The Danish company that has shown small pyramid-shaped hologram-like displays at recent Digital Signage Expos will be showing a much larger take on mixed reality at the upcoming CES show in Las Vegas.
Realfiction will he unveiling DeepFrame, a large glass window that uses the reflection of an OLED display’s image to create an overlay on what people are looking at.
Here’s how it is described:
DeepFrame enables photorealistic images and videos to be viewed through a glass window in 4K resolution — without requiring spectators to use any special eyewear. The patent-pending technology makes it possible – for the first time ever – to integrate digital holograms directly into everyday settings and vistas; allowing a group of people to share the same MR experience simultaneously.
In development for more than two years, DeepFrame is based on a combination of existing technologies that have been refined through rigorous research and development. The display utilizes a curved 4K OLED screen to project an ultra-high-resolution image, video or animation, which is deflected and enlarged on a transparent custom-made glass optic. By tailoring the visual for a physical environment, a glasses-free, mixed-reality experience can be created for an audience to witness collectively in real time.
A standard DeepFrame display is 64 inches, but will be available in other sizes in the near future. DeepFrame was unveiled this past May with a surprise demonstration at the Danish National Aquarium, in which a 3D rocket launched out of a still water bank.
The decade-old company, located in Copenhagen, first generated some buzz through its product Dreamoc, small glass pyramids (see below) that use the century-old Pepper’s Ghost illusion to create what look like holograms (they’re not). The little displays do a nice job off adding high-resolution visuals to high-end merchandising cases for products like smartphones and timepieces. About 10,000 units have been sold globally by Realfiction, so it definitely has a market.
“With DeepFrame, our goal is to re-write the rules of mixed-reality and transform the way the public interacts with digital elements,” says Clas Dyrholm, Realfiction Co-founder and CEO. “By removing the need for glasses, we’ve evolved mixed-reality from a traditionally accessorized and isolated experience into something that can be spontaneous and social. Like the Dreamoc, we anticipate DeepFrame being applied to a broad range of industries, including retail, education and entertainment.”
“The technology behind DeepFrame is, at its core, both simple and extremely complex,” says Peter Simonsen, Realfiction Co-Founder and Head of R&D. “The seemingly holographic effect is achieved by bending the omitted light with the use of high precision optical layers, which are normally manufactured for deep space telescopes.”
The argument could, of course, be made that the visual effects of DeepFrame could be achieved without all the hardware and cost using augmented reality on smartphones. But there are many, many steps involved in getting that together for someone (getting the right app, launching it, follwoing instructions, etc, etc) versus just walking up and looking. This would be interesting for end-users like museums and exhibits, and real estate developers trying to market commercial or residential properties on vacant or brownfields lands.