Former Valve employees' augmented reality projector castAR Kickstarted after two days
Like all the really great things in geekdom, it began with Star Wars. Former Valve employees Jeri Ellsworth and Rick Johnson have come up with a way to bring that holoprojected chess match between R2D2 and Chewbacca, Dejarik, a reality, and the solution is castAR: augmented reality projecting glasses. After 18 months of prototyping, Ellsworth and Johnson have launched a Kickstarter campaign to finish production.
“The castAR glasses create their holograph-like images by using two microprojectors that reside on the glasses,” Ellsworth says in the video. “Each projector shines a portion of the 3D image to the surface. Your eyes are focusing at a natural distance, making it a very comfortable experience without having any motion sickness or other side effects.”
Combined with a highly reflective projection surface, Ellsworth and Johnson show a lot of possible applications for castAR in games. The augmented reality projection shows an overhead view of tanks in an RTS-like game and a great view of dogfighting biplanes. With the help of motion tracking control wands, they also finally get to play that game of Dejarik. By adding a virtual reality clip-on addition, you’ll be able to use the glasses as a smaller, lighter Oculus Rift–style VR headset with no need for a projection surface.
A starter package with glasses and a projection surface will set you back $189. As of this writing, the campaign has just passed its $400,000 goal, but there are still 29 days left to go if you want in on the first round of castAR glasses.