Nov 27, 2017: San Francisco-based startup Lightform has secured a $5 million funding led by Lux Capital, including Dolby Family Ventures, CrunchFund, Comet Labs, Presence Capital, and Anorak Ventures.
Lightform 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.
By capturing structured light, the projector-mounted computer can scan the geometry of a space and place mesmerizing animations and stills onto objects and surfaces. The device plugs into the back of just about any projector and brings augmented reality to any surface it can shine on. The startup’s accompanying Lightform Creator desktop software allows users to easily edit how the projector interacts with the spaces it’s projecting on, letting them add AR effects or display media.
Lightform Creator, allows designers to create magical AR effects for their environments. It also allows 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 AR effects removes the need for headsets or phones, and allows viewers to have unobstructed 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.
The company’s technology is already being used to help display the menu at San Francisco cafe, Vive La Tarte. Lightform has started manufacturing its first production units and plans to use the $5 million round to finance the first manufacturing run.