Ex-Valve employees launch Kickstarter for augmented reality glasses

Ex-Valve employees launch Kickstarter for augmented reality glasses
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

October 14th 2013 at 7:00PM

New hardware project headed by Jeri Ellsworth and Rick Johnson raises $120,000 in matter of hours

The former head of Valve’s hardware division Jeri Ellsworth and ex-graphics technology dev Rick Johnson have launched a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter for augment reality glasses.

The project had initially begun life while the two worked at Valve, but the duo left the company earlier this year, and took the tech with them.

Under the company name of Technical Illusions, the team is looking to raise $400,000 to bring the glasses, called castAR, to market.

At the time of writing, the project has already raised $122,000 from 460 backers, with 31 days still to go.

The tech is designed to projected holographic-like 3D projections directly in front of the user. The glasses also include a tracking solution enabling users to freely move around the projections while they stay in place.

Objects can be kept in place through ‘the magic wand’ controller, which uses a joystick to position objects and control them.



The AR glasses work by using two micro-projectors to cast a perspective view of a stereoscopic 3D image onto a surface. A small camera is also used to scan for infrared identification markers, which can then track head position and movement. The glasses will get their video signal through a HDMI connection.

The project’s description also claims there will be an attachment that can transform the glasses into a virtual reality experience.



A number of tools for developers to create content for the glasses are also being made, such as a special castAR software development kit.

Developers can also create games for the hardware within Unity, while the firm has said it is in contact with a number of engine providers about supporting the hardware.

For more information visit the Kickstarter page.