CastAR

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castAR
Startup company
Industry Technology, Mixed reality, Augmented reality, Virtual reality
Founded Woodinville, Washington, Washington[1][2] (March 2013 (2013-03))[3]
Founder Jeri Ellsworth and Rick Johnson[4][5]
Defunct June 26, 2017 (2017-06-26)
Headquarters Palo Alto, California[6], United States
Key people

Jeri Ellsworth, president and co-founder[7]
Rick Johnson, co-founder[8][9]

Steve Parkis, CEO[6]
Products castAR
Number of employees
70+[10]
Website castar.com

castAR (formerly Technical Illusions) was a Palo Alto-based[11] technology startup company founded in March 2013[3] by Jeri Ellsworth and Rick Johnson.[4][5] Its first product, was to be the castAR, a pair of augmented reality and virtual reality glasses.[12] castAR was a founding member of the nonprofit[13] Immersive Technology Alliance.[5]

History[edit]

castAR was founded by two former Valve Corporation employees;[14] the castAR glasses were born out of work that started inside Valve.[15] While still at Valve, their team had spent over a year working on the project.[14] They obtained legal ownership of their work after their departure.[8][14]

In August 2015, Playground Global funded $15M into castAR to build its product and create mixed-reality experiences.[11] In August 2016, Darrell Rodriguez, former President of LucasArts, joined as the new CEO.[6] In addition, Steve Parkis, became President and COO, after leading teams at The Walt Disney Company and Zynga.[6] In September 2016, they opened castAR Salt Lake City, a new development studio formed from a team hired out of the former Avalanche Software, which worked on the Disney Infinity series.[10]

In October 2016, they announced the acquisition of Eat Sleep Play, the developer best known for Twisted Metal, also in Salt Lake City UT. [16]

In December 2016, Parkis, who had been President and COO, was named CEO to replace Rodriguez. [17]

In June 2017 it was reported by Polygon that CastAR was shutting down, laying off 70 employees.[18] A core group of administrators was expected to remain, to sell off the company's technology.

castAR[edit]

Ellsworth explains castAR to GDC Next 2013 attendees

The castAR glasses combine elements of augmented reality and virtual reality.[19][20] After winning Educator's and Editor's Choice ribbons at the 2013 Bay Area Maker Faire,[21] the castAR project was successfully crowdfunded via Kickstarter.[5] castAR surpassed its funding goal two days after the project went live[22] and raised over $1 million on a $400,000 goal.[20] castAR creates hologram-like images unique to each user[19] by projecting an image into the user's surroundings[15] using a technology that Technical Illusions calls "Projected Reality".[19] The image bounces off a retro-reflective[9] surface back to the wearer's eyes.[15][20] castAR can also be used for virtual reality purposes, using its VR clip-on.[19][15]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Leiber, Nick (27 November 2013). "Technical Illusions' Hologram Glasses". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 13 June 2014. 
  2. ^ Lewis, Brandon (16 October 2013). "Technical Illusions takes augmented reality system to Kickstarter". Embedded Computing Design. Retrieved 13 June 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "About Us". Technical Illusions. Archived from the original on 14 June 2014. Retrieved 13 June 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Joey, Fameli (22 May 2013). "Hands-On with Technical Illusions' CastAR Augmented Reality Glasses". Tested.com. Retrieved 13 June 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c d Nicole, Lee (20 March 2014). "castAR's vision of immersive gaming gets closer to final production". Engadget. Retrieved 13 June 2014. 
  6. ^ a b c d Takahashi, Dean (18 August 2016). "Augmented reality firm CastAR recruits former LucasArts chief Darrell Rodriguez as its CEO". VentureBeat. Retrieved 18 August 2016. 
  7. ^ Nunneley, Stephany (13 March 2014). "Immersive Technology Alliance formed by Oculus VR, EA, Avegant, CastAR others". VG247. Retrieved 13 June 2014. 
  8. ^ a b Limburg, Mark (20 May 2013). "CastAR brings a new angle to Computer Assisted Reality". VG247. Retrieved 13 June 2014. 
  9. ^ a b Dean, Takahashi (2 February 2014). "Move over, Oculus. This startup’s augmented reality will blow your mind.". VentureBeat. Retrieved 13 June 2014. 
  10. ^ a b Conditt, Jessica (15 September 2016). "Augmented reality studio castAR picks up 'Disney Infinity' devs". Engadget. Retrieved 15 September 2016. 
  11. ^ a b Takahashi, Dean (19 August 2015). "Android creator Andy Rubin invests $15M in CastAR to build augmented reality gaming glasses". VentureBeat. Retrieved 19 August 2015. 
  12. ^ Lee, Adriana (20 May 2014). "They're No Google Glass, But These Epson Specs Offer A New Look At Smart Eyewear". ReadWrite. Retrieved 13 June 2014. 
  13. ^ Hsia, Kevin (26 March 2014). "EA, Avegant, Technical Illusions, and Others Form Immersive Technology Alliance". Punchkick Interactive. Retrieved 13 June 2014. 
  14. ^ a b c Hollister, Sean (18 May 2013). "How two Valve engineers walked away with the company's augmented reality glasses". The Verge. Retrieved 13 June 2014. 
  15. ^ a b c d Nelson, Fritz; Yam, Marcus (30 April 2014). "The Past, Present, And Future Of VR And AR: The Pioneers Speak". Tom's Hardware. Retrieved 13 June 2014. 
  16. ^ http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2016-11-02-castar-adds-entire-eat-sleep-play-dev-team-to-utah-studio
  17. ^ https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/castar-by-technical-illusions#/entity
  18. ^ Crecente, Brian (26 June 2017). "Former Valve initiative CastAR shuts down". Polygon. Retrieved 27 June 2017. 
  19. ^ a b c d O'Dell, Jolie (31 May 2014). "How to get your own personal Holodeck, courtesy of gaming goddess Jeri Ellsworth". VentureBeat. Retrieved 13 June 2014. 
  20. ^ a b c Korolov, Maria (23 May 2014). "VR hardware moving along three separate paths". Hypergrid Business. Retrieved 13 June 2014. 
  21. ^ Hoopes, Heidi (23 September 2013). "Technical Illusions debuts Cast AR augmented reality glasses". Gizmag. Retrieved 13 June 2014. 
  22. ^ Mahardy, Mike (16 Oct 2013). "castAR Funded With 29 Days To Go". IGN. Retrieved 13 June 2014. 

External links[edit]