Light Field Lab announced that it raised $ 28 million to finance its technology for creating large holographic displays from small building blocks.
Bosch Venture Capita and Taiwania Capital lead the round. The remaining money was received from Samsung, Verizon Ventures, Comcast, Liberty Global Ventures, NTT Docomo Ventures, Hella Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Alumni Ventures Group, R7 Partners and Acme Capital. Recall that previously the company received an investment of $ 7 million in January 2018.
California-based Light Field Lab will use the money to scale its display technology from prototype to finished product. The goal is to create holographic objects that seem three-dimensional and float in space without using a special helmet of virtual or augmented reality.
John Karafin, CEO of Light Field Lab, has already said that he wants to realize a real holographic experience with a resolution of up to hundreds of gigapixels, including modular video walls for live broadcasts and large-scale installations.
“The ultimate goal is to create holograms, just like in science fiction,” says Karafin.
“You know, skeptics say flying cars and holograms are two things that science fiction has not yet fully justified. And we are going to at least begin to immerse ourselves in these technologies. ”
How Light Field Lab Technology Works
Light Field Lab says that the world we know is largely based on the perception of our senses, and that vision is the main input method into our brain. Everything around us is a combination of light energy visible by our eyes and processed by the visual cortex of the brain. A “light field” determines how photons move in space and interact with material surfaces. The things that we ultimately see as the world around us are beams of light that focus at the back of our eyes. The trick is to make your eyes focus on a specific point in space.
Light Field Lab technology recreates what optical physics calls a “real image” for off-screen projected objects, generating a huge number of viewing angles that change correctly in terms of location and location, just like in the real world. This is done with the immediately emitting, modular, and flat panel display surface connected to a complex series of waveguides that modulate the dense field of collimated light rays. With this implementation, the viewer sees a picture around objects when moving in any direction due to the fact that the parallax balance of movement, reflection and refraction is maintained. They behave correctly, and their eyes freely focus on objects materializing in the air. As a result, the brain says: “this is real”, without any physical objects in sight. In other words, the Light Field Laboratory creates real holograms without an augmented or virtual reality helmet.
The company plans to take smaller components of the holographic image and assemble them into very large images. Back in November, the company showed a two-inch transparent holographic image, which the company can produce as the main building block. There is no head tracking, no motion sickness, and no delay. The action takes place within 6×4 inches of space, or on the area of the main building block.
“Real-time physical rendering is a huge game for everything we do, in addition to the fact that there are already plugins for most types of software,” notes Karafin.
“We want to make sure that we create something transformational. That no one has ever seen before. ”
Building blocks will be assembled into large images, like a Rex dinosaur in a museum that looks surprisingly real for the children who stand next to it. Over time, technology may shift to consumer applications.
“The type of experience that we will provide and ultimately, is home-oriented for all consumer technologies,” said Karafin.
“Obviously, we start with large venues and great recreational activities. But we are going to create, and we will show you that this is a fully interactive, social experience. This means that you, your friends and your family, we can all be in the same environment together and not be limited to some isolated experience. ”
“Light Field Lab’s holographic imaging technologies are opening up entirely new business opportunities for the consumer and corporate markets,” said Ingo Ramezola, managing director of joint lead investor Bosch Venture Capital.
“Light Field Lab is a leader and technical expert that brings this vision of a holographic future to life.”
Although the Light Field Lab will initially focus on large-format location-based entertainment centers, a version of its holographic technology will ultimately be developed for the consumer market. These investment partnerships pave the way for widespread industry adoption and market expansion.
Strategic investors said they are happy to participate in the holographic ecosystem and continue to evaluate its potential.
“The holographic displays of the Light Field Lab are the most exciting new technology we have seen in the entertainment space today,” said Ankur Prakash, vice president of Liberty Global Ventures.
“We are delighted to significantly participate in their funding and are committed to helping them match the best content creators in the industry and accelerate the spread of holographic media on next-generation networks.”
In addition to holographic displays, Light Field Lab technology includes the hardware and software platform needed to distribute content.
“The new Verizon 5G network has higher bandwidth, lower latency and speed / bandwidth for delivering next-generation content,” said a statement by Christina Serafim, investment director at Verizon Ventures.
“The innovative Light Field Lab solution will help build the future of 5G for Verizon’s customers, businesses, networks and media customers.”
The company was founded in 2017 by Karafin, Brendan Bevensee and Ed Ibe with a single mission – to ensure a holographic future, drawing on the collective experience of the founders in the innovation field in the field of light field technology. The company has 14 employees and a dozen contractors.
“The industry’s response was extremely enthusiastic, as evidenced by the enthusiasm of our investors,” notes Karafin.
“We look forward to working with our syndicate of production, content creation and distribution partners to unlock opportunities in a number of vertical markets as we take our technology to the next stage.”
“This is a fusion of the real and synthetic worlds. This is what we are pleased to bring to the market. ”
Later, in the second or third generation of technology, the company wants to introduce the ability to sense, feel and interact with holograms, Karafin said.
“Everything we do leads to the ability to create real mechanical things,” he said.
And yes, ultimately the company wants to create Star Trek Hunger.
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