Take off your virtual reality headset and give the HoloLamp a whirl

HoloLamp is a portable, self-contained augmented reality experience that’s sort of like virtual reality goggles without the goggles. The device is on display at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The HoloLamp experience is glasses-free and hands-free, and uses a computer, cameras, and a pico projector to create a 3D illusion on all sorts of surfaces. It’s meant to create an immersive experience similar to that of VR glasses without the hindrance of a headset or controls.

“The smart glasses and headset industry have been tirelessly working to deliver a mainstream augmented reality experience, though they have been unsuccessful in developing a product that consumers actually want to wear,” HoloLamp cofounder Guillaume Chican said in a statement. “The hands-free and glasses-free technology allows users to easily engage with their surroundings while using HoloLamp, making it an ideal solution for numerous business and personal environments.”

Beyond the virtual reality experience, HoloLamp reportedly uses real, physical objects to create new and interesting ways to interact with an everyday space. Gaming applications are particularly suited for HoloLamp, as are educational simulations of historical artifacts. The technology has the potential to also render 3D versions of human avatars to improve communication.

Game design software Unity is used to create the objects displayed by the device. The device doesn’t actually project 3D objects, but instead warps an image into something that looks 3D to human eyes. Further manipulation of an object is implemented with HoloLamp through a PlayStation 4 controller, though users will be able to control objects by surface touch in the future.

“We see the world in 3D because our brain knows we live in a 3D world, but a subtle change from technology is enough to make your brain think the 2D projections it’s seeing [are] real 3D objects,” company cofounder Alan Jay said in a statement. “Our system uses a camera-based, face-tracking system to know where your eyes are, and as you move. it alters the projection as if you were looking at a real 3D object.”

As the technology evolves, HoloLamp expects the device to supplement gaming, communication, education, and science. Pre-orders for HoloLamp will begin in the first quarter of 2017. Pricing information is not currently available.

Gaming

The Teslasuit could turn Black Mirror’s terrifying ‘Playtest’ into a reality

We spoke with Teslasuit co-founder Dimitri Mikhalchuk about VR gaming at CES 2019. With all its features, the future of the Teslasuit and virtual reality look bright. And it also sounds a bit like a Black Mirror episode.
Gaming

Take a trip to a new virtual world with one of these awesome HTC Vive games

So you’re considering an HTC Vive, but don't know which games to get? Our list of 25 of the best HTC Vive games will help you out, whether you're into rhythm-based gaming, interstellar dogfights, or something else entirely.
Gaming

Immerse yourself in a new universe with these incredible PSVR games

The PSVR has surpassed expectations and along with it comes an incredible catalog of games. There's plenty of amazing experiences to be had so we've put together a list of the best PSVR games available today.
Virtual Reality

Think virtual reality is just for games? These awesome apps will change your mind

Virtual reality isn't all about gaming. Swim with turtles, paint in 3D, and immerse yourself in some unique experiences the platform has to offer with our curated list of the best VR apps.
Emerging Tech

Ford’s sweaty robot bottom can simulate 10 years of seat use in mere days

Ford has developed 'Robutt,' a sweaty robot bottom that's designed to simulate the effects of having a pair of human buttocks sitting on its car seats for thousands of hours. Check it out.
Emerging Tech

CES 2019 recap: All the trends, products, and gadgets you missed

CES 2019 didn’t just give us a taste of the future, it offered a five-course meal. From 8K and Micro LED televisions to smart toilets, the show delivered with all the amazing gadgetry you could ask for. Here’s a look at all the big…
Emerging Tech

Want to know which drones are flying near you? There’s an app for that

Want to know what that mysterious drone buzzing over your head is up to? A new system developed by AirMap, Google Wing, and Kittyhawk.io could soon tell you -- via a map on your phone.
Emerging Tech

A Japanese hotel fires half its robot staff for being bad at their jobs

Japan’s oddball Henn na Hotel has fired half of its 243 robot staff. The reason? Because these labor-saving machines turned out to be causing way more problems than they were solving.
Emerging Tech

CERN plans to build a massive particle collider that dwarfs the LHC

CERN already has the world's biggest particle accelerator. Now it wants a bigger one. Meet the 9 billion euro Future Circular Collider that will allow physicists to extend their study of the universe and matter at the smallest level.
Emerging Tech

Forget fireworks. Japan will soon have artificial meteor showers on tap

Tokyo-based startup Astro Live Experiences is preparing to launch its first artificial meteor shower over Japan, serving as a showcase of its prowess in the space entertainment sector.
Cars

Robomart’s self-driving grocery store is like Amazon Go on wheels

Robomart's driverless vehicle is like an Amazon Go store on wheels, with sensors tracking what you grab from the shelves. If you don't want to shop online or visit the grocery store yourself, Robomart will bring the store to you.
Emerging Tech

Glowing space billboards could show ads in the night sky

Look up at the night sky in 2020 and you might see an ad for McDonald's floating among the stars. A Russian startup is working on a project that uses a constellation of small satellites in low-Earth orbit to create glowing ads.
Emerging Tech

New brainwave reader tells teachers if students are concentrating

Massachusetts-based startup BrainCo has developed brainwave-reading headbands which can reportedly help reveal if students are concentrating in class. Here's how they're being used.
Emerging Tech

Fears about kids’ screen use may have been overblown, Oxford researchers find

Many people take it as gospel that digital technologies are harmful to young people’s mental health. But is this true? A recent study from the University of Oxford takes a closer look.