Technical Illusions — founded by engineer Jeri Ellsworth and game programmer Rick Johnson — has launched a Kickstarter campaign for its CastAR augmented reality glasses that we tested out at World Maker Faire 2013 in New York City. The CastAR glasses work by projecting an image onto a retroreflective surface. The image is then bounced back through the glasses lenses, giving the wearer the illusion that they’re looking at a 3D hologram akin to Star Wars chess. Technical Illusions demonstrates a variety of possible applications in traditional gaming, tabletop RPGs, education, and scientific research in the Kickstarter video, and shows what it’s like to use the AR glasses without digital effects.
In addition to the motion-tracking Magic Wand controller and the RFID Tracking Grid — used to digitally track the movements of physical objects on a game board — Technical Illusions has announced an attachment that clips on to the front of the CastAR glasses to provide a fully immersive virtual reality experience similar to the Oculus Rift headset. The project is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter, and is projected to ship in September 2014.