It feels as though we’re on the verge of some kind of transformative change in video games. We’ve been playing the same games in the same way for a laborious amount of time, but now we’re beginning to see tech that’s attempting to redefine how we interact with games. The Oculus Rift, motion control, Kinect — not all of this technology is perfect but it’s a step in different direction, and that’s positive.
castAR, an augmented reality system that uses glasses to create 3D holographic projections in the real world is another attempt to innovate in this space. Its creators Jeri Ellsworth and Rick Johnson have now opened a Kickstarter in an attempt to fund its further development. Images project onto surfaces and remain static while you are able to move around them freely. The Kickstarter itself refers to the chess-like game played by C3PO and Chewbacca in the original Star Wars. castAR is a realisation of that initial concept.
The project started life as a prototype in the labs of Valve. Jeri Ellsworth had an idea and Rick Johnson, whose team was working on Linux ports of existing Valve franchises, decided to help out. 18 months later, both Jeri and Rick have left Valve and were given permission to take this technology with them: a technology that may have fallen by the wayside at Valve is now being given full attention.
It’s interesting but, so far, its implications for gaming seems focused solely on board game style software, which does feel a little limiting. I’d love to see what other developers could do with these kits. I’d like to see what else is possible.
Jeri and Rick are looking for $400,000 from backers and are already over 50% of the way there. I’m looking forward to seeing more of this.