Skip to main content

A Kickstarter project aims to turn iPhone Portrait mode photos into affordable holograms

Creating a realistic hologram involves a lot of expensive equipment, both for scanning and projection. But a Kickstarter project aims to provide an affordable hologram for as little as $199, and needs nothing more than a single Portrait mode photo taken by an iPhone

The project is called Looking Glass Portrait, with early-bird rewards starting at $199 (after the early bird pricing was extended).

We’ve always wanted a way for everyone to have their own holographic display. That’s why today we’re so excited to share something we’ve been working on in secret for the past 18 months: the Looking Glass Portrait — your first personal holographic display.

The company says creating a hologram is as easy as taking a Portrait mode photo and uploading it into a Mac app.

Take a single Portrait mode photo with your iPhone

Import single Portrait mode photo into HoloPlay Studio

HoloPlay Studio automatically converts the depth from Portrait mode photos into the dozens of perspectives needed to make a hologram. After conversion, the hologram is automatically stored in Looking Glass Portrait for standalone playback.

Other options are to shoot video and to use 3D creation apps.

The device can support up to 1,000 built-in holographic images. The viewing frame incorporates a Raspberry Pi 4 to provide the processing power and storage. You can also use it as a holographic display for a Mac when using tools like Unity, Unreal, Blender, Maya, and Azure Kinect.

Sadly, an affordable hologram isn’t going to make a holiday gift for anyone: delivery is estimated in March 2021.

Given the number of crowdfunded projects that fail, we would add our usual caution here: there is always risk involved in backing projects before the product is actually produced. If you prefer to wait, the retail price will be $349.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

You’re reading 9to5Mac — experts who break news about Apple and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Mac on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel



Avatar for Ben Lovejoy Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

Ben Lovejoy's favorite gear