castAR, the augmented reality gaming system, have provided an update for Kickstarter backers eagerly awaiting news. The first ‘early’ design glasses have shipped! What’s more they filmed the journey of the very first set from packing to Post Office.

CastAR Update

castar toby cast prototypecastAR from Technical Illusions is a unique augmented reality gaming system that uses device mounted projectors and retro-reflective surfaces to achieve a holographic style experience for users. It was borne from the bowels of Valve’s R&D labs and had a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign last year – pulling in over $1M in backer support.

See Also: CastAR Interview and Hands-On: Jeri Ellsworth and Rick Johnson Speak to Road to VR

The team have now released an update to backers announcing that the first tier of backers, who pledged to receive early units (i.e. not the final design), will receive their glasses shortly.

Even before the Kickstarter campaign began, Jeri Ellsworth and Rick Johnsons have presented the castAR story in a very personal manner. Starting with Jeri’s intimate account of castAR’s origins in a video released prior to the Kickstarter, it’s fitting that this latest video conveys the first shipping event in a similar manner. It’s clear, despite looking a little weary, the team are thrilled at witnessing the culmination of years of hard work – finally their system will be in the hands of the public.

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The ‘boxing’ video shows contents that early tier backers can expect to receive; CastAR Glasses, Video Interface / Breakout box, Power Supply, IR Tracking Marker, Video cables, some Sweets and (as a reward for taking the ‘not quite final’ glasses and assisting with testing) a personalised letter from Jeri and Rick – all in a neat carry case. Interestingly, early adopters don’t receive one retro-reflective sheet but 3. Again, the team really want to heat feedback from early users on which they think is the best want some feedback.

CastAR's VR Clip-on Concept Art
CastAR’s VR Clip-on Concept Art

The early units do not include the still-in-development VR clip-on attachments, which supposedly provide a high FOV virtual reality experience, reflecting the projected light back to the user. This aspect of the castAR is still a relative unknown, but if it works well rounds out a quite compelling immersive entertainment package.

So, congratulations to the castAR team for hitting this milestone! Those of us ‘normal’ backers will have to wait a little longer for the final kits. Here’s hoping that next milestone comes in the new year, we’re really looking forward to getting our hands on it!


You can find more out more about castAR over at the Technical Illusions website here.

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  • snake0

    Great tech, TERRIBLE name for a product. I was hoping they’d change it to something a little more exciting before launch… like Augmetron or Altereal or Virtua-vision.. these are throwaways guys feel free to take them, I got a million of em!

    • brandon9271

      apparently it’s an homage to Leo Fender.. Stratocaster, telecaster, etc.. but yeah, it is a crap name. Jeri+Rick.. Jericko..tron? haha Rolls off the tongue a little better than CastAR. I’m excited about the projected AR but I don’t think anybody has actually seen the AR/VR clip-ons in action. I’m starting to think what they have shown of them are mock ups of what they hope they will look like but they don’t work. seems the throw distance of the projectors wouldnt allow for a clip on actually working that close but I suppose with the right optics anything is possible,

  • kate

    i think you linked to the wrong video
    the actual video you want is here
    http://youtu.be/SIaeIf7CaNk

    • Paul James

      Not sure I understand Kate – that’s the same video embedded at the top of the page.