Jeri Ellsworth and Rick Johnson were part of Valve secret team to develop the augmented reality gaming system castAR, and when Valve pulled the plug on the project they decided that they weren’t ready to give up. This duo talked Valve into signing over the work they had already done and then set out to release the goggles on their own.
They launched a new company called castAR, and yesterday they launched a Kickstarter campaign. They want to raise $400,000 in order to fund production, and it looks like they will probably succeed.
If you’re interested in contributing you can donate any amount from $1 and up, but if you want a set of castAR goggles and matching game board then be prepared to shell out $189. The Pro package starts at $285, and if you want to play someone else then you’ll need a second set of castAR goggles. That package is going to set you back $385.
So how does it work? Here’s more details from the kickstarter page:
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.
If you are interested then you had better act fast. It’s been just over a day and the campaign has already reached $160,000. It will probably be fully funded in only a couple more days.