Author Topic: CastAR launched on kickstarter  (Read 26484 times)

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Online PA0PBZ

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CastAR launched on kickstarter
« on: October 15, 2013, 12:12:55 am »
Jeri Ellsworth and Rick Johnson just launched their castAR project on kickstarter:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/technicalillusions/castar-the-most-versatile-ar-and-vr-system
http://technicalillusions.com/

I think it looks very nice.
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Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2013, 12:32:15 am »
Nice vid on Jeri''s channel as well
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Offline w2aew

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2013, 01:42:34 am »
Yes, very cool.  Backed it!
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Offline toddisbn

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2013, 02:05:52 am »
Backed.... been waiting a while for this one. Get the word out there folks, Good luck Jeri and Rick.
 

Offline 8163jb

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2013, 06:54:06 am »
Nice, wrote a quick blog post about it and backed it :D http://doayee.co.uk/castar-kickstarter/
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Offline Hypernova

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2013, 12:30:48 pm »
Ahhh they caught the shot-of-speaker-staring-at-something-out-there disease.
 

Offline UnaClocker

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2013, 12:48:23 pm »
 got a private demo of this thing before it had even been announced to the world. It's absolutely epic. If you like the video, you're going to be blown away by how much better it is in real life. If you're not so sure, you're going to be blown away by it in real life. If you don't think it's all that great, wait till all your friend's have it, and see it in real life. ;) All the people ranting about how awesome it is in the video, that was my and my friend's exact reaction to it as well. You can't use the thing without feeling like you've just leapt 20 years into the future.
It's like 1996 all over again, when the world went from Windows CE, to the iPhone (or a few years later, the Android, if you swing that way).
 

Offline Psi

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2013, 01:04:21 pm »
hehe, halfway there in 1 day

US$80 intl shipping seems a bit high compared to other kickstarters?
« Last Edit: October 15, 2013, 01:10:48 pm by Psi »
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Offline UnaClocker

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2013, 01:38:06 pm »
It costs A LOT to ship things out of the US if it's not as small and light as first class mail will allow. I don't think they're far off the mark for a trackable package shipped internationally. I think the last package I sent to Canada cost me $60, and it was in a flat rate box!
 

Offline Kryoclasm

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2013, 01:55:23 pm »
I hope Steam feels like cr@p when this concept/product changes the world!  :box:

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« Last Edit: October 15, 2013, 01:57:54 pm by Kryoclasm »
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Offline Psi

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2013, 03:15:20 pm »
I hope Steam feels like cr@p when this concept/product changes the world!  :box:

Gabe gave them the entire valve owned project for free after firing them.
So while i agree valve was stupid to let her go i think they were at least honorable.

We don't know the internal reason behind valve killing the project but i suspect it was not the sort of thing they wanted to get into. Hardware development is also quite expensive compared to software development, especially when it requires custom optics.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2013, 03:18:49 pm by Psi »
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Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2013, 06:22:48 pm »
hehe, halfway there in 1 day

US$80 intl shipping seems a bit high compared to other kickstarters?
Apparently the surface is fairly large and heavy
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Offline pinkysbrein

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2013, 09:27:11 pm »
These really need a laser light source (could still use lcos) so it has an always in focus projection ... without that you'll need the surface either perpendicular or relatively far away or the focus gets screwed.
 

Offline nuhamind2

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2013, 09:38:35 pm »
These really need a laser light source (could still use lcos) so it has an always in focus projection ... without that you'll need the surface either perpendicular or relatively far away or the focus gets screwed.
Aren't the information obtained from IR tracking can be used to adjust the focus so it'll always in focus  :-//
 

Offline Legit-Design

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2013, 11:19:20 pm »
Is it just me or don't they yet know what resolution the projectors will have? I know resolution is probably irrelevant (after certain point) for the intended use.
Jeri hinted about the new pico projectors being probably "HD", so I guess atleast 720P. However these would be really nice VR glasses, or when travelling light just a really big display with the clip on.  This could be the first affordable good quality head mounted display, even if it's just the extra.

As far as I know only sony (HMZ-T1, HMZ-T2, HMZ-T3) has previously made head mounted display which actually has good resolution and works as intended. Everything else has been more or less crap or just really really expensive.
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #15 on: October 15, 2013, 11:45:51 pm »
These really need a laser light source (could still use lcos) so it has an always in focus projection ... without that you'll need the surface either perpendicular or relatively far away or the focus gets screwed.
Aren't the information obtained from IR tracking can be used to adjust the focus so it'll always in focus  :-//
Not if different parts are at different distances. Even with laser projection, you'd have the issue of correcting for geometry.
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Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #16 on: October 15, 2013, 11:49:05 pm »
Is it just me or don't they yet know what resolution the projectors will have? I know resolution is probably irrelevant (after certain point) for the intended use.
I think this is the case - once they are funded they will be in a better position to talk to manufacturers & pick the best device for price/performance, and have access to new devices that are upcoming soon.
I would think framerate is probably more important than resolution,a nd there will be some limits on overall bandwidth -  the whole 3D thing should be impressive enough without needing to go for the highest resolution.     
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Offline ElectroIrradiator

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #17 on: October 16, 2013, 01:00:03 am »
This should be interesting to follow.

AFAIK the main sticky point with various 3D glasses and associated technologies when it comes to the 'immersion' experience, is frame latency and not actual frame rate nor resolution. If you want a fluid experience, then the delay between your physical input and the resulting change to the visual field needs to feel instantaneous. Otherwise you get the typical 'stuttering' motion from the users test subjects, as their physical and visual input are out of sync, completely confusing their senses.

John Carmack of ID software fame recently did a lot of optimization to the Oculus Rift 3D glasses. He simply tuned and lubricated the software rendering pipeline to shave the absolute maximum time delay off the frame latency. Supposedly this made the whole experience amazingly better, despite running on the same limited resolution hardware.

Hope these two people are up for the task ahead of them. :)
 

Offline Hamster

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #18 on: October 16, 2013, 01:10:01 am »
Have you ever used the Oculus Rift 3D Glasses? I did.. talk about heavy, hot, and not very good on the eyes :( ... i was not impressed, i had a hard time keeping my balance too afterwards, and my eyes were watering from the heat.
 

Online Marco

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #19 on: October 16, 2013, 01:51:59 am »
Not if different parts are at different distances.
Not at all really, you can't adjust the focal plane of the projection by image processing ... even an AF lens wouldn't help because it can't help the fact that the focal plane is tilted. As I said, the only way it can work without always in focus laser projection is by putting the reflector surface far enough away that focusing (aka accommodation) is irrelevant or by putting the reflector surface perpendicular to the view direction (which creates a non tilted focal plane so you can see everything in focus, there's always going to be vergence/accommodation mismatch but that's a lesser problem).
Quote
Even with laser projection, you'd have the issue of correcting for geometry.
That they've already solved.

PS. made the previous post as pinky on my phone, registered a separate account on it because I couldn't remember my password nor my email server ... not trying to game the competition :)
« Last Edit: October 16, 2013, 01:59:04 am by Marco »
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #20 on: October 16, 2013, 09:55:11 am »
This should be interesting to follow.

AFAIK the main sticky point with various 3D glasses and associated technologies when it comes to the 'immersion' experience, is frame latency and not actual frame rate nor resolution. If you want a fluid experience, then the delay between your physical input and the resulting change to the visual field needs to feel instantaneous. Otherwise you get the typical 'stuttering' motion from the users test subjects, as their physical and visual input are out of sync, completely confusing their senses.

John Carmack of ID software fame recently did a lot of optimization to the Oculus Rift 3D glasses. He simply tuned and lubricated the software rendering pipeline to shave the absolute maximum time delay off the frame latency. Supposedly this made the whole experience amazingly better, despite running on the same limited resolution hardware.

Hope these two people are up for the task ahead of them. :)
I believe everything already runs at 120fps, with tracking in hardware for minimum latency.   
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Offline iceisfun

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #21 on: October 16, 2013, 10:29:34 am »
I have a lot more faith in any project Jeri is working on than most other kickstarter projects.

We'll end up with a lot more than 2 slices of bread when this is done :)
 

Offline Rasz

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Offline Dago

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #23 on: October 16, 2013, 06:39:25 pm »
Looks like a neat project, I'd be way more excited about it if I'd do any gaming! Maybe someone needs to make Altium compatible version where you could route PCBs by waving the wand... :D
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Offline Legit-Design

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #24 on: October 16, 2013, 09:52:41 pm »

Those who aren't familiar with tested.com you must checkout their channel if you like Jamie and Adam from MB.
 

Offline Psi

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #25 on: October 16, 2013, 11:45:09 pm »
Have you ever used the Oculus Rift 3D Glasses? I did.. talk about heavy, hot, and not very good on the eyes :( ... i was not impressed, i had a hard time keeping my balance too afterwards, and my eyes were watering from the heat.

You did not try the oculus rift.  You tried the developer prototype.
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #26 on: October 16, 2013, 11:49:18 pm »
http://www.kicktraq.com/projects/technicalillusions/castar-the-most-versatile-ar-and-vr-system/
trending toward $5,452,864

It seems to be going exactly as you'd expect. At an average $242 per pledge, it's to be expected the campaign would meet it's target just based on Jeri's existing loyal audience. It's how many additional gamer nerds it gets that will determine how high it goes.
I'd be surprised if it doesn't reach 10,000 backers, so at the same $242, that's at least $2.4M
That trending wouldn't be accurate yet because it's presumably extrapolating the initial loyal audience numbers, but yeah, probably not far off the mark.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #27 on: October 16, 2013, 11:53:16 pm »
I have a lot more faith in any project Jeri is working on than most other kickstarter projects.
We'll end up with a lot more than 2 slices of bread when this is done :)

And at least she's setting a realistic timeline. She will very likely need that full year to deliver, there is an awful lot to go yet, and a lot to go wrong too. Let's hope the ASIC works first spin!
My ridiculously simple PCB rulers are going to be a month late  ::)
 

Offline Rasz

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #28 on: October 17, 2013, 12:28:57 am »
$1M is reachable.
At this point the most important thing is exposure. Dragon/Comic/whatever-con goers should be priority for Jerri. Concentrating on Board games was a great decision - after all those are people with imagination :)

I was looking into retroreflective materials, alibaba has some listed starting at $2-3 per square meter, seems too cheap?
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Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #29 on: October 17, 2013, 02:20:06 am »
Re. focus. in this vid. she says they have a small aperture on the projector, giving depth of focus between a couple of feet and several yards

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Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #30 on: October 17, 2013, 09:41:01 pm »
A few interesting technical snippets and other Jeri stories in this podcast
http://embedded.fm/episodes/2013/10/16/go-for-everything-that-i-want
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Offline Markybhoy

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #31 on: October 18, 2013, 07:16:14 am »
Twit done a video about this with Jeri recently -

http://twit.tv/tri124
 

Offline Balaur

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #32 on: October 18, 2013, 07:58:44 am »
I'm still unclear on how they will manage to design and manufacture the ASIC in quantity. The $400,000 from the initial goal may not even cover that part (according to my experience as an ASIC designer). Not to mention production schedules (for rather recent 28/40/45nm processes, we are talking about 3-6 months between the tapeout and delivery), the sheer difficulty of a small company dealing with some foundries, or getting correctly-priced EDA tool licenses that allow commercial applications.

I will be really happy to see that I was wrong.
 

Offline krenzo

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #33 on: October 18, 2013, 08:31:29 am »
It didn't sound like she was going with a full scale ASIC but one of those services that turns an FPGA into an ASIC with reduced NRE cost.
 

Offline thm_w

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #34 on: October 18, 2013, 08:40:10 am »
I'm still unclear on how they will manage to design and manufacture the ASIC in quantity. The $400,000 from the initial goal may not even cover that part (according to my experience as an ASIC designer). Not to mention production schedules (for rather recent 28/40/45nm processes, we are talking about 3-6 months between the tapeout and delivery), the sheer difficulty of a small company dealing with some foundries, or getting correctly-priced EDA tool licenses that allow commercial applications.

I will be really happy to see that I was wrong.

She discussed this on podcast 147: http://www.theamphour.com/the-amp-hour-147-absorptive-augmented-actuality/
Its lower cost/faster turnaround: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Application-specific_integrated_circuit#Gate-array_design

NRE was ~10-50k
 

Offline Balaur

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #35 on: October 18, 2013, 09:18:19 am »
Krenzo, thm_w thank you for your comments. Much appreciated.
 

Offline Rasz

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #36 on: October 18, 2013, 10:40:37 am »
I was just sitting down taking number two when an idea hit me:

 Big problem in VR is frame/tracking latency. Move your head too fast for displayed framerate and brain notices discrepancy.
What if you mounted projector lenses on micro galvo arms and compensated head rotation directly with the glasses? Shift current image in sync with tracker until video pipeline has new frame ready, then snap lens back into starting position during vsync.
Of course it wouldnt work for lateral movement, but maybe (no idea, my intuition, head mass, and shaking my head furiously tells me so) rotation is a more sudden and less predictable movement - easier to rotate big mass on its center than to move it.
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Offline jancumps

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #37 on: November 15, 2013, 05:41:15 pm »
Well done technical illusions!
 :clap:
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #38 on: November 15, 2013, 06:11:39 pm »
They cracked the $1M mark thanks to a last minute surge.
Great result of course, but a fair bit less than I originally guessed such a ground breaking gamer system would have generated. The gamer geeks didn't really seem to swarm to it like I thought they would. Just under 2500 who ordered the hardware is a good result though.
I wonder who the two people are that shelled out $10K each for a hand build proto?
 

Offline whatchitfoool

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #39 on: November 15, 2013, 09:11:49 pm »
I wonder who the two people are that shelled out $10K each for a hand build proto?

One of the 2 is a founder of the Oculus Rift!  How about that? using other peoples money from kickstarter to buy into another kickstarter to get a leg up on your competition for ones said kickstarter.
In his defence, he does have the worlds largest collection of head-mounted displays...
 

Offline Rasz

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #40 on: August 21, 2015, 11:12:24 am »
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Offline sswift

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #41 on: August 23, 2015, 09:58:19 pm »
I don't get the hype about these.  It's a dead-end technology. 

It only works when you're looking at the retro-reflective screen, and it surely has poor contrast.  Have you ever used one of those pico-projectors?  You have to be in a dark room to be able to see the image unless you're inches away from the surface you're projecting onto.

And I say it's a dead end technology, because if you think about what ultimately you would want AR glasses to be, this isn't it.  You would want glasses that are lightweight, run on batteries for hours, can 'project' a solid high contrast image anywhere in a room, and don't shine light into other people's eyes while doing so.

The only way to get there that I can see is to have a pair of thin transparent OLED screen which can make portions of the display partially or completely opaque.  And that technology is so far removed from this, research on this won't lead to that.  Transparent OLED screens (flexible no less) are also right around the corner, and should be in commercial products in five years or so.  And Microsoft's offering, though flawed, is still far closer to the ideal than this.

Offline sswift

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #42 on: August 23, 2015, 11:44:36 pm »
A lot of long time forum members are probably thinking you sound like you know what you are talking about. NOT

By all accounts the retro reflector throws back most of the light and gives a bright image. Significantly it allows the viewer to see things at a natural optical distance and reduces headache and disorientation some users experience with other devices.

Why not listen to the old Amphour episode Jeri did with Chris and Dave to hear more about it. Then come back with your comments still not having worn a pair and seen for yourself.

It's funny you should talk about seeing for myself when you clearly have not seen them with your own two eyes and are just parroting back what others tell you.

I may not have used these glasses personally, but I have used the next best thing: a pico projector. And I can tell you that with a pico projector projecting onto a white surface in a well lit room, is barely visible with the projector a few feet away from the surface.

Now, the retro-reflective surface will improve this some, but there's one factor you cannot escape: Light cannot make a surface darker, and the retro-reflector will always appear gray.  That right there kills your contrast, and is why whenever anyone uses any projector, even ones which can put out far more light, they do so in dark rooms.   

Have you not noticed that every demo of this thing is in a dark room?

Here is a screenshot from their demo, with the image projected from the camera's point of view so you can see it:


Do you see any black in that projected image?  No.  The contrast is terrible.  And that's in a dimly lit room. 

Let's see what happens if we crank the light up in the room a bit:


This is simulated of course, but should be close to what the image would look like if the room were more well lit.  Now imagine if instead of it being a room of average brightness in the evening, it were a sunny day.  My living room is twice as bright as this with all the shades pulled down in the summer and I live in the northeast where we don't exactly get the most sun.

This really shouldn't come as a surprise either.  Just how much light do you think you could get out of three tiny LEDs in a headset without it getting up to 150 degrees in a few minutes?  They're probably driving the LEDs with no more than 1W so the headset gets warm but doesn't burn you, and they're spreading what little light they have over a large area.

Anyway, all speculation aside, the photo above proves that I said about the contrast.  Even in the best of conditions, it's not great.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2015, 11:47:54 pm by sswift »
 

Offline sswift

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #43 on: August 24, 2015, 12:00:41 am »
http://www.roadtovr.com/castar-hands-latest-glasses-thru-glasses-gameplay-video/

Quote
At this point it’s worth pointing out that the combination of bright projectors and the unique properties of the retro-reflective material mean it’s possible to play with castAR in ambient light. Our time with castAR was at around midday and there were lamps and outside sources of ambient light, yet the projected world was clearly visible. As this is projected light however, playing this way means that contrast ratio is lacking, although your brain does a good job of adjusting

http://www.roadtovr.com/castar-interview-jeri-ellsworth-rick-johnson-speak-road-vr/

Quote
Contrast ratio is however obviously only as good as the darkest shade on you projection surface, which means CastAR will never excel at deep blacks.

http://hackaday.com/2015/01/12/castar-hands-on-and-off-record-look-at-next-version/



Quote
Got to try an earlier version at Maker Fair last year. A couple things:

* The field of view is limited. I understand they went through some trouble to get the widest beam angle possible out of the projectors, but it still doesn’t come close to covering your peripheral vision. This is not really noticeable, though, when you are looking at a table.
* The image above gives you a pretty good idea of what the contrast and colors are like. Its better in a dark room, but obviously projectors aren’t going to be as vibrant as an OLED screen strapped to your face.

Offline mamalala

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #44 on: August 24, 2015, 09:04:48 am »
Imagine if people had the same mindset about telephones...

They are a dead technology! I mean, who wants those bulky things? They have a lousy sound quality, you need to be in a rather silent room to hear the person on the other end, and you have to almost yell into them so that the other person can hear you. And don't forget the cables. The cables make those fancy telephone machines quite stationary. Plus, who on earth would ever want to weave a web of cables to connect all those telephones?

Right?

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Offline TMM

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #45 on: August 24, 2015, 10:49:32 am »
The only way to get there that I can see is to have a pair of thin transparent OLED screen which can make portions of the display partially or completely opaque.
How is that going to work when you are focusing on something meters away and the 'AR' LCD is centimetres away from your eyeball? You'll only be able to focus on the LCD or the real environment, not both at the same time. CastAR is the only solution that completely avoids that problem without using ridiculously expensive optics. Obviously there are practical limitations, but alternative AR solutions like Hololens have other limitations that CastAR doesn't.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2015, 10:51:06 am by TMM »
 

Offline sswift

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #46 on: August 24, 2015, 12:24:20 pm »
How is that going to work when you are focusing on something meters away and the 'AR' LCD is centimetres away from your eyeball?

I don't know, but Microsoft's Hololens couldn't work if they hadn't solved that problem.

Quote
You'll only be able to focus on the LCD or the real environment, not both at the same time. CastAR is the only solution that completely avoids that problem without using ridiculously expensive optics. Obviously there are practical limitations, but alternative AR solutions like Hololens have other limitations that CastAR doesn't.

Yes, but an augmented reality device which only works in dark rooms is hardly the end-all be-all of augmented reality.  The end-all be-all of AR would work outdoors, in the sun, and the batteries would last for a couple hours.  And a good step in that direction would be to work indoors, in a well lit room, tethered to a PC, when looking at any surface; not just a retro-reflective screen.   There is no way for Cast-Ar to ever evolve into the ideal.  The technology it uses is fundamentally flawed. 

Of course I'm not suggesting that one should never develop technologies that will never lead to the ultimate solution, but the need to use a special surface, and work in dark rooms... those are serious limitations.  And there is some serious competition coming very soon.  My opinion of Hololens isn't much more favorable, I think Microsoft has been misleading everyone by making it appear the images look solid and fill your entire field of view, but the potential for that technology to evolve into something better is tangible.  If they could just add an LCD in front which can turn selectively opaque they could probably make objects appear solid.  And the FOV thing can probably be improved a great deal. 

As for requiring expensive optics, pico projectors aren't cheap either my friend.  And CastAR requires TWO of them.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2015, 12:25:55 pm by sswift »
 

Offline sswift

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #47 on: August 24, 2015, 12:31:28 pm »
You remain entitled to your opinions and I'll continue to think you have rushed to judgement based on insufficient personal experience.

And does Gabe Newell also have insufficient personal experience?  Considering he and his team have practically reinvented VR while working with the Oculus team, I would say he has plenty.  Yet he decided that Cast AR wasn't worth continuing to invest in, and allowed the team to take the project they developed at Valve with them. 

I think he made the right decision.

But I guess we'll see what happens.  Personally, I think CastAR is going to go the way of the OUYA, and that had way more developers supporting it.

Offline sswift

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #48 on: August 24, 2015, 12:46:07 pm »
Imagine if people had the same mindset about telephones...

They are a dead technology! I mean, who wants those bulky things? They have a lousy sound quality, you need to be in a rather silent room to hear the person on the other end, and you have to almost yell into them so that the other person can hear you. And don't forget the cables. The cables make those fancy telephone machines quite stationary. Plus, who on earth would ever want to weave a web of cables to connect all those telephones?

Imagine if people were satisfied with yelling into pipes you mean.

I'm not against AR.  I'm against this implementation of AR.

And even the first telephones were game changing.  They didn't gain traction because someone had vision of what they could become with years of research.

Offline sswift

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #49 on: August 24, 2015, 02:02:33 pm »
Why are you even attempting to make a case that one is better than another? What of it?

Why does anyone here discuss the merits of different Kickstarter projects?  You're asking me why I have an opinion?

I have no ulterior motive.  I just think it's a waste of money, like solar roadways, or the Ouya. 

Is it technologically neat?  Sure, I'd be proud of myself if I built it.  That doesn't mean it's a good product.

Offline mswhin63

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #50 on: August 25, 2015, 12:38:39 pm »
Seems the some people hate free speech. Personally i like it but I wouldn't use it in my current environment. Maybe things will change but I will not take up my living area.

Technology is good though well built and I believe it will be handy unit for some people. Gamers are usually the first to crawl over any new tech gadget.


Why does anyone here discuss the merits of different Kickstarter projects?  You're asking me why I have an opinion?

I have no ulterior motive.  I just think it's a waste of money, like solar roadways, or the Ouya. 

Is it technologically neat?  Sure, I'd be proud of myself if I built it.  That doesn't mean it's a good product.
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Offline FrankBuss

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #51 on: December 17, 2015, 06:06:07 am »
More than a year late and needs even some more time:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/technicalillusions/castar-the-most-versatile-ar-and-vr-system/posts/1445376
But unlike some other crowdfunding projects, they are going to refund all backers who didn't backed the prototype version (and except those who bought Jeri a coffee, because she's already drunk it). And all hardware backers get a pair of the consumer castARs for free when it is ready. More crowdfunding projects should do this, instead of just shutting down the company if they run into problems (e.g. Mu Thermal Camera) :-+ I hope it is not too late, because will be difficult for them to sell it, when everyone has a Microsoft HoloLens in 2016.
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Offline Rasz

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #52 on: December 17, 2015, 09:26:19 am »
:(
personally I think they should release hardware now, but I understand expectations creep after they got VC funding, was it 20mil? they got fancy offices in silicon valley now. At this point Its more of a 'hey AR is like VR, bookface paid 2bil, google invested another bil in Magic Leap, BUY BUY BUY" for VCs. This usually leads to constantly pushing the goal post and never releasing any products, because even faint suggestion that product/technology could under deliver would crush inflated VC valuation.

At this point Jerri is a multi millionaire on paper, and selling something not perfect would destroy her company :(.
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Offline sswift

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #53 on: December 17, 2015, 12:07:01 pm »
More crowdfunding projects should do this, instead of just shutting down the company if they run into problems (e.g. Mu Thermal Camera)

You say that like they have a choice. 

Why do you think these projects fail?  Lack of funding.  It's always lack of funding, unless it's an idea which is completely impossible to implement or the creators are just completely out of their element.  But even in those cases, the project invariably fails when the money runs out.  So where do you expect them to then get the money to refund backers and do something altruistic like give them free stuff to make up for the delays?

Even Mu could probably have delivered something eventually, since they seemed to be making some slow progress, but thanks to FLIR deciding to release a cheap version themselves there was no chance of them finding an investor.

Frankly, considering it's been two years and they only raised a million dollars initially, I wouldn't have been surprised if CastAR crashed and burned.  $500K a year is not a lot for a hardware company.  Especially when they were selling the things for only $189.  Right off the bat $500K of that money would probably have had to be devoted to manufacturing the final deliverables.  Which means they either had to stretch the remaining $500K out for two years or they were banking on getting outside investment and their gamble paid off.

Consider the Zano drone which raised a whopping $3M but somehow ran out of money after only one year.  And all they were making was a silly little palm sized drone!  CastAR is an order of magnitude more complicated than a miniature drone controlled by a cellphone.  I could probably go on GitHub and find someone's open source drone library that handles all the sensor fusion and stuff.

Offline stejep

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #54 on: March 05, 2016, 04:22:24 pm »
I backed CastAR and still hope they deliver at sometime as I really liked the project.

But I am really happy with the refund. I backed to project over 2 years ago when the Australian dollar was really high.
Now that is has dropped, and they are paying back in US dollars, I have made a profit of 25% over two years, that s a great return.

And if they do release the product in a couple of years, I am eligible for one free. Bigger bonus.

Steven
 

Offline Macbeth

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #55 on: March 05, 2016, 04:56:18 pm »
I just miss Jeris youtubes :( I probably couldn't use CastAR because of my amblyopia anyway.

Come back to youtube!

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Offline FrankBuss

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #56 on: June 27, 2017, 09:13:40 pm »
So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish
 

Online PA0PBZ

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #57 on: June 27, 2017, 09:47:51 pm »
Sad, but not totally unexpected I'd say, it's been silent too long. Good thing that they already refunded everyone from the kickstarter campaign.
Anyone wants to buy my coupon for a free CastAR headset?  :-\
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Offline FrankBuss

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #58 on: June 27, 2017, 10:14:00 pm »
IIRC there was a form for the Kickstarter refund and it was optional: You could choose if you want to wait for the things you backed, or a refund and coupon for a free commercial device (which I did and got my money back, no problems). So maybe not everyone got their money back.
So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #59 on: June 27, 2017, 10:25:58 pm »
Sad, but not totally unexpected I'd say, it's been silent too long.

Yeah, my spidey sense has been telling me for a while that it was going to struggle. But I didn't expect 70 downto zero like that. But I guess that's the nature of that business when you have zero income, it's either new investment money or overnight bust once the last investment money runs out.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2017, 10:30:31 pm by EEVblog »
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #60 on: June 27, 2017, 10:37:42 pm »
I'm sure something will come out of it - they had some very keen industrial leads like flight simulators that they were fobbiing off as they were focussing on consumer.
They have some really neat tech (quite a bit more than has been made public so far) , but maybe aiming for a full consumer launch complete with software infrastructure etc. was too ambitious.

So sad to see people pissing money away on startups like ubeam and Juicero that were obviously hopeless from day one, when this tech worked, and offers a lot of promise in multiple fields.
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #61 on: June 27, 2017, 10:39:18 pm »
I just miss Jeris youtubes :( I probably couldn't use CastAR because of my amblyopia anyway.
Come back to youtube!

You might get your wish depending on how it finally goes down.
If the company is just liquidated then presumably she's left with little to nothing?, and will be out of a job.
If they do have a small core team left they want to try and sell off then either they sell off the team (including Jeri) and the patents, and she goes back to work at th new buyer. Or they sell off just the patents and she might be able to exit with some cash? In that case she won't own it any more so will still be out of a job.
If she finds herself out of a job and free time on her hands again, expect her back on youtube, once a nerd always a nerd ;D

I wonder if she still personally own the patents, or the investors do?
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #62 on: June 27, 2017, 10:40:59 pm »
I'm sure something will come out of it - they had some very keen industrial leads like flight simulators that they were fobbiing off as they were focussing on consumer.

Yeah, I always though CastAR's future was more in some nicher industry field. I think we talked about this a few time with Jeri on The Amp Hour.
 

Offline NF6X

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #63 on: June 28, 2017, 02:29:21 am »
Yeah, I always though CastAR's future was more in some nicher industry field. I think we talked about this a few time with Jeri on The Amp Hour.

I was always interested in seeing it show up in 3D CAD software. I guess that's why I'm in engineering instead of marketing!
 
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Offline chicken

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #64 on: June 28, 2017, 04:46:47 am »
I wonder if she still personally own the patents, or the investors do?

I'm pretty sure the patents are owned by the company and will be sold off to the highest bidder. Let's just hope it won't be a patent troll.
https://patents.google.com/?assignee=castar
 

Offline janoc

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #65 on: June 28, 2017, 05:06:55 am »
I wonder if she still personally own the patents, or the investors do?

I'm pretty sure the patents are owned by the company and will be sold off to the highest bidder. Let's just hope it won't be a patent troll.
https://patents.google.com/?assignee=castar


Well, even if it will be a patent troll, they wouldn't have much to troll about - there is literally nothing similar on the market. I hope they manage to find either emergency funding to pull through or sell the tech to someone who will want to do something with it as opposed to sitting on the patents.

I think they made a mistake trying to go for a self-contained system - that's essentially a game console and launching that while staying profitable is next to impossible in today's market. All recent game consoles were loss leaders for a very long time. But that's armchair quarterbacking.

I hope they manage to pull through and we get to see the glasses on the market at some point - I have tried one of the prototypes and it is a pretty interesting technology with a lot of potential in the professional market.
 

Offline WastelandTek

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #66 on: June 28, 2017, 05:19:00 am »
Serious bummer, at least she paid the kickstarters back.

Jeri is good people in my book, and I really wanted to play D&D with this thing.

 :(
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Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #67 on: June 28, 2017, 10:08:21 am »

I think they made a mistake trying to go for a self-contained system - that's essentially a game console and launching that while staying profitable is next to impossible in today's market. All recent game consoles were loss leaders for a very long time. But that's armchair quarterbacking.

The problem is that it would have been a nightmare to support a PC based system with all the different kit out there, especially to get reliable low latency.
Jeri strongly felt it was important to get a good, fast out-of-the-box experience, and that was only ever going to be possible with  a standalone system. They weren't going for bleeding-edge graphics performance as the resolution is limited by the projectors. I think they were basing was a fairly bog-standard Android phone/tablet chip with a small FPGA to manage splitting the video to the projectors and deal with the camera data, and a very cut-down and customised version of Android.
Although the initial plan was to do an ASIC, an FPGA  vendor made them an offer they couldn't refuse with a new part that was targetted at MIPI applications, whjch was a good fit for the camera and projector interfacing.
 They'd done some cool optics tricks to avoid the need for the IR beacon - I don't recall all the details from when she was telling me about it last year but I think it involved doing neat stuff with polarisation and different IR wavelengths.
My guess is deciding to effectively buy their own game studio to make custom games was a big drain on money - I wonder if a lower-key, much lower volume  initial launch with a few games and all the tools to let people get developing might have been a lower risk approach. Or maybe they hit some hard technical issues.
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Offline Rasz

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #68 on: June 28, 2017, 10:47:34 am »
The problem is that it would have been a nightmare to support a PC based system with all the different kit out there, especially to get reliable low latency.
Jeri strongly felt it was important to get a good, fast out-of-the-box experience, and that was only ever going to be possible with  a standalone system.

nah, going standalone was all about that razor blade model to please potential buyers

They weren't going for bleeding-edge graphics performance as the resolution is limited by the projectors. I think they were basing was a fairly bog-standard Android phone/tablet chip with a small FPGA to manage splitting the video to the projectors and deal with the camera data, and a very cut-down and customised version of Android.
Although the initial plan was to do an ASIC, an FPGA  vendor made them an offer they couldn't refuse with a new part that was targetted at MIPI applications, whjch was a good fit for the camera and projector interfacing.
 They'd done some cool optics tricks to avoid the need for the IR beacon - I don't recall all the details from when she was telling me about it last year but I think it involved doing neat stuff with polarisation and different IR wavelengths.
My guess is deciding to effectively buy their own game studio to make custom games was a big drain on money - I wonder if a lower-key, much lower volume  initial launch with a few games and all the tools to let people get developing might have been a lower risk approach. Or maybe they hit some hard technical issues.

all very interesting from the technical stand point, but meaningless when Rubin showed up with the intend of flipping whole company back to his daddy Google on the back of crazy Motion Leap scam valuation.

As I said on hackaday: I only hope Jeri wasnt an idiot and paid herself proper SV >$200K salary those last 2 years instead of eating ramen and dreaming of options.
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #69 on: June 28, 2017, 10:48:02 am »
You could've made things a little easier for me by providing a link to where GN gave his reasons for preferring VR to AR. The best I could find was anecdotal evidence it was a business decision to concentrate on Valve's first person shooter strength.

IIRC in one of our Amp Hour episodes with Jeri she said that Valve were developing both VR and AR, they were competing groups, and they decided there was no future in AR for them so they let all the AR team go and gave Jeri the keys to the Patent office along with it.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #70 on: June 28, 2017, 10:56:57 am »
I wonder if she still personally own the patents, or the investors do?

I'm pretty sure the patents are owned by the company and will be sold off to the highest bidder. Let's just hope it won't be a patent troll.
https://patents.google.com/?assignee=castar

Yep, that makes sense. CastAR owned the patents and Jeri is just a part shareholder in CastAR. Once the company goes into liquidation there is no stopping the highest bidder from getting the patents for pennies on the dollar.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #71 on: June 28, 2017, 11:07:18 am »
Well, even if it will be a patent troll, they wouldn't have much to troll about - there is literally nothing similar on the market. I hope they manage to find either emergency funding to pull through

Sound like (almost?) everyone was walked out the door, likely including Jeri:


In which case if there isn't any talent left to sell along with the tech, it's all over.
 

Offline Rasz

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #72 on: June 28, 2017, 12:09:24 pm »
In which case if there isn't any talent left to sell along with the tech, it's all over.

reading Dmitry interviewing experience there was no talent there to begin with
http://hackaday.com/2017/06/27/castar-shuts-doors/#comment-3705726
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Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #73 on: June 28, 2017, 05:41:19 pm »
The problem is that it would have been a nightmare to support a PC based system with all the different kit out there, especially to get reliable low latency.
Jeri strongly felt it was important to get a good, fast out-of-the-box experience, and that was only ever going to be possible with  a standalone system.

nah, going standalone was all about that razor blade model to please potential buyers

Jeri and I had a long chat about this, in person, when I visited SF last year. There may have been some additional reasons but standalone was clearly a better way to achieve what they wanted in terms of user experience for a consumer-level product.
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Offline RGB255_0_0

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #74 on: June 28, 2017, 06:34:01 pm »
In which case if there isn't any talent left to sell along with the tech, it's all over.

reading Dmitry interviewing experience there was no talent there to begin with
http://hackaday.com/2017/06/27/castar-shuts-doors/#comment-3705726
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Offline janoc

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #75 on: June 29, 2017, 04:54:51 am »
The problem is that it would have been a nightmare to support a PC based system with all the different kit out there, especially to get reliable low latency.

Low latency for what? Rendering? Their system was not particularly latency sensitive, unlike something like Oculus Rift where if you have 20ms "motion to photon" latency people start to see their dinners second time.

Moreover, since then there are specific low latency extensions by Nvidia that both Rift & Vive use (not sure whether AMD has released something similar but it is likely).

Jeri strongly felt it was important to get a good, fast out-of-the-box experience, and that was only ever going to be possible with  a standalone system. They weren't going for bleeding-edge graphics performance as the resolution is limited by the projectors. I think they were basing was a fairly bog-standard Android phone/tablet chip with a small FPGA to manage splitting the video to the projectors and deal with the camera data, and a very cut-down and customised version of Android.

I can understand the technical desire for a total control of the platform, however introducing yet another incompatible system for game development to the market is an insane decision from a commercial point of view. They are/were hardly Nintendo or Sony to be able to afford that.

That something runs Android doesn't mean you could benefit from the ecosystem and existing content. Ouya was a stellar example and that machine could actually run normal Android games - and failed regardless. Other such examples are Samsung's GearVR and Google's Daydream (Google VR). They are both super niche platforms and would be all dead like Ouya already if there wasn't for a big company behind them using them as loss leaders to sell more of their smartphones.

My guess is deciding to effectively buy their own game studio to make custom games was a big drain on money - I wonder if a lower-key, much lower volume  initial launch with a few games and all the tools to let people get developing might have been a lower risk approach. Or maybe they hit some hard technical issues.

That's precisely the consequence of what I have said above. If you decide to build your own platform, supporting it is going to be all on your back and going out of your own pocket until the system gains the critical mass and starts to  have content made for it by external developers. If it ever does - there are way more failed game consoles around than the successful ones and few, even large, development studios can afford to support obscure hardware. Game development is very expensive - even much larger and much better established Oculus backed by the Facebook money has shuttered their own content development studio recently.

« Last Edit: June 29, 2017, 04:59:46 am by janoc »
 


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