Tech startup launches first glasses-free 3D video conferencing solution
Tech startup, Holoxica has announced it has created the first glasses-free 3D videoconferencing solution for remote working. The funding to create a 3D telepresence system without the need for 3D glasses or a headset was provided through the Government’s modern industrial strategy by Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, focussed on innovation in response to COVID-19.
Traditional 2D videoconferencing delivers an unrealistic 'face to face' experience which makes reading body language and facial expressions difficult.
3D videoconferencing solutions proposed to date have relied on a fabricated environment and been driven by 3D headsets or glasses, which many people find intrusive and can cause motion sickness.
Holoxica’s solution uses off the shelf components such as a depth camera with Looking Glass light field 3D display technology to create motion video versions of holographic images, enabling people to feel like they are genuinely in the room with someone else when video conferencing with them and creating the depth of field typically associated with 3D without the need for headsets or artificial environments.
Director of Holoxica, Wendy Lamin commented: “During the global pandemic the business world has turned to videoconferencing to conduct meetings and conversations, but many people are currently suffering from 'Zoom fatigue'. This is not only caused by the sheer volume of meetings but also because it takes more effort to process someone’s non-verbal cues in 2D than 3D. Holoxica won an Innovate UK Grant to create a 3D teleconferencing solution that did not rely on headsets, but delivered a more natural, face-to-face experience.”
Holoxica’s 3D telepresence demonstration has been built at the Edinburgh offices of Codebase, the UK’s largest tech incubator, delivering real 3D telepresence over a local area network. The company is now commercialising the 3D teleconferencing system which is expected to start from under £1,000.
“Holoxica has created award-winning holographic 3D solutions for more than a decade from our base in Edinburgh,” commented Lamin. “Now we’ve applied the insight we gained from this work to deliver real time headset-free 3D videoconferencing for businesses of all sizes across the globe. We expect a commercial version to be available early in 2021.”