Mobile Technology

Interactive "holographic" tabletop platform Holus heads to Kickstarter

Interactive "holographic" tabl...
Holus projects 2D images onto the surfaces of a pyramid to produce the illusion of three-dimensional objects and worlds that you can interact with and look at from multiple angles
Holus projects 2D images onto the surfaces of a pyramid to produce the illusion of three-dimensional objects and worlds that you can interact with and look at from multiple angles
View 10 Images
Holus can be used to add another dimension to video teleconferencing
1/10
Holus can be used to add another dimension to video teleconferencing
Holus Pro Edition includes an HDMI port and a larger viewable area, along with out-of-the-box SDK support
2/10
Holus Pro Edition includes an HDMI port and a larger viewable area, along with out-of-the-box SDK support
Holus projects 2D images onto the surfaces of a pyramid to produce the illusion of three-dimensional objects and worlds that you can interact with and look at from multiple angles
3/10
Holus projects 2D images onto the surfaces of a pyramid to produce the illusion of three-dimensional objects and worlds that you can interact with and look at from multiple angles
Holus may make for an incredible platform for visualizing the Solar System
4/10
Holus may make for an incredible platform for visualizing the Solar System
H+ hopes that Holus will become the centerpiece of your living room
5/10
H+ hopes that Holus will become the centerpiece of your living room
With multiple viewing angles, Holus can provide a more intimate multiplayer digital gaming experience
6/10
With multiple viewing angles, Holus can provide a more intimate multiplayer digital gaming experience
Holus includes a Siri-like holographic assistant called Omi
7/10
Holus includes a Siri-like holographic assistant called Omi
A virtual city displayed inside Holus
8/10
A virtual city displayed inside Holus
Holus is basically a box with a plexiglass pyramid in the middle
9/10
Holus is basically a box with a plexiglass pyramid in the middle
Holus, viewed from above
10/10
Holus, viewed from above
View gallery - 10 images

In the future we'll all be sitting around a box in the middle of the room, rather than a TV in the corner. Canadian startup H+ Technology thinks so, anyway. H+ has created a see-through tabletop box called Holus that presents a tiny three-dimensional digital world you can interact with.

Billed as a "3D holographic experience," Holus uses an optical illusion called Pepper's Ghost. It's an old parlor trick that reflects a hidden object in such a way that it appears to be the room with you. You might have seen the trick used with digital projection at Coachella music festival in 2012 and the Billboard Music Awards in 2014, where it allowed Tupac Shakur and Michael Jackson, respectively, to perform on stage from beyond the grave.

Holus combines this technique with 3D projection. Four images of the same object are projected onto the walls of a plexiglass prism inside the Holus box, and no matter which side you're on these images appear to form a single 3D object (seen at different angles).

A virtual city displayed inside Holus
A virtual city displayed inside Holus

This differs from a similar hologram-like technology we reported on in 2013 that fizzled out after an unsuccessful Kickstarter campaign. Imagination Farm USA's Holho Pyramid created the illusion of moving 3D images with mirrors perched atop a smartphone, while its Holho Zed instead put a tablet into the top of a perspex stand where an image could be shined down into an angled transparent screen to create a 3D effect.

H+ claims that any digital content can be fed into Holus from a computer, tablet, or smartphone and converted into a 3D hologram-like image. And you can interact with the image via motion tracking or some other kind of external interface – be it a traditional gamepad or a gesture input device such as Microsoft Kinect or Leap Motion, or even Emotiv's Brain Sensor electroencephalography headset.

The tabletop box is meant to create a "social campfire" experience in the home, with family members clustered around the system looking and interacting with one another as well as the 3D display. It is also expected to benefit business (through "holographic" presentations) and education (through more natural visual interactions with digital content and complex 3D images).

Holus can be used to add another dimension to video teleconferencing
Holus can be used to add another dimension to video teleconferencing

H+ hopes to see a big uptake from developers producing Holus-specific games and software. The company has built support for the two leading game engines, Unity and Unreal, as well as other middleware technologies.

Holus also includes a music visualizer, a Siri-like virtual assistant, a holographic character library app, (either two or four) USB ports for charging smartphones, a tablet dock, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth.

A Home Edition clocks in with 230 x 450 x 450 mm (9 in x 17.7 x 17.7 in) dimensions, with a viewable image size of 191.5 x 405 x 405 mm (7.5 x 15.9 x 15.9 in). The beefier Pro Edition is 270 mm (10.6 in) high and 550 mm (21.7 in) long and wide, with a viewable image size of 224.9 x 475.7 x 475.7 mm (8.9 x 18.7 x 18.7 in).

The Pro Edition also includes embedded speakers and an ambient sensor that dims the display automatically.

Holus has already blown past a Kickstarter goal of CAD 50,000 (US$40,805), and all of the early bird pledges have been snapped up. Backers will now need to stump up at least CAD 850 for the Holus Home Edition and CAD 950 for the Pro Edition. If Holus is funded successfully and reaches production, H+ says the devices will begin shipping in April 2016.

You can watch the Holus Kickstarter pitch video below.

Sources: H+ Technology, Kickstarter

Holus: The Interactive Tabletop Holographic Display

View gallery - 10 images
7 comments
Milton
I'm having a very hard time coming up with a reason to want this. Seems like a huge gimmick. But then again, I felt the same way about the smart-watch.
christopher
I expect this will get pulled by kickstarter. It is not 3D, and it is not holographic either - it's just a 4-sided viewer (each side is still 2D)
Derek Howe
It's big and ugly, and also I couldn't want to own it any less then I currently do.
I'm all about future tech and whatnot, but not this gimmicky garbage.
Currently, the company that is impressing me the most is Microsoft with their Hololens. THAT tech has me reaching for my wallet.
Tuppe
Lmao, Gizmag owes me a coffee and screen wiping.
They got +150 000$ and counting for a freaking pepper's ghost? I will still have to see somebody rank up couple million with a infinity mirror on Kickstarter and I'm done with this universe.
Dude, this is ridiculous, not because it's a gimmick that will be used for 2 days for the novelty value but because they're lying and not giving vital information. It's not 3D, it's 4x 2D images, it requires EVERY app to be ported to this format.
I bet that 95% of the customers will think that it will work out of the box for every app and that it's actually 3D. They will sell about 500 of these. How many apps you think will be ported for this? This will be exactly like the Virtual Boy.
Here's how to make your own in 5 minutes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFhhIOaGW7U
BaiHarle
We all have to start somewhere. Just gotta put in the work. As long as you have your end goal in sight at all times, you can get there!
LuluIngles
To be honest, this is the best pyramid hologram ever. I tried to make one by myself before, except a wow moment the functions are very limit. I wanted to play games with this 1 years ago but never got there. I`m glad that finally these guys improved it to this level. I will support for that sdk research which open unlimited possibilities for us to create hologram content. Too many "easy talking" across the internet. I`d rather to see some real "hard doing" happening.
MeakinBir
What impressive me most is: it is interactive-able! It is coming from pepper's ghost, but it's definitely more than that! This marks an important milestone for holography, they are going towards a right direction!