Ready for Augmented Reality (AR) without the Headset?

Originally published at www.vudream.com on November 22, 2017.

Virtual Reality is going to be huge. The current VR HMD situation is developing more and more every day.

Unfortunately, there isn’t as much as news about augmented reality as VR but even so, it’s still growing.

We assume that with AR & VR you need to wear a big gadget on your head that can be uncomfortable and is accessible to only one person at a time.

Which is why I’m glad to announce…..

Recently raising $5 million round of funding led by Lux Capital, Dolby Family Ventures, CrunchFund, and others. Lightform is using the money to fund the manufacturing of their projected AR device.

Lightform is utilizing a lesser known technology called projected AR. Lightform connects to a video projector to beam images and animations on to objects, turning any surface into a screen.

The projector scans the environment using depth sensors to map the shape of objects, then tailors its lighting effects to fit.

Digital will soon blend with physical reality to create the ultimate mixed reality world.

Advanced computer vision eliminates complexity in the projection mapping process. The company is trying to democratize the platform so it can be used ubiquitously. Across film, art, education, cultural exhibits, events, signage, home entertainment, weddings, seasonal decor, theater, dance, and more.

This form of AR eliminates the need for headsets or phones, allowing viewers to have shared experiences. Prior, high costs have limited this technology to high-budget projects at theme parks, concerts, and events.

Lightform’s solution is a small Wi-Fi-enabled computer that mounts on any video projector, turning the projector into a display. The device uses a built-in camera to scan the environment, and in conjunction with the accompanying desktop software, Lightform Creator, lets designers create magical AR effects for their environments. Lightform also acts as the media player, making it easy to permanently deploy an experience.

“When it comes to integrating digital content with a physical space, your options haven’t fundamentally changed much since the advent flat panel LCD screens. Augmented reality will completely change that, and projected AR is an immediately accessible way designers can blur the line between the real and virtual worlds.”

– Phil Reyneri, Lightform’s Director of Marketing.

As an example, Lightform partnered with local San Francisco bakery Vive la tarte for a pilot installation using their system. A digitally updatable menu is projected onto a sculpture made of wood and steel.

“We wanted to do something different and saw Lightform’s technology as a great way to push the boundaries of what a menu could be. The menu is alive, like our food, and it perfectly integrates in our space.”

– Arnaud Goethals, Vive la tarte’s co-founder and CEO.

Lightform is already manufacturing the first production units. Instead of the usual path of early crowdfunding financing, the company will use the $5M round to finance their first manufacturing run.

“There’s been a lot of undelivered hype in the AR/VR space, so we want to ensure we can ship a product to our customers and deliver on our promises. Given the skepticism around AR vaporware, we want to make it clear that Lightform is real and being used for real applications. Funding the development with this new capital allows us to finalize our product before we start selling it, not the other way around.”

– Brett Jones, Lightform’s CEO.

Lightform is currently alpha testing with select partners and will be available to order next year. The device will cost under $1000 and will have an optional professional software subscription.

The company is also actively hiring for multiple roles building tools for creative people. To receive product updates and see career opportunities visit lightform.com.

Conclusion

Check back on this page frequently for updates and additions.

We’ve seen a tremendous amount of disruptive change coming from the Virtual Reality Industry. It is surely certain that this kind of content will accelerate based on trends in the future.

You most likely have some other VR ideas that can change the world! Share them with us on social media!

Originally published at www.vudream.com on November 22, 2017.

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Mark Metry

📖 Bestselling Author of Screw Being Shy 🎧 Global Top 100 Humans 2.0 Podcast 📺 Amazon Prime’s The Social Movement 🎤 Speaker featured in Forbes markmetry.com