Could holograms be the future? VR headsets bring us into a virtual world by sealing our eyeballs into a headset; AR promises to augment our physical world by layering digital things on top of it; and holograms could allow us to experience a digital world with no extra hardware. Last night, a few of us at The Verge looked at a new product called Volume, which is essentially a display for holograms. The company behind it, Looking Glass, bills it as the “world’s first personal volumetric display” that lets people easily show off 3D creations. The thing is, holograms don’t widely exist yet, so Looking Glass paired up with artists for the event it hosted yesterday to show how its display could be used.
Artists used Volume with extra hardware to create a 3D Etch A Sketch, a hologram selfie machine (although there was no way to post them on social media), and a 3D video game. Volume served as the display in all those cases while third-party sensors and cameras assisted with the actual program. You can see the works in the above Facebook Live. In the future, the company imagines expecting mothers might use Volume to view an image of their developing baby, or kids could use it to play with virtual toy pets.
holograms could potentially be used in medicine
Looking Glass defines Volume by the fact that it’s headset-free. Every box uses 2 million points of light to create a projection that anyone can view.
The display represents a bridge between the physical and digital world while not isolating viewers, its creators said. Will it be a VR alternative? Probably not, but maybe it’ll turn into a more accessible option for people who don’t feel like strapping a headset on their faces or for artists who want everyone to see their work regardless of whether they’re wearing a specific device. Volume’s developer version is scheduled to be opened up for preorders starting in September.