Leveraging the real world as a dynamic display, with light

November 23, 2017 // By Julien Happich
Lightform
Californian startup, Lightform announced it has secured a $5 million round of funding led by Lux Capital, with other investors including Dolby Family Ventures, CrunchFund, Comet Labs, Presence Capital, and Anorak Ventures.


Lightform's WiFi-enabled projection mapping
computer sitting on top of a projector.

The startup which emerged from stealth last March when securing $2.6 million in seed funding, has developed a WiFi-connected computer specifically designed for projected augmented reality. The dual camera device leverages computer vision algorithms and connects to any video projector to 3D map objects in a room and then drive the projector to create inspiring light scenes on target objects.

Accompanying desktop software, Lightform Creator, lets designers easily create magical AR effects for their environments, allowing users to easily map digital video content onto 3D objects and spaces for a dynamic augmented reality display to be experienced by anyone present in the room. This type of AR eliminates the need for headsets or phones, allowing viewers to have unobstructed, shared AR experiences. Previously, the cost and complexity of creating projected AR has limited the technology to high-budget projects at theme parks, concerts, and events, but the startup aims to democratize projection mapping.

Lightform has started manufacturing its first production units and plans to use the $5M round to finance the first manufacturing run.

"There's been a lot of undelivered hype in the AR/VR space, so we want to ensure we can ship a product to our customers and deliver on our promises." says Brett Jones, Lightform's CEO. "Given the skepticism around AR vaporware, we want to make it clear that Lightform is real and being used for real applications. Funding the development with this new capital allows us to finalize our product before we start selling it, not the other way around."

Lightform is currently alpha testing with select partners, and will be available to order next year. The device will cost under $1000, and will have an optional professional software subscription. The company is also actively hiring for multiple roles building tools for creative people.

Lightform – www.lightform.com