California-based CastAR has managed to raise over $15 million in investment from both its initial investors and newcomer Playground Global, a tech incubator founded by ex-Googler (and Android creator) Andy Rubin.
Developers know castAR best as the company founded in 2013 (as Technical Illusions) by engineers Jeri Ellsworth and Rick Johnson after they were laid off from Valve. The pair had been working on augmented reality headset technology at Valve, and went on to successfully Kickstart development of their CastAR headset to the tune of just over $1 million.
Now, with CastAR headset prototypes reportedly shipping out to backers (after multiple delays) and plans to release a developer kit in the near future, the company intends to use its newfound wealth to staff up and improve its engineering, developer support, and business development divisions.
"Based on feedback and what we’ve learned from our own research, we plan to ship next generation hardware to all our backers and any interested developers starting early next year," CastAR CEO David Henkel-Wallace tells Gamasutra via email. "The funds we have raised will be used to make sure the hardware is great, to improve software support for Unity and Unreal projects, and to support developers more closely."
Looking ahead, Henkel-Wallace stated that CastAR's goal is to get its headset onto North American store shelves in 2016 as a product "aligned with some recognizable brands in tabletop and interactive gaming." Developers interested in making games for the system are encouraged to get in touch via the CastAR website.