Featured Speaker: Alex Hornstein - Chasing the Hologram

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Four years ago, Alex Hornstein and Shawn Frayne co-founded their startup Looking Glass Factory to take holograms out of the realm of science fiction and into reality. This is the story of the struggle of bringing a technology out of science ficton and into the real world. It’s a glimpse into how fiction shapes our vision of the future, and how technology can, in turn, affect the stories we imagine about ourselves and the machines that are interwoven with our lives. The unlikely story of Looking Glass spreads from an industrial building in Hong Kong and roams around in the world in an unlikely and delightful way, dancing between hollywood producers and chinese factories to underwater photographers in Ecuador and indie game developers in Tokyo. So come on over to the Pawtucket R&D lab and step onto a guided tour through four years of rapid-fire invention, play with the latest interactive holograms, and savor a taste of the holographic future in this featured DESIGN WEEK RI talk.

We’re pleased to partner with Rhode Island Virtual Reality (RIVR) for this featured talk. For more information on RIVR, visit their website here.

These events are being recorded and photographed. By attending, you give your consent to be photographed, filmed, taped, and/or recorded.


Alex Hornstein

Looking Glass Factory

Alex Hornstein had two role models growing up: Thomas Edison and Indiana Jones. Invention and adventure felt like a prescription for a life worth living, so he got to work.

Alex patented his first invention, a distributed solar concentrator, before he was twenty, and decided that he liked the process of inventing a technology and fighting to get it out into the world. He spent the next decade traveling around the world, working on inventions from 3D printing to rural solar electrification, with a brief foray into a toothbrush that brushes all your teeth in two seconds. Four years ago, Alex and his friend Shawn started a company called Looking Glass to pursue a childhood fascination with the holograms they grew up seeing in movies, and to try to bring that fiction to life. The story’s not over yet!

When Alex isn’t in the lab, you can find him on a motorcycle, in the middle of nowhere or at the bottom of the ocean, but always with his wife Hannah and their daughter, Lumen