The Oculus Rift will meet some stiff competition if CastAR’s augmented glasses seem as good as it’s hyped up to be.
Whereas Oculus VR has already established itself as a contender in the new VR gaming space, CastAR is still seeking funding to get things going. Conveniently for CastAR, the world of crowd funded projects is not that far away. After a few keys and clicks, CastAR has found itself asking for money from eager early adopters and enthusiasts on Kickstarter.
CastAR, which was founded by Jeri Ellsworth and Rick Johnson, both notable figures in the gaming business, has already received over half of its pledge goal of $400,000 on Kickstarter. With 30 days to go in the campaign, it is very likely that CastAR’s lightweight, but full-featured, VR glasses will become a reality.
The glasses contain two micro-projectors (one for each eye), which are mounted on top to project stereoscopic 3D images onto a surface (a retro-reflective sheeting material). Additionally, there is also a tiny camera in between the two projectors that scans for infrared markers so that users can interact directly with any games or applications that is being projected.
“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.”
The VR glasses also come with a Wii-like wand controller that will allow users to directly interact with their projected applications.
Pledgers that are willing to fork out $189 to back the project will get a starter package, which will include the glasses but not the ‘magic’ wand. For an additional $96, though, backers can up themselves to the ‘PRO PACKAGE’, which will include the wand along with the glasses.