We remain in a land of make-believe where from the prehistoric animals like Dinosaurs to our favourite fictional characters, all come to life. Well, it is no longer possible only in dreams, but in reality with hologram technology which gives an experience worth a million words. In this age of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), HoloPlayer One by a lesser known New York based company Looking Glass comes into play.
Essentially, the concept is not very new, yet effective. The earlier versions of hologram device require heavy headsets to adorn on for successive interaction with the 3D content which is not very user-friendly, apart from 3D visuals. Thereby, HoloPlayer One gives the user freedom to abandon those heavy accessories.
This new development kit and its SDK permit users to exhibit and interact with 3D designs. The HoloPlayer One comprises of boxes that user can sit in front of and all the content floats in three dimensions directly in front of the user. One can experience the same level of interactivity as a VR or AR headset. It operates via HDMI connection for well-built PCs whereas other by Intel Core i7 processor which works independently from a PC, allows viewer within a 50-degree viewing angle to behold as well as control the holograms. Both the versions deploy same hardware specification to generate the hologram.
The actual hardware itself is made up of a 2,560 x 1,600 resolution LCD display, which projects the visuals onto 32 depth planes to generate a 3D image that has an actual resolution of 267 x 480. A depth-sensing camera, like the one used in a Microsoft Kinect or iPhone X, is mounted on top to assist with interaction. The Realsense 3D camera tracks the movements of the hand within the hologram’s projected space and allows manipulation of the digital image in real time. Additionally, a bundled pair of stereo speakers for audio feedback.
Shawn Frayne, the founder's main concern lies in its visibility which remains a challenge as of yet.
Currently, the stand-alone version working on Core i7 CPU costs $3,000 whereas the one running on powerful PC costs $750, both will ship out by April 2018. Early birds can pre-order in "Christmas 2017 rush order" which charges more than $250.