Tilt Five: AR game console launches soon with 16 AR games
Tilt Five enables board game evenings with 3D holograms. The AR headset is coming soon - with an impressive 16 holo board games.
For about ten years, former Valve engineer and inventor Jeri Ellsworth has been working on an AR system for everyone. Her first startup CastAR ran out of money, but the tech prodigy hasn't let that discourage her.
In 2017, she founded a new company, Tilt Five, and simplified the hardware. A Kickstarter campaign in 2019 was successful, raising nearly $1.8 million for the startup.
The product was originally scheduled to ship in June 2020. But as is often the case with Kickstarter projects, there were delays and the pandemic made the situation even worse.
Since February, the first kits have been shipped to Kickstarter backers and the official North American launch is now scheduled for the second quarter of 2022.
Highly specialized AR hardware
Tilt Five consists of a game board, a headset and a wand controller. The headset casts light onto the game board, which is reflected back from it into the users' eyes. They see plastic 3D holograms.
The AR technology is limited in that it only works with specially coated reflective surfaces. However, this specialization lowers the price of the hardware and bypasses many of the drawbacks of conventional AR glasses: Tilt Five is said to offer a pleasant and clean image and a wide field of view comparable to VR headsets, according to initial reports.
Since great hardware isn't worth much without content, Tilt Five has tried to get studios on board from the beginning. These efforts are now bearing fruit: 16 titles will be available at launch. That's an impressive number for a niche device like Tilt Five.
Tilt Five: Expensive fun for group players
A big win for Tilt Five is a deal with publisher Asmodee Digital to release well-known brands for Tilt Five. Asmodee Digital distributes world-renowned board games like Catan and Gloomhaven. An overview of the announced launch titles can be found on the official website.
The biggest hurdle for Tilt Five will probably be the price of the hardware. The AR game console is meant for shared game nights, which means buying multiple kits at once. Tilt Five hasn't announced the price yet, but the Kickstarter kits were priced from $300. The final product could cost even more.
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