Jun 11, 2015 | By Alec

We’ve already known for a long time that commercial virtual reality systems will bring some fantastic 3D printable design options to the table, such as the Occulus Rift an the upcoming Microsoft HoloLens. However, a brand new piece of hardware has just appeared almost out of nowhere that could also become an excellent tool for designers: the Holus. In a nutshell, it’s a holographic platform that converts digital content from any source into a 3D hologram, making it perfect for playing games, educating, communicating in a Star Wars-esque fashion, and seriously expanding your digital design options.

People browsing Kickstarter occaissionally will have come across the Holus, as it has been remarkably popular: within just a handful of days, the projected goal of $50,000 for the Holus crowdfunding campaign was achieved three times over. And that’s hardly surprising, as this tool seems to have holographic options for just about everyone. It has been designed by the Vancouver, Canada-based H+ Technology, a startup who has spent the past 18 months developing prototypes of their commercial holography tool.

As they have explained on Kickstarter, their main goal was to overcome the isolation that smartphone and tablet-based technology is creating; after all we are all just sitting around with our smartphones all day, even at parties and as tourists. ‘We wanted to design Holus in a way that would achieve safety, cost-effectiveness, light weight, energy efficiency and a clean, minimal design so that the user could see and engage with others around Holus. We also recognized two key challenges that we face with current display technologies: isolation and stagnation of human movement,’ they write.

Their solution? A pyramid-shaped holographic platform that is as simple and intuitive to use as a tablet, while enabling interaction from four different angles. In short, it can be a family entertainment system, an educational tool for interactive learning, a business tool for giving presentations and much more. ‘Unlike many entertainment and wearable systems that tend to isolate people, Holus aims to create a “social campfire” experience that brings people together without having them miss out on real life moments,’ they write. Other options include holographic teleconferencing and even using brain sensors to control the holographic objects.

But perhaps most interesting for us 3D printing enthusiasts, is the enhanced version of the Holus. For this platform will be made available in two versions: a consumer focused release that interacts with smartphones, and a second Pro version aimed at developers. ‘At H+, we believe the developer community has a lot to offer, and therefore we invite them to be a part of our work and contribute their ideas. We are working to make Holus a completely open platform so that the developer community can bring any idea to life!’ they write.

Included in this developer option are a HDMI port and an SDK tool, so all manner of devices can attached to the Holus. This means the Holus can, for instance, be used to check out your 3D models before sending them to your 3D printer, modifying 3D designs and even scanning objects and turning them into 3D printable renderings. As it will be made completely open for developers, a whole range of 3D printing applications can even be created, giving the Holus a lot more potential.


 ‘We are further supporting developers by providing demos and SDKs for Unity3D and Unreal game engines, along with plugins for our partners’ products, Leap Motion, Emotiv, and Occipital. With our proprietary middleware, we have made it easy for not only for Developers but Artists and Designers to create applications for Holus!’ the developers explain. Especially the Leap motion sensor technology could become an interesting design tool, as it can be used to interact with your designs. The Occipital 3D scanning technology meanwhile, could turn anything into a 3D printable options.

The Holus Pro thus, in short, seems to have a lot of potential for the maker community in the near future. While it will, obviously, depend on the exact contents of the developers SDK and the design applications that will be written for the Holus, this could become an excellent addition to a maker’s arsenal. If you’re interested in getting your hands on one through Kickstarter, you still can! The crowdfunding campaign won’t expire until 10 July, with shipping of the actual kits beginning in the second quarter of 2016. As all the early birds are already spoken for, a Holus Pro will cost you $950.


Posted in 3D Printing Applications

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Gad wrote at 6/12/2015 11:57:19 AM:

amazing how people can jump into paying for such an old technology on the basis of a couple of nice photos ...

Tom wrote at 6/11/2015 8:21:32 PM:

You can buy the similar thing from Chinese eBay TAOBAO for just 100 usd.

Chris Coleman wrote at 6/11/2015 6:16:11 PM:

Please do not encourage the abuse of the notion of a hologram for this device. It projects 4 discrete views onto the 4 pieces of glass so you can see 4 different angles of a 3D object, but it is in no way holographic or dimensional. People have been making these devices for 30 years or more and they look like crap in person.

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