September 26, 2019 – Tilt Five, creator of a tabletop augmented reality (AR) board game, has recently put its product on Kickstarter in order to raise funds from backers to help turn the idea into reality.
If Tilt Five becomes a reality (which now seems likely given that pledge funding on Kickstarter had already reached the USD $450,000 goal in only 17 hours), users will be able to experience board games in a whole new way, thanks to the utilization of augmented reality technology. When putting on a pair of AR glasses that will ship with Tilt Five, players will be able to see 3D holograms displayed on the game board, and can enjoy an immersive experience either by themselves, or with a group of friends.
“When we started designing the Tilt Five system our focus wasn’t on the technology for technology’s sake. We wanted to provide an amazing gaming experience that blends the things you love about video games and board games. And we wanted it to be just as fun when playing solo, together with your friends, or even when you’re apart,” said Jeri Ellsworth, Co-Founder & CEO at Tilt Five.
There are a number of packages that backers can pledge for on the Kickstarter campaign, but all come with a pair of Tilt Five glasses, a game board, and a wand, which will allow users to interact with games.
Since Tilt Five is not a stand alone system, the glasses that come with it are a USB 3.0 peripheral that rely on a PC or mobile device to act as the host platform to perform the application or game’s processing needs (computing, graphics, networking, etc.). The Tilt Five glasses use these outputs to present a holographic display on the gameboard. The company states that the lenses used are large and wide open, to ensure that the glasses don’t block a wearer’s vision, and ultimately allow for a more social games-night experience by allowing players to see their friends, pizza, drinks, and anything else around the playing area. Furthermore, the company’s patented 110° field of view optical system helps to fill the entire game board.
The glasses also come with stereo speakers that support 3D sound, as well as a built-in microphone for hands-free voice chat, which will allow players to discuss strategy with teammates when they are playing remotely. The glasses are specifically designed for the Tilt Five tabletop experience however, and won’t support AR applications elsewhere.
The game board
There are two versions of the game board with Tilt Five, and this depends on which package backers choose. The LE package comes with a basic square game board, whereas the XE version comes with a larger, more configurable board. The XE game board can be configured as a square board, but also allows users to add an additional section and convert it into a 42 inch long board. One end of the XE board can also be propped up with a kickstand, which allows for the additional dimension of height to be added to games. The board will also come with a water and fingerprint resistant coating, making cleaning up easier.
Players can use the wand to interact with the holographic game space in a variety of different ways through various gestures. The wand also features haptic feedback, meaning interactions with games can be felt by the player. Tilt Five states that the wand is best for providing tracked interactions with the holographic scene. However, if an application does not require 6 DoF tracking for input, then developers can instead use a standard keyboard, mouse, or gamepad for input.
Initially, Tilt Five will support Windows 10 and select Android devices. However, the company has stated that it will continue to add new platforms after the consumer launch. Tilt Five has also been securing content partners across video games, board games, and RPG’s, as well as non-gaming applications.
Pledge tiers start at USD $299, which will get backers the basic Tilt Five LE kit. The XE kit costs USD $359, and the company also offers an XE group pack, which comes with three pairs of glasses and three wands. Above this, there are two other pledge options, which come with early beta and early production model glasses.
The Kickstarter campaign is set to close on October 28, 2019, with the company estimating that shipping of a finished product could take place as early as June 2020 (shipping to anywhere in the world).
Video credit: Tilt Five/YouTube