Looking Glass launches second-gen holographic displays

Brooklyn-based Looking Glass today announced the release of a pair of second-generation holographic displays. Following the entry-level portrait release late last year, the startup Looking Glass is introducing new versions of the 4K and 8K systems, which sport 15.6- and 32-inch displays, respectively.

Aside from size, there’s a huge gap in pricing here. Joining the $299 portrait is $3,000 4K and $17,500 8K. The price difference is all the more apparent as the technology essentially offers the same underlying technology for producing and consuming 3D content.

image credit: glass

“Volume is a part of it,” CEO Sean Frene tells Nerdshala. “There are really very few 8K displays in the world at this size that people are driving. While we expect its sales to be pretty deep in the next few years, in the early stages we are not scaling to the same level as portraits.”

The company sees Portrait as a kind of ambassador for its technology — especially in the past year, when it was impossible to get the system in front of potential buyers. Having personally seen several of the older systems of Looking Glass, I can attest to the fact that the effect isn’t really the same on the Zoom. Looking Glass says it has sold 11,000 units and is shipping “thousands” a month as it works to meet demand and navigate global supply chain issues.

image credit: glass

“I see this as my first opportunity to get my own holographic display without needing my owner’s approval,” Frene said. “Someone is curious about it and they get it, and it meets or exceeds the expectation and they go from there. The quality level is too high for portraits, and the larger units are of that quality. There are a larger format version.”

image credit: glass

The new models will replace their predecessors, which were effectively developer units rather than mainstream consumer products (though the company would continue to offer support). In addition to costing less, second-generation units are lighter and offer better visual fidelity on their processors—especially around the edges, where holographic displays can pose issues.

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