Technical Illusions, the virtual-stroke-augmented reality firm founded by former Valve staffers, has shipped its first-ever display system, with promises that more units are to follow in the very near future for its Kickstarter backers.
Technical Illusions was announced back in May last year
following the departure of 25 largely engineering staff at Steam creator Valve. Two of those engineers, Jeri Ellsworth and Rick Johnson, responded by setting up their own company to develop prototype virtual reality hardware dubbed CastAR. Unlike traditional VR systems like the Oculus Rift, which place display screens into a head-mounted rig with clever lenses, CastAR places a projector on the viewer's head which sends images to a box-like reflective display surface. Combined with shutter glasses - the same well-proven technology driving active 3D displays for decades now - and head-tracking capabilities the result is the appearance of three-dimensional images which respond to the viewer's movements. As an added bonus, the technology allows for easy integration with the real world - augmented, rather than virtual, reality.
Naturally, the obvious next move was to seek funding on Kickstarter
, and following the success of that the team cracked on with producing the first user-ready devices. Now, a year later, the very first Kickstarter backer is to receive what the company describes as 'early' CastAR glasses after 'tens of thousands of hours of development
The company has yet to provide a timescale for a full-scale commercial launch of its creation. Meanwhile, to whet the appetite of anyone who backed the project on Kickstarter and is still waiting for their hardware, the entire packing and shipping process is captured in the below video.