Augmented reality startup CastAR is making some moves, hiring experienced executives to take the company beyond its development stage.
We last saw CastAR at GDC where it was seen using a pair of lightweight glasses and a special material to show virtual objects on a tabletop. The technology offers a potentially low cost way of playing some fun multiplayer AR games, with each person around the table wearing their own pair of glasses. The company got $15 million last August from Andy Rubin’s Playground Global. In December, they offered refunds and promised free consumer units to backers of a 2013 Kickstarter campaign that raised more than $1 million but never ultimately delivered. The company was originally founded by Jeri Ellsworth and Rick Johnson, who were originally part of Valve’s AR and VR team.
Today, castAR is announcing the appointment of Darrell Rodriguez as CEO and Steve Parkis as President and COO. Rodriguez was the president of LucasArts from 2008 to 2010 while Parkis previously led teams at Disney and Zynga.
“They are the one-two punch we have been looking for to drive castAR into our consumer launch and beyond,” said Ellsworth, in a prepared statement. “Together with our great partners at Playground Global, we’re poised to deliver a groundbreaking player experience.”
CastAR is an intriguing technology that’s unlike most things we’ve seen, but it’s been a long time in development with no clear timeline for launch three years after it created a lot of early buzz for augmented reality technology. The path that worked out so well for Oculus going from Kickstarter to consumer product has been, if not a bumpier road for CastAR, at the very least a longer one. We hope Rodriguez and Parkis are able to get the technology into consumer hands after this very long journey.