Software Will Transform 2D Photos Into Holographic Images
Wouldn’t it be great to be able to turn a boring, flat image into a three-dimensional hologram for your viewing pleasure? This is essentially the promise of the newly announced cloud-based service from holographic tech startup Looking Glass Factory. Think of it like one of those online web services translating one file format (e.g. JPGs) to another (e.g. PDFs), only much cooler.
“Everyone has taken thousands of photos over the years – photos of birthday parties, photos of a child’s first steps, and the pets we love,” the company’s press materials read. “Now all of those memories can live again as more realistic three-dimensional holographic photos. It doesn’t matter if the photos were originally taken with a point-and-shoot camera, Android phone, or iPhone – any 2D photo will work. “
To perform the image conversion, customers will soon be able to visit a portal on the Looking Glass website that is due to be released this spring. The process does not require any programming and is instead a simple point-and-click conversion process. It requires the Looking Glass Portrait device, a holographic desktop display that is currently completing its Kickstarter campaign, to display the converted holographic images. The display itself costs $ 250 ($ 350 post-campaign) while the photographic conversion costs $ 20 per 100 photos. Portrait photos, such as those taken on a newer iPhone, can be integrated into the HoloPlay Studio software free of charge as they already contain depth maps and therefore do not require any special processing.
“This process of converting 2D to 3D holograms is a two-step process,” Shawn Frayne, CEO of Looking Glass Factory, told Digital Trends. “Step one is [that] We apply a machine learning based algorithm to infer the depth for different types of 2D photos. This is based on a large number of sample photos that serve as the central input in the algorithm. This step results in a depth image of the original photo, with the different shades of the depth image indicating the approximate depth of each part of the corresponding color image. “
He continued, “Step two uses this depth image and RGB image pair to extrapolate the dozen of different perspectives or images required to be displayed in Looking Glass Portrait as a holographic photo. This is achieved through HoloPlay Studio, our editing software for holographic media. “
As with any Kickstarter campaign, it is important to be aware of the potential risks associated with crowdfunding campaigns. This may include products that are delayed, not as described, or not shipped at all.