The Looking Glass makes sci-fi movie-style holograms a reality

The disclaimer at the very beginning of the video should be indication enough that the things you are about to see will blow your minds away. After decades of watching 3D holographic projections in movies like the Star Wars franchise, a Kickstarter project is bringing the promise of three-dimensional virtual imagery to life. No VR/AR headsets, no 3D glasses, no gimmicks, the Looking Glass display can actually showcase visual content in 3D, to the naked eye. Not only does the content being displayed on the screen have a z-axis, showing depth, it also responds to parallax, meaning that depending on where you’re viewing the display from, you see a different angle of the 3D file.

The Looking Glass pulls this fest off using its proprietary lenticular display that combines 45 angles of any given 3D model into one, allowing you to look at the model’s front, sides, top, and bottom. While the display is a thick chunk of glass, the results are far ahead of other conventional 3D displays. The thick lenticular screen comes in two sizes, and requires a laptop or desktop to power it. Using an HDMI cable to transfer data and a USB-C cable for power, the Looking Glass supports OBJ, FBX, STL, and gLTF formats, while working with softwares like Maya, Zbrush, Blender, Tinkercad, and Solidworks to provide live viewing of 3D files.

Currently, the Looking Glass is positioned to revolutionize any profession relying on CAD modeling, be it architecture, industrial design, or even game design. The display also offers the ability to connect to a Nintendo Switch joycon or a Leap Controller, allowing you to even interact with your models in a way that’s unprecedented. Having just completed crowdfunding on Kickstarter, the Looking Glass is estimated to deliver as soon as September 2018. If it does go mainstream, we may just skip the entire VR headset phase of 3D modeling!

Designer: Shawn Frayne