LAST SUMMER, Looking Glass Factory, a company based in the Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, revealed its latest consumer device: a slim, holographic picture frame that turns photos taken on iPhones into 3D displays. Linus Sebastian, an affable YouTube personality behind the immensely popular technology channel Linus Tech Tips, gave his viewers a preview of the technology.
Sebastian praised the Looking Glass Portrait as “freaking awesome,” especially considering the progress the company had made since Sebastian had toured their office two years earlier, after $2.5 million in money from a Kickstarter campaign. “For the price, for the amount of development work, and how niche this thing is, it honestly looks like a pretty compelling value for the right customer,” marveled Sebastian. “Which raises the questions, who is that exactly?”
Sebastian suggested the product would be a perfect fit for those who wanted to “flex” with a novelty piece of artwork or a designer seeking to preview their own work.
But Looking Glass Factory’s other customers went unmentioned in any of the splashy coverage of the new device: the Central Intelligence Agency and the Department of Defense. The military was interested in holographic technology, but the price was a potential obstacle. “The high cost of assembling holographic display devices are restraining market growth,” noted International Defense Security & Technology, a trade publication, last year. One of the growing players in the market, IDST added, is Looking Glass Factory.