Technical Illusions, a virtual reality company founded by two former Valve engineers, has released a new concept video for castAR, its augmented reality glasses that were funded on Kickstarter in 2013. The glasses work by using two microprojectors to cast stereoscopic images onto a retroreflective surface, sending it back to the user’s eyes with the support of a tracking camera to measure their head’s absolute position and orientation. A motion-tracking wand like a Wiimote serves as control input.
The video showcases a range of uses for the entire family. An architect brings a client’s building to life from the blueprint. The computer desktop becomes a three-dimensional space. And of course there are plenty of gaming possibilities.
Three games are demonstrated. A first-person shooter is of course included as the typical example of what VR gaming could be. Then two girls are shown remotely playing what looks like a fantasy board game come to life, demonstrating the kind of analog/digital hybridization that augmented reality opens up over immersive, virtual reality. To that end the company has also announced an RFID tracking mat which can be used to integrate game components with RFID tags. Finally, the directional freedom of games coming from your glasses is shown by a girl lying in bed and playing a flight game projected onto her ceiling.
The castAR system can now be pre-ordered through Technical Illusions’ website for $400. That includes the glasses and tracking system, a wand controller, and a 1×1 meter retroreflective surface. No estimated date has yet been given for shipping, however, so it is unclear how long you’ll have to wait in order to get your hands on it.