Ex-Valve inventor's augmented reality tech hits funding goal

Kickstarter campaign for castAR technology from Jeri Ellsworth and Rick Johnson exceeds $400,000 target in under two days.

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The castAR holographic projection technology from former Valve employees Jeri Ellsworth and Rick Johnson has exceeded its $400,000 Kickstarter funding target less than 48 hours after the campaign went live on Monday.

Funding currently stands at $406,780 from 1,675 backers.

"We had no idea it would generate the amount of interest it has in such a short period of time," reads a statement from developer Technical Illusions. "In the case that we significantly surpass our initial fundraising goal, we will have additional resources available to add new features to existing pledge levels."

CastAR is a "projected augmented reality system" that is reportedly capable of displaying "holographic-like" 3D projections. The developers said Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope sparked their interest and imaginations for what could be possible with such technology.

The castAR technology is made possible through two peripherals in addition to the glasses: the "Magic Wand" and the RFID Tracking Grid. The wand allows users to position items in space and control them, while the grid allows users to identify these objects (like cards or board game pieces) across the surface.

Should funding reach $600,000, Technical Illusions plans to create a fully functional "dungeon tiling tool" that will work with both the RFID Tracking Grid and the Magic Wand independently. If the campaign attracts $800,000, a microphone will be integrated into the glasses, while earbuds will also be added.

Ellsworth and Johnson encouraged backers to share their thoughts on the Kickstarter page about what they would like to see for future stretch goals. The campaign closes on November 14.

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