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Ex-Valve team's augmented reality glasses blow past Kickstarter goal

Ex-Valve team's augmented reality glasses blow past Kickstarter goal

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Technical Illusions, a company founded by two ex-Valve engineers, has cause to celebrate. After just two days, the company's CastAR augmented reality glasses have met their $400,000 Kickstarter goal, leaving 29 days to raise additional funding. What's the big deal about CastAR that sets it apart from devices like Google Glass and the Oculus Rift, not to mention the waves of other wearables on Kickstarter? While working at Valve on hardware projects, maker Jeri Ellsworth hit upon a way to cheaply project a miniature virtual reality into the real world.

Instead of putting LCD displays in front of your face, a pair of tiny projectors on top of the glasses beams images to special surfaces that bounce the light right back to your eyes, at which point the shutter glasses filter out distinct left and right images to translate that into a 3D experience. The company has lots of ideas for how the tech could be used, from full holodeck-style experiences to Dungeons & Dragons-style tabletop gaming.

You can read our original report about CastAR right here, where we try out an early prototype unit — and discover how Valve magnanimously allowed fired employees to keep pursuing their passion for the project.