AR Headset Company CastAR Closes Its Doors

Company set up by former Valve employee Jeri Ellsworth has been forced to lay off most of its staff.

In 2013 a company called Technical Illusions got its start through a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign that was aimed at creating a brand new augmented reality (AR) system called Cast AR. Since then the system has appeared at various trade fairs and technical expos. However, it seems now that the project has been shuttered.

A Report by Polygon says that the company behind the innovative AR system, renamed from Technical Illusions to CastAR, has laid off most of its staff and closed its doors, a statement that has been confirmed by now-formers employees at CastAR and internal development studio Eat Sleep Play.

CastAR was created by former Valve employee Jeri Ellsworth in 2013, who had previously worked on the project that eventually resulted in SteamVR. Ellsworth teamed up with Rick Johnson to create a new company to create and promote her new product, the CastAR. Unlike other head-mounted displays, the CastAR was designed to be exclusively focussed on augmented reality instead of VR.

The company were planning to commercially launch the CastAR headset later this year, with investments from financial firm Playground. Information from former CastAR employees indicates that Playground had refused to put any further investment in the company as of last week. A last-minute search for series B funding from other sources was unsuccessful, leaving the company with no choice but to shut down.

Current information indicates that everything is being liquidated, though there are some reports that a small core is still holding on to the CastAR tech and seeking to sell the technology.

VRFocus will bring you further information on the closing of CastAR as it becomes available.

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