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Jeri Ellsworth Is Bringing Affordable Augmented Reality to the World

A conversation with CastAR's co-founder on games, augmented reality, and affordable tech.

by Danielle Riendeau
Feb 23 2017, 10:08pm

This story appeared in the February issue of VICE magazine. Click HERE to subscribe.

It seems that around every corner is a company insisting that the future of interactive technology lies in virtual reality, but others aren't as quick to cut ties with the physical world. Eschewing VR's helmets and headsets for a blended approach, augmented reality (AR) is the domain of creators and innovators like Jeri Ellsworth, co-founder of technology startup castAR. The firm is working on an affordable AR-glasses solution that will project images on top of what you can see in the real world.

An AR interface can do something like project a map of an existing space, and add all manner of interactive elements, as  Pokémon Go did earlier this year. Or it could project characters onto a real-life game board and have them contend with obstacles, real-life weather, etc. That's only the beginning: AR typically uses projection of some kind, so anything that can be simulated, or animated, can conceivably be brought into the "real" world.

While AR solutions like Microsoft's HoloLens promise exciting sci-fi visuals—like 3D interfaces that engineers or modelers can use to design objects—it's also pricey. CastAR is instead looking to make AR a technology that anyone can use and anyone creative enough can design applications for. That accessibility is key.

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