CastAR Shows New Augmented Reality Headset Prototype

We have reported before on the CastAR headset from Technical Illusions and its successful Kickstarter campaign. Now Venture Beat reports on an interview with Jeri Ellsworth on the status of the CastAR headset prototype. The CastAR headset is attempting to combine augmented reality with virtual reality. The company achieves this by adding a VR clip-on, that adds opaque lenses versus the slightly transparent ones.

As Ellsworth reports, the company has completely overhauled the headset and added a new optical engine to the design. The engine comes from a Japanese supplier, while the first version was handmade by herself. As a consequence, the image quality is much improved and the overall resolution now reaches the potential of the HD imagers.

The new prototype is still based on a two eye design with double video cameras as well. According to the interview published in Venture Beat, Technical Illusions has now started to make the CastAR headset, producing one hundred headsets at a time and plans to start shipping the units bought via Kickstarter, as well as development kit units.

The headset also has cameras and other sensors that allow the user to play games by moving their head. This is an interesting concept, especially if you extend the movement sensor as an input channel to control the headset.

When Technical Illusions was asked what the actual resolution is, the company answered 2560 x 720, though Ellsworth said that this is, of course tricky, as the headset uses both eyes. I understand that this means that two 1280 x 720 imagers are used in the headset, which basically results in an HD image. This would create a stereoscopic 3D image of HD quality instead of anything approaching UHD resolution, as the 2560 x 720 number suggests.

The CastAR is still available for pre-order on Technical Illusions website for $345. This is a pretty competitive price considering the price tags of existing headsets from Google, Epson and Vuzix. – Norbert Hildebrand