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Ex-Valve inventor Jeri Ellsworth Kickstarts CastAR glasses

UPDATE: Kickstarter goal reached in two days.

UPDATE: The CastAR virtual and augmented reality headset has surpassed its $400K Kickstarter goal. Its current tally lies at $417,192 with 29 days to go before its 14th November deadline.

Developer Technical Illusions also announced its first couple of stretch goals. At $600K it will create a dungeon tiling tool that can be used with both the RFID Tracking Grid and the Magic Wand peripheral. This kit will come with a default set of wall, floor, and obstacle tiles, but will allow players to create custom-tiled sets as well.

At $800K, the developer will add a microphone and earbuds to the headset, so you won't have to futz around with another device to chat with your friends whilst playing online with the CastAR.

ORIGINAL STORY: More than half-a-year after being let go by Valve, Jeri Ellsworth, noted inventor, and fellow former Valve colleague Rick Johnson, programmer, are ready to begin gathering the crowd-funds they need to make their CastAR augmented and virtual reality glasses a big scale reality.

CastAR needs $400,000 on Kickstarter and initially seems to be off to a confident start.

It doesn't look like this anymore. This is the first prototype, nicknamed the 'head crab'.

CastAR are lightweight glasses that project 3D images onto a reflective sheet to produce a holographic scene in front of your eyes. There's head-tracking so the scene moves with you, and there's a joystick wand thing that allows you to interact with what you see.

CastAR becomes VR when you clip an additional attachment over the top. "With this component, you will have no need for any other head mounted display," the blurb reads - a sure dig into Oculus Rift's ribs.

CastAR is already fully formed enough to have been demonstrated to the public at events in America this year, where it received very positive responses.

The Kickstarter money will go into refining the hardware both functionally and aesthetically to make it ready for shops.

A CastAR starter kit requires a $189 - or higher - pledge.

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Robert Purchese

Senior Staff Writer

Bertie is senior staff writer and Eurogamer's Poland-and-dragons correspondent. He's part of the furniture here, a friendly chair, and reports on all kinds of things, the stranger the better.

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