Former Valve inventor Jeri Ellsworth takes AR/VR glasses to Kickstarter

Monday, 14 October 2013 15:01 GMT By Dave Cook

CastAR is the new augmented and virtual reality glasses tech from ex-Valve inventor Jeri Ellsworth and former colleague Rick Johnson. The device has now appeared on Kickstarter with both creators looking for funding to the tune of $400,000.

At the time of writing the CastAR funding page has raised $25,881 with 31 days to go.

The idea is that castAR projects holographic-like 3D images in front of the user, and the idea has been likened to the fantasy of a hologram chess game seen in Star Wars: A New Hope.

The Kickstarter descriptor explains that the glasses are capable of both tracking AR markers and displaying VR like Oculus Rift. It adds, “One primary concern we kept in mind when developing the castAR system was how to bridge the gap between the physical world and the virtual world. We accomplished this through the use of two unique peripherals: the Magic Wand and the RFID Tracking Grid.

“The Magic Wand is new kind of controller that lets you position things in space and control them with a joystick, all with one hand. The RFID Tracking Grid allows you to uniquely identify, track, and augment physical objects (such as miniatures, cards, and board game pieces) across the surface.

“Another goal we have is to make castAR a comfortable and enjoyable experience for a wide audience. The final retail glasses are expected to weigh less than 100 grams, which is only slightly heavier than a pair of sunglasses. If you wear prescription glasses, castAR was designed to sit easily on the outside of them.”

The castAR device is being developed with PC in mind, and the Technical Illusions group is also considering mobile options. It’s also compatible with Unity’s AR functionality, which will come with the glasses free of charge, alongside its SDK.

The buy-in pledge for a pair of castAR glasses is $189. There’s an estimated September 2014 delivery date attached.

Check out the video at the link above and let us know what you think.

Via Eurogamer.

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