At the start of the year, Valve underwent a wave of staff layoffs which was insensitively titled ‘the great cleansing’, after which Gabe Newell (Valve head and gaming icon) ensured that Valve weren’t “cancelling any projects”. New developments are perhaps disproving Newell’s claim, as Jeri Ellsworth and Rick Johnson of Technical Illusions and former (fired) Valve staff members have come out with plans to develop their own brand of Augmented Reality technology.
The team have opened a kickstarter for their product castAR, a pair of 3D glasses which like the Oculus Rift, aim to transport you into an immersive 3D world. The product is apparently inspired by a scene from Star Wars: A New Hope, in which R2-D2 and Chewbacca compete in a 3D, holographic chess-like game.
The AR glasses reportedly equip you with a ‘magic wand’, empowering you with the ability to interact with and manipulate the 3D environments being simulated.
Technological Illusions are hoping for a 2014 release.