Author Topic: CastAR launched on kickstarter  (Read 27481 times)

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Offline mswhin63

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #50 on: August 25, 2015, 02:38:39 am »
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 16, 2015, 07:06:07 pm »
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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Online Rasz

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #52 on: December 16, 2015, 10:26:19 pm »
:(
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, 01:07:01 am »
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, 05:22:24 am »
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, 05:56:18 am »
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, 11:13:40 am »
So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish
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Online PA0PBZ

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #57 on: June 27, 2017, 11:47:51 am »
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, 12:14:00 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.
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Online EEVblog

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #59 on: June 27, 2017, 12:25:58 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, 12:30:31 pm by EEVblog »
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #60 on: June 27, 2017, 12:37:42 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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Online EEVblog

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #61 on: June 27, 2017, 12:39:18 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?
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #62 on: June 27, 2017, 12:40:59 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 27, 2017, 04:29:21 pm »
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 27, 2017, 06:46:47 pm »
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 27, 2017, 07:06:55 pm »
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 27, 2017, 07:19:00 pm »
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, 12:08:21 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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Online Rasz

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #68 on: June 28, 2017, 12:47:34 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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Online EEVblog

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #69 on: June 28, 2017, 12:48:02 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.
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #70 on: June 28, 2017, 12:56:57 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.
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #71 on: June 28, 2017, 01:07:18 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.
 

Online Rasz

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Re: CastAR launched on kickstarter
« Reply #72 on: June 28, 2017, 02:09:24 am »
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, 07:41:19 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

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, 08:34:01 am »
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
Sounds to me like they wanted to recruit chefs off XDA  :-DD
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