In a nondescript former glass factory in Brooklyn, a start-up is attempting to pioneer a gear-less future of virtual reality — and hoping consumers will pay hundreds of dollars to partake in that vision.
The company, Looking Glass, creates three-dimensional holographic displays in transparent cubes that harness more than 2 million pixels. On Wednesday, the company launched Volume, a 21-inch, 30 pound personal volumetric display that allows users to create and share their own 3-D content.
Here’s the catch: At a time when the fulcrum of VR tech revolves around the use of cumbersome hardware, Volume’s selling point is creating interactive 3-D experiences that don’t use headgear or glasses.
It’s part of what founder Shawn Frayne calls a “contrarian bet” he anticipates will become the future of a VR sector that’s a recent report by Goldman Sachs said was rapidly morphing into a juggernaut worth at least $82 billion.
Looking Glass hopes that the launch of Volume can create a “flywheel effect of more and more great content, and better…volumetric display, and then we can down the road compete with VR and AR systems in the future,” Frayne told CNBC in a recent interview from the company's offices in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint section, with expansive views overlooking both Queens and Manhattan.