Woodinville, Washington based Technical Illusions is celebrating today after the close of their wildly successful Kickstarter funding round. The company raised $1,052,110 for the castAR, a pair of “augmented reality glasses” that seems to be somewhere between Google Glass and the Oculus Rift.
castAR’s projected augmented reality system is comprised of two main components: a pair of glasses and a surface. The frames of the glasses contain two micro-projectors—one for each eye. Each projector casts a perspective view of a stereoscopic 3D image onto the surface. Your eyes focus on this projected image at a very natural and comfortable viewing distance. A tiny camera in-between the projectors scans for infrared identification markers placed on the surface. The camera uses these markers to precisely track your head position and orientation in the physical world, enabling the software to accurately adjust how the holographic scene should appear to you. The glasses get their video signal through an HDMI connection. The camera is connected via a USB port on the PC. We are still experimenting with communication options on mobile devices.
Of course, core to the future success of the device is an accompanying software development kit, or SDK. It will be available to developers for free with the hopes that the glasses find uptake within the VR and gaming communities, and specifically the tabletop gaming community. This device is all about merging the digital and physical worlds.
The outfit raised the $1.05 million on a goal of just $400,000, and during the campaign they hit a slew of stretch goals that include things like an integrated microphone and a multiplayer zombie game. Delivery is expected in the fall of 2014.
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