I visited Looking Glass Factory in their Brooklyn, NY office the other day – specifically to check out their new 32” 8K light field display. I was not disappointed. While some may argue that a 45-view, horizontal-only parallax display is not a true light field display, I am ok with it. Let’s put it this way, it is clearly the best large-sized, glasses-free 3D display I have seen to date.
An article that CEO Shawn Frayne recently penned describes four different types of real-world capture that can be displayed on this device. In his lab, I got to see some of the various capture videos with the varying fidelity he describes below. By far, the best demo was a static image of Shawn holding a magnifying glass to his eye. This was done with a hand-built multi-camera array. Unlike volumetric capture where sparsely-placed cameras are used to create a 3D model upon which the video is textured, this was a close-packed camera array that is playing back the actual composited video. The clarity of the image was amazing, and it is life-sized in the 8K display.
The field of view of this display is around 45-degrees with a depth volume of perhaps +/- 3 inches. It is not a lot, but it is meant as a desktop solution. And, with the clarity of the 8K resolution, it is quite compelling for many applications such as medical, AR/VR, scientific visualization and more. And, with a fairly powerful ~$4K PC and GPU card (GTX-2080TI), the 8K display can run in real time at up to 60 fps.
Looking Glass has also invested a lot in interfaces to bring in various kinds of data in a number of formats so they can render the views needed for the display. They also do a very interesting trick – they slightly blur out pixels that are far from the central depth plane. This subtly eliminates some artifacts increasing the perceived quality of the image.
This display now exceeds a threshold that many have been waiting for, so I think the company will have a lot of success with it. Please read Shawn’s nice article on their web site: https://blog.lookingglassfactory.com/announcements/the-memory-machines/
Oh, and if you would like to see the 8K display and the results of their “real world” captures, they will be at CES. Information on their whereabouts is below:
Looking Glass Private Suite – The Venetian. Contact Looking Glass to set up an appointment.
Seagate Booth – San Polo Ballroom in the Venetian/Sands Expo Center on Level 3
Bellus3D Booth – LVCC, South Hall 1 – 21531