The world’s first augmented reality tool for designers is headset-free

 Lightform Inc. new augmented reality range
San Francisco’s Lightform Inc. launches its new augmented reality tool, with designers in mind
(Image credit: Lightform Inc.)

The technology behind projected augmented reality (otherwise known as video mapping) has been around for years, but until now, it has been packaged in expensive, difficult to use shells. San Francisco’s Lightform Inc – the team behind landmark AR projects for Microsoft and Disney – has invented a simple, easy to use tool specifically for designers.

With the new LF1, users can transform normal scenes into immersive experiences – a staircase can become a projected AR waterfall, or a retail display can become an interactive screen, projecting fire, rain, or product information. To do this, the LF1 scans the environment using depth sensors to map the shape of objects, then tailors its lighting effects to fit.

‘Lightform allows you to design beyond the screen. Now the world is literally your canvas,’ says Brett Jones, the CEO of Lightform Inc. Importantly, for the first time, no headset is required. The new combined camera and computer superimposes images over real-world objects without the need for a bulky head-mounted display.

This makes the possibilities endless for advertisers, who can attract passing audiences, as opposed to targeted, headset-wearing individuals. It opens the opportunity for augmented window displays, experiential marketing suites, and immersive interiors.

For designers, its yet another challenge to grapple with. As technological advancements in AR continue to accelerate, the worlds of set design, architectural pavilions and performance art, have become stages for this kind of future-seeking experimentation. With important artists like Marina Abramović, Anish Kapoor and Nancy Baker Cahill already working at the intersection of art and the augmented world, we await the results of the democratically priced LF1 with anticipation.

LF1, by Lightform Inc.

LF1, by Lightform Inc.

(Image credit: Lightform Inc)

LF1, by Lightform Inc

LF1, by Lightform Inc.

(Image credit: Lightform Inc)

INFORMATION

The LF1 is available to order for $699 and a Starter Kit is available for $1499. For more information, visit the Lightform website (opens in new tab)

Elly Parsons is the Digital Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees Wallpaper.com and its social platforms. She has been with the brand since 2015 in various roles, spending time as digital writer – specialising in art, technology and contemporary culture – and as deputy digital editor. She was shortlisted for a PPA Award in 2017, has written extensively for many publications, and has contributed to three books. She is a guest lecturer in digital journalism at Goldsmiths University, London, where she also holds a masters degree in creative writing. Now, her main areas of expertise include content strategy, audience engagement, and social media.