Looking Glass Adds Chatbot-Driven Animated Avatars To Its Specialty Displays
May 24, 2023 by Dave Haynes
Many things remind me that I am getting old – particularly pop culture and the affection at least some people have for gadget-driven tech I just find head-scratching.
Consider this new product from the Brooklyn-based display technology firm Looking Glass, which has introduced a chatbot and custom avatars to its range of hologram-ish screens for desktops and walls.
“Looking Glass is well-known for developing the most realistic holographic solutions that breathe life into 3D digital content, all without the need for headsets,” says Shawn Frayne, co-founder and CEO of Looking Glass. “But over the past few years, we’ve been prototyping new ways to not only create and view holograms but to communicate with them. With all the major leaps made with large language models like ChatGPT, now you can! We couldn’t be more excited to see how brands around the world use Liteforms to connect their fans to the magic of talking, ‘living’ holograms.”
The platform is billed as bringing “conversational holographic characters to life” using large language models (LLMs) to drive the voice interaction.
Here’s a video of what this all looks like …
Says the company in PR:
The applications for this technology are vast, and Looking Glass is already engaging with brands in the retail, out-of-home advertising and location-based entertainment sectors. Liteforms allow brands to build memorable experiences for their audiences by combining highly engaging holographic displays with branded conversational holographic characters trained in their entire product and service offerings.
With brands looking for deeper and more memorable ways to connect with their audiences, they have increasingly turned to text-based chatbots. Liteforms can now make this type of engagement feel immersive and real by allowing customers and holographic characters to hold a conversation; no typing required.
Liteforms will be offered through a subscription model with enterprise tiers, allowing for custom character creation, whether that be appearance, voice or training with specific knowledge. A basic Liteforms subscription, starting at $20/month, will be available for individuals looking to experience the magic of holograms created by Looking Glass, including Uncle Rabbit, Little Inu and Andi the Robot.
The appeal of this for home use, coupled with a $20 monthly fee, completely escapes me (but stressing again I am 65). However, I could see some commercial application for this for retail brands that specifically appeal to young people – if custom characters could be created. Like a Disney store that lets little kids converse with Mickey Mouse or Buzz Lightyear.
Museums might be another interesting application.
On the other hand, conventional flat panel displays could realize much of this, just not with the modest 3D effects of these specialty displays. And I think AI tools out there now could create interactive avatars outside of whatever Looking Glass has developed.
People interested in this are being asked to sign up for the beta program here: www.lookingglassfactory.com/liteforms