images; and likewise when I was a wee teen I convinced my Dad to help me drag a carload of sand from Home Depot to make an “optical sandbox” necessary for a homebrew holographic studio, taking up half my bedroom. It’s one of those dreams that normally dies as you become an adult, unless you are mad. Mad I say.
The dream of the hologram for me never involved goggles or 3D glasses — it was the idea that you and a few friends and family could interact with a living 3D scene, just as naturally as you might hang out with another person sitting right in front of you.
That dream is now closer to becoming a reality with the launch of the Developer’s Edition of Volume, a limited beta release of a new type of true 3D system we call a lightfolding volumetric display. Ok, ok, it’s not a holographic display, but through a different technological pathway we’re getting closer to the dream of the hologram. True 3D content, no headgear, natively social. Volume uses two million points of light guided to their respective XYZ coordinates in physical space via 10 light guides — and voila, a 3D scene is pulled from 3D digital space into the real world. I’ll write a post soon on why this works with just 10 light guides and how this differs from other attempts at reaching for the dream of the hologram. Spoiler alert: it’s not a Pepper’s ghost reflection.
p.s. we’ve also just released a suite of tools in Unity for creating in Volume + a new app just released a few days ago that lets you record 3D volumetric videos with iPads for the first time.
So, if you’re a misfit jonesing to create in a new medium at the very beginning of its life, you’ve found the right place. You can buy a beta system of your own here (will be sold out soon!) or if you are in Brooklyn, you can visit our lab and work on Volume in person with our team. Email me or leave a note in the comments below.
p.p.s. special prize to the first person that makes volumetric karaoke!
To the future!
Shawn Frayne, Looking Glass Co-founder & CEO