Jon Karafin has dedicated his career to innovation in live action cinema, VFX post-production, and light field technology. Drawing on his experience transforming bleeding-edge concepts into market ready solutions, the CEO and founder of Silicon Valley-based startup Light Field Lab is focused on developing a next-generation light field display and holographic ecosystem.
As former Lytro Head of Light Field Video, Karafin spearheaded efforts to usher in a new era for cinematic capture and post-production via his contributions to the Lytro Cinema camera, which was unveiled at NAB 2016 to a near record-setting audience. He oversaw product management, engineering and software, intellectual property, and business development for the project.
Karafin previously served as VP of Production Technology at RealD and Director of Production, Technology, and Operations at Digital Domain Media Group. There he delivered technology and content for several of the highest grossing films, including Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit, Michael Bay’s Transformers 3, and Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland.
As co-founder and CTO of Light Field Lab, Brendan Bevensee drives the architectural design and execution of Light Field Lab’s holographic ecosystem – including display, encoding, decoding, API, and haptic technologies.
In his former role as Lead Engineer at Lytro, he directed and coordinated electrical and mechanical engineering, software, and optics teams in the design and build of Lytro Cinema. He also worked on the Lytro ILLUM camera, in product development and as the technical lead for optical calibration and testing.
Bevensee also spent several years at Aegis Lightwave and Photuris, as an electro-optical engineer developing systems and optical subsystems for dense wavelength division multiplexed fiber-optic networks, and was formerly a staff scientist at MIT Lincoln Lab.
Bevensee holds a Ph.D. in Experimental Particle Physics from the University of Pennsylvania, where he developed instrumentation for the Large Hadron Collider experiment at CERN that was used during the 2012 discovery of the Higgs boson subatomic particle.
VP of Engineering and co-founder for Light Field Lab, Ed Ibe drives development of the company’s holographic delivery and display technology.
Ibe is an engineer/builder with highly coveted electrical and mechanical design expertise, including logic design, simulation, printed circuit board layout, system testing, and low-cost, high-volume manufacturing.
In his former role as lead hardware engineer at Lytro working on the Lytro Cinema camera project, he oversaw mechanical, industrial, and electrical design, successfully taking the project from R&D through building and testing.
Ibe built his career working for IBM/ROLM Systems and 3Com in roles ranging from test engineering to application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) design. He has previously worked in an engineering and consultant capacity for a number of Silicon Valley startups, and has held managerial positions at Memtech and BiTMICRO Networks.
Light Field Lab aspires to bring real-world holographic experiences to professional and consumer markets by focusing on the end-to-end ecosystem. Already in development, their displays will enable photo-real objects to appear as if they are floating in space – all without the aid of eyewear. Their powerful integrated processing and imaging solutions will allow these immersive visuals to be delivered over commercial network speeds. Also underway is a universal API to streamline the process of bringing existing content to a light field display with holographic media. Future releases of the technology will allow users to touch and interact with holographic objects.
“We have arrived at a time where technology breakthroughs bring us closer than ever to what we imagined to be science fiction just years before. One of the main reasons I started OTOY was to help make the Star Trek Holodeck a practical reality in my lifetime. This has been a dream shared by many of us in the industry and around the world. Jon and the team have the expertise, ability and vision to bring this experience to consumers through miniaturization of inexpensive light field display hardware. Time and again this group has brought advanced novel technical concepts from the academic world into commercially viable products. If anyone can pull this off, they can.”
CEO of OTOY, Inc.
We have been focused on holographic capture and display technology development for the last decade. We believe that several of our recent breakthroughs have allowed us to take something that previously existed only in the realm of science fiction and convert it into reality.
While these terms all have precise scientific definitions, today they are generally interchangeable from a marketing standpoint. It would be like asking the difference between an LED, OLED, CRT, and LCD television; on a technical level they are distinct, but the outcome is relatively similar.
There are many holographic variations that aspire to display virtual objects without the use of a head-mounted device or stereoscopic glasses. In general, this is achieved through emitting light from each photosite (pixel) such that the viewer only sees it when certain conditions, such as ray angle or wavelength, are met. This can be achieved with lasers, optics, or other emerging beam-steering methodologies.
Yes and no. A true light field display as we are designing provides an experience, just like watching a play in a theater, where everyone sees the same narrative, but views it from his or her own place in the audience. Our passion is for immersive displays that provide a group social experience, instead of one where the whole audience sees a single identical view, but is blocked off from each other by headsets or other devices. That being said, the light field can be creatively changed so that everyone sees the same thing, or completely different things! The options are endless.
Light Field Lab will first focus on perfecting our holographic display. In parallel, our holographic ecosystem will be refined in order to ensure the quality and proliferation of the light field experience. More details on timelines will be announced in the future.
We are dedicated to and focused on the integration of all the senses into a fully immersive format. We are working towards technologies that allow you to interact and feel holographic objects, as well as the encoding and decoding methodologies required to smoothly stream light field data and maintain an amazing experience.
The storage and processing requirements will scale based upon the desired viewing volume, or area within the user’s view, as well as the amount of light field compression applied. These factors will be detailed for all of our customers, so that they can understand how best to integrate holographic display into their specific workflow.
Yes, other areas include medical, military, education, industrial visualization and gaming, to name a few.
While much is still in development, we are targeting having engineering samples to distribute in 2018 and development kits in 2019, to provide the world with the ability to explore holographic media.