The brain child of fomer Valve employees Jeri Ellsworth and Rick Johnson, CastAR, is no more. They were part of the original team at Valve which helped create SteamVR, their focus was on augmented reality applications which Valve eventually decided to drop and Jeri and Rick were allowed to keep the IP which they helped develop. They went on to launch a very successful Kickstarter to help develop their technology and when they eventually received $15 million in investments they chose to return the money invested by their Kickstarter backers; a very different reaction than others have had.
Unfortunately they have not been able to continue to attract investment for their AR products and according to the information Polygon garnered, they have significantly downsized the number of employees and may be seeking to sell their technology. This is exceptionally bad news as their first set of AR goggles were set to launch later this year. The market seems far more willing to invest in VR than it does AR, which presents a large hurdle for smaller businesses to succeed. Hopefully we will hear happier news about Jeri, her team, and CastAR in the future but for now it looks rather bleak.
"In 2013, Technical Illusions got its start with a hugely successful Kickstarter, netting just north of one million dollars. This success drew the attention of investors and eventually led to a funding round of $15 million. With this success, Technical Illusions decided to refund the backers of its Kickstarter."
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