Cloud service will turn any photo into 3D holographic image

Last month, the Looking Glass Factory launched on Kickstarter to fund production of a personal holographic image display called the Portrait. Now the company has announced a new cloud-based service capable of adding depth to any two-dimensional photo to create a holographic image for viewing in devices like the Portrait.

The company says that the cloud service makes use of proprietary machine learning technology to create a detailed depth map from a two-dimensional photo, then uses the data gathered to generate the dozens of different perspectives needed to create a 3D holographic image that can be viewed in a holographic display device like the Portrait – which is currently in the final week of its successful crowdfunding effort.

The cloud-based service uses machine learning to generate depth data (left) from a two-dimensional photo (right)
The cloud-based service uses machine learning to generate depth data (left) from a two-dimensional photo (right)

Looking Glass Factory

Looking Glass Factory says that the source photographic device is not important for the conversion to work, it could be a compact snapper, a high-end DSLR or a smartphone. And it could even be from a digital scan of an old (physical) photo from a treasured family album, or an illustration from a paper comic book, or almost any image online. Both portrait and landscape orientations are supported, too.

“The idea that any 2D photo could be transformed into a holographic image is something that’s been discussed in research groups for years, but there’s never been a service that non-technical folks could use to actually access this sort of capability,” said Looking Glass Factory CEO, Shawn Frayne. “That’s why I’m so excited about this announcement. Now extremely realistic holographic memories of all sorts can be created and enjoyed by more people than ever before, getting us one step closer to a world in which we’re creating in, communicating with, and reliving our memories through holograms.”

A 3D holographic image of Shawn Frayne's grandfather converted from a 2D physical photo
A 3D holographic image of Shawn Frayne’s grandfather converted from a 2D physical photo

Looking Glass Factory

The service is due to go live in the (northern) spring of this year as a premium feature in the HoloPlay Studio software package, with the transformations taking seconds and no programming knowledge required.

As an added incentive for Kickstarter supporters, if the Portrait campaign passes US$2.5 million in pledges (it’s sitting around $2,25 million as of writing), backers will be be treated to their first 20 conversions free of charge. Pricing for non-backers (or backers who have used up their initial freebies) will be $20 for 100 photo conversions.

Source: Looking Glass Factory

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