Voxbox makes holographic technology more accessible

Holographic technology has been around for a while, but only recently has professional-grade holography made its way to the consumer market. In the past, many people likely only experienced holograms in their homes as part of cheap CD or DVD packaging.

Voxbox is a new video device that was designed to make pro holographic technology more accessible to consumers. The Voxbox viewer has a smaller, 8-inch screen than Holographic Optical Technologies’ prior device that was targeted at the pro market, and the new version can be used on a desk or hung on a wall. A starter pack including Voxbox and one of the company’s Voxgram holograms costs $200 via Kickstarter and will ship in September. It wasn’t immediately clear what the company will charge after the campaign. It is hoping to raise $200,000 by May 22.

The Voxbox produced true holograms, that is, images that float in front of the screen. The quality of its imagery, though, is not entirely clear from the campaign video. That can be a tough thing to capture in two dimensions. And while they are really more augmented reality products that true holography products, there is sure to be much competition from the Microsoft HoloLens and a secretive project by startup Magic Leap.


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Holho holograms float animated images atop your tablet display

The Premise. From Star Trek to Coachella, people have been waiting for the day that holograms become a staple in every home. The technology has existed in primitive forms for decades, but it’s always been too costly and complicated for personal use.

The Product. The Holho Full Pyramid can take any smartphone or tablet and turn it into a hologram projector without any modifications or complex installations.  By simply placing the full pyramid on the device’s screen in cooperation with the proprietary Holho app, any image or video properly converted can be displayed inside the pyramid and becomes fully rotatable.

The Pitch. A series of videos displays how the Holho system works on both smartphones and tablets and how owners can even make their own hologram version of Star Wars with a little movie magic. Imagination Farm which already has a Web site going for the product, seeks 8,500 euros to complete the project: the cost of a steel mold, pre-ordering the pyramid base in multiple colors, and finishing the companion app.

The Perks. Twenty-five euros gets you a Holho Full Pyramid for a smartphone, the app, and 4 videos for use with the app available as early as April or May of this year. €50 offers the same reward but for a larger Pyramid designed for 10” tablet screens. Additional money can be spent on purchasing more videos for use with the app or multiple Pyramids. For €438, Holho will create a video of a rotating cube with photos or videos of your choosing on its sides. Distributors can reserve 50 smartphone-sized Pyramids and 50 tablet-sized pyramids for €3,250

The Potential. While it’s certainly a low-tech solution to the absence of holograms in the home, the Holho system is a long way off from having Tupac do that concert in your living room that you’ve always wanted. The need for it to be used in conjunction with a smartphone or tablet at all times also prevents it from being used as a long-term decoration when you’ll undoubtedly need that device for something else. The high cost of the simple videos and thin novelty means that this product probably won’t revolutionize entertainment, but it could definitely be an interesting gift idea for that friend you met in the holodeck.