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Check out the world's first desktop holographic display

VR and AR headsets are becoming increasingly powerful, and if you work in 3D they're a brilliant way of getting a really good, close look at your 3D art (opens in new tab).

If you've ever worn a headset for any length of time, though, you'll know they're a bit of a faff and not hugely comfortable; especially in hot weather, right?

If only there was a holographic display that you could just put on your desktop and see your work in 3D without the need for a headset. But look: now there is!

The Looking Glass (opens in new tab) is billed as a holographic display for 3D creators, and it looks amazing. Developed over four years by a team of holographers, engineers, Unity developers and 3D graphic artists, it uses a combination of lightfield and volumetric technologies to create a holographic display that you can put on your desktop to view and interact with your 3D work.

It supports 3D models and animations in OBJ, FBX, STL and gLTF format, and there's also an app in development to enable exports direct from Maya; you'll also be able to get live viewports from Maya, Zbrush, Blender, Tinkercad, and Solidworks. There are dozens of of holographic apps available through the Looking Glass's app library, and with Looking Glass's HoloPlay Unity SDK, you'll even be able to develop your own apps.

For added immersive fun, you can add a Leap Motion controller to your Looking Glass setup, enabling you to manipulate your work directly with your hands; you can also hook up a Nintendo Switch joycon or an Ultrahaptics development kit.

Basically this looks like a dream come true for anyone working with 3D, whether you're a game developer, 3D artist, product designer, architect or just someone who enjoys messing about in 3D. The project has been on Kickstarter for less than 24 hours and it's already smashed its target several times over; if you want to be one of the first people to get their hands on a Looking Glass when they ship in December then you'd better move fast, because we can see it swiftly becoming vastly oversubscribed.

If you really get a move on you could snag yourself a sweet bargain, too; Looking Glass is running some great day one offers that could save you $201 on the price of a standard-size model, or $1,001 on the large model that normally costs $3,000. Seriously, though, you'll have to be quick: the offer ends at 10am EST (that's 3pm UTC), so get your skates on (opens in new tab).

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Jim McCauley is a writer, performer and cat-wrangler who started writing professionally way back in 1995 on PC Format magazine, and has been covering technology-related subjects ever since, whether it's hardware, software or videogames. A chance call in 2005 led to Jim taking charge of Computer Arts' website and developing an interest in the world of graphic design, and eventually led to a move over to the freshly-launched Creative Bloq in 2012. Jim now works as a freelance writer for sites including Creative Bloq, T3 and PetsRadar, specialising in design, technology, wellness and cats, while doing the occasional pantomime and street performance in Bath and designing posters for a local drama group on the side.

Topics
3D
VR
AR
3D