Amazing things are happening with augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). Technical Illusions is one of the newest companies in this field that is living up to its name. The company is preparing for a fall release of castAR, a pair of glasses with some associated technology that project interactive holographic images in front of the user.
Obviously, the technical challenges of AR and VR are immense. Nonetheless, significant gains and refinements continue to be made. Cofounders Jeri Ellsworth and Rick Johnson reflect on a specific challenge they worked to overcome:
“One primary concern we kept in mind when developing the castAR system was how to bridge the gap between the physical world and the virtual world. We accomplished this through the use of two unique peripherals: the Magic Wand and the RFID Tracking Grid. The Magic Wand is [a] new kind of controller that lets you position things in space and control them with a joystick, all with one hand. The RFID Tracking Grid allows you to uniquely identify, track, and augment physical objects (such as miniatures, cards, and board game pieces) across the surface. . . . castAR requires no calibration or adjustment. Just put on the glasses and play!”
Well, this is not quite the Star Trek holodeck, but it does appear (yes, “appear”) we are moving in the right direction. (We are moving, right?)