Ar glasses for tabletop games surpass Kickstarter goal

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The Kickstarter campaign of the Tilt Five-ar glasses concluded this week. In total, the campaign raised around 1.59 million euros. The Tilt Five is mainly intended for interactive tabletop games. The product must be delivered to backers by August at the latest.

The Tilt Five is a system with which interactive board games can be played. It appeared on Kickstarter in September with an original funding goal of $450,000. For a pledge of 299 dollars, converted about 270 euros, users could get a starter kit containing a single pair of glasses, a controller and a gameboard. A set of three glasses and controllers cost $879, or $793. Kickstarter has previously funded projects such as the original Oculus Rift.

The team behind Tilt Five largely consists of team members from the CastAR project. This project was also successfully funded in 2013 through crowdfunding. At the time, the project received more than a million dollars, which was an unprecedented amount at the time. The concept of CastAR is very similar to that of the Tilt Five; in fact, it was also a pair of AR glasses for tabletop games. The project was initially made out of enthusiasm, but eventually the company had to become profitable and monetization became a necessity, Tilt Five CEO Jeri Ellsworth tells Wareable. The CastAR team fell apart in 2017. The team has been working on the Tilt Five ever since.

The Tilt Five works through AR glasses with two 720p micro projectors polarized for stereo playback at up to 60fps. Such glasses also have built-in stereo speakers, a microphone and an Inertial Measurement Unit. Such an IMU can, among other things, measure the orientation of a head by means of accelerometers and gyroscopes. The glasses are connected via USB 3.1 gen 2 to a desktop, laptop or Android smartphone, which must control the glasses. The host device needs at least USB 3.0. Support for iOS will be added after the official release of the product, according to the developer. The computing power of the connected device also determines the graphical complexity of the games. So a powerful desktop offers a better graphics experience than a smartphone.

The glasses only work via the supplied gameboard, which is standard 80x80cm. A larger gameboard is available at an additional cost, which can be expanded to 107x80cm. The glasses have a viewing angle of 108 degrees, so that the entire gameboard should be visible during use, according to the developer. Each connected pair of glasses also displays its own 3D environment. In multiplayer games, users can therefore not copy strategies from each other. The product can work in combination with physical products, for example cards and figurines. The developers also promise online multiplayer, allowing players to play with friends over the internet, provided they also own a Tilt Five set.

This controller resembles a magic wand, and is therefore called a wand by the developer. The controller contains some buttons, but also works as a pointer. The controller also allows in-game objects to be poked, pushed, dragged and crushed. The Tilt Five also works with hand-tracking in certain games.

The developers of the ar glasses will make a new prototype in December, and will start delivering beta kits in February. In March, the company will start production of the Kickstarter copies, which are due to ship from June. The developer hopes to have all copies delivered by August. It is still unclear when the system will be available to people who have not backed the system through Kickstarter.

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