Last November, former engineer of Valve, Jeri Ellsworth, and her company Technical Illusions presented to the world their first product – augmented reality headset castAR. Thanks to a successful campaign on Kickstarter crowdfunding-site developers from Technical Illusion managed to collect more than $1 million for the development of their project. In addition, to this money can be added funds of several investors who liked the castAR idea.
It is still not easy to describe the headset castAR from a technical point of view. It is not similar to the virtual reality headset Oculus Rift or augmented reality glasses Google Glass, although castAR uses the optional additional devices to duplicate the benefits of competitors’ gadgets.
The easiest way to describe castAR headset is as follows: these glasses projects image not in the eye of the user, but to the surrounding surfaces. In other words, we have glasses with polarized lenses, which today can be found bundled with many models of 3D-TV, built-in projectors and stereo camera. For the ideal positioning of three-dimensional objects reflective surface is required. For now its role is performed by gray fabric with tiny reflective elements applied to it. The fabric can be rolled up and moved anywhere at any time.
Projectors project three-dimensional image on a reflective surface, and the camera with two lenses continuously monitors the reflective markers, so that the image were superimposed on the surface as accurately as possible, and the user has the impression that there is a full window to another reality in front of him.
Of course, we’ll have to wait for the castAR release for a very long time, and advertising images we see only renderings of how the developers would like to see the final design of the headset. Nevertheless, the idea of augmented reality projection to the world around us is not so bad. Time will tell who will be the true king of augmented and virtual reality.