CastAR Shows New AR Glasses With Upgraded Projectors

We first laid our eyes onto CastAR at CES 2014, and at GDC 2014 last week we got to see the latest improvements in this augmented reality system. The rapid evolution of the hardware is apparent since the model we tried on in January. Completely upgraded are the projectors, which are now both brighter and offer a wider field of view at 720p resolution per eye. The control box hardware was also miniaturized, making the entire unit more self-contained.

When you look through the glasses, the image is bright and vivid

The refined hardware, along with the thinner cable and better heat management, made the glasses feel and work noticeably better. The increased brightness of the projectors solved one of our main complaints, and now we can see even more.

With Sony's reveal of Project Morpheus and the recent acquisition of Oculus VR by Facebook, VR headsets are the hot topic. CastAR, on the other hand, occupies a very different space in augmented reality. CastAR's ability to integrate with your surroundings rather than completely replacing it makes it uniquely different from the rest.

Read more: CastAR: The Augmented And Virtual Reality Triple-Threat

Check out our short catch-up with Jeri Ellsworth about what's new in her latest prototype shown off at GDC 2014.

Follow Marcus Yam @MarcusYamFollow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • bustapr
    this is one of those tech that you have to experience in person to know exactly what it does. its interesting and innovatve, but I just have no clue what you are supposed to see.
  • anathema_forever
    I think its basically a transparent screen so it could add a photo style layer over reality that could act as a normal monitor or "edit" the look of the real world or add a monster into that shadow or that doorway etc
  • Admiral Fist
    This article does a bad job explaining what these are to people who have not heard of castAR yet. Basically they only work when looking at a special material, which acts similar to the reflectors you see in traffic signs and on road worker's uniforms where it is brightest looking if your point of view is close to the same angle as the source of light. The projectors send an image to the material and the material reflects the image back to the eye under that projector, filtered by polarized lenses like most 3d. So it shows you a hologram, but only in the given area, but you could just cover a room with the material if you wanted a holodeck type deal. The most obvious implementation IMO would be hologram tabletop games similar to dejarik, the game R2 and Chewie play in a New Hope.
  • Phil Morris
    It has three modes of operation:

    1) Using the projectors and reflective material
    2) Using the frame clip on with the lens up in AR mode (think Google glass)
    3) Using the frame clip on with the lens down in VR mode (think Oculus Rift)