Brian Crecente, Polygon:
CastAR, the augmented reality start-up co-created by two former Valve employees, laid off its staff, shut down internal studio Eat Sleep Play and closed its doors today, according to now former employees.
A core group of employees are working to try and sell the existing technology, a source tells Polygon.
CastAR was launched by Jeri Ellsworth and Rick Johnson, who left Valve in 2013 with the company’s permission to take their AR research with them. After a successful Kickstarter campaign, CastAR raised $15 Million from Andy Rubin and Playground Ventures. They then refunded all of the Kickstarter money and set out to build a hardware company and content studio. The aim was to launch a pair of standalone AR glasses – and accompanying content and developer platform – as soon as this year.
Today’s news immediately made me think of Magic Leap, another company with high-profile backing and ambitious plans for mixed reality. More on them in this post.