Looking Glass: Developing Holographic Displays
Enabling enterprises and individuals to create and showcase 3D designs
Holographic displays are part of a burgeoning market expected to reach $2.5 billion by 2024. Unfortunately, up until now, traditional 3D hardware has been designed with inconvenient UX, often requiring headgear and other technology to function. Additionally, issues with form, performance, and cost have prevented widespread holographic adoption.
Alumni Ventures portfolio company Looking Glass Factory is building the next generation of digital viewing experiences with fully functional holographic displays, no headgear required. The company’s high-performance inexpensive 3D solution has already become the most widely adopted holographic display.
Click below to watch a video about Looking Glass featuring Co-Founder and CEO Shawn Frayne.
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Looking Glass has generated impressive traction in sales, revenue, and product development by pursuing many different industries, including medical visualization, experiential marketing, 3D storytelling, scientific visualization, and drug discovery. In addition, the company aims to normalize holographic display technology for millions of people with smartphones.
The company’s milestones include:
- 2018: Launched the world’s first holographic display developer kit for 3D creators to see their work come to life
- 2019: Started shipping the world’s first 8K light field display, called Looking Glass 8K (click below to watch a video showcasing this product) Click here to watch a video of this product
- 2020: Announced a more user/consumer-friendly and affordable desktop holographic display called the Looking Glass Portrait
- 2021: Announced the release of a suite of new upgrades that will aid in the creation of 3D holographic images for the company’s lineup of holographic interfaces
The third generation of Looking Glass products (available for order now and delivery this year) will focus on interconnective and networked holographic experiences.
Competitive Moats and Influential Lead Investor
Looking Glass is years ahead of the competition in cost, technology, and intellectual property, having already shipped thousands of units while others are still only experimenting in the field. The company has also developed software to help generate display content, which helps strengthen its competitive moat through a software-product ecosystem and patent portfolio.
“When I ponder my life in 2040, I am confident that I will not be spending 12 hours a day in videoconferences on a 2D display. I’m also not going to have a headset encapsulating my face. I’m ready for my holographic future.” – Brad Feld, Looking Glass investor, Managing Director of Foundry Group, Co-Founder of Techstars
Looking Glass is backed by an established investor syndicate, led by Foundry Group and Managing Director Brad Feld. The firm’s 300 investments to date include Zynga (IPO $7 billion), SendGrid (IPO, then acquired by Twilio for $2 billion), and Fitbit (IPO $4.1 billion). Brad was an early investor in Fitbit (a hardware-software ecosystem for consumers with many corollaries to Looking Glass), investing in multiple rounds and serving as a board member.
Other investors include Uncork Capital, SOSV, and Neoteny — the fund of the former director of the MIT Media Lab.
How We Are Involved
Castor Ventures (for the MIT community), Chestnut Street Ventures (for the Penn community), Towerview Ventures (for the Duke community), Lakeshore Ventures (for the UChicago community), and AV’s Deep Tech Fund deployed capital in Looking Glass’ $9.5 million Series B. Part of our allocation was also raised via Syndication.
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