Hands-on with the Avegant Glyph
This past Wednesday, a couple of us were able to demo firsthand the Avegant Glyph headset. We had written about their Kickstarter in an earlier blog post. Dan Cortes and I had the pleasure of attending their Show and Tell Happy Hour at Headquarters Beercade to check out the alpha prototype.
The Michigan-based tech company is making a name for itself by reimagining the 3D headset display. Avegant’s Glyph sets out to combine “stark, vivid images with premium audio in a unique flip down form factor.” Utilizing what Avegant calls a VRD or Virtual Retinal Display, the eye piece uses two million micromirrors to reflect comfortable, LED-powered light onto the back of the user’s retina. Avegant has a short video that further explains this feature.
Allan Evans, Avegant’s CTO, and Grant Martin, Head of Marketing and Product Strategy at Avegant were present at the event to talk about the two wearable demos.
Dan and I were able to try out the Avegant Glyph alpha prototype that was connected to a Macbook playing an oceanography documentary. Heftier than a standard pair of over-the-ear headphones, the headset was cased in a sturdy plastic, with primary controls on the sides of the cans. In order to view things properly, the key function was to use the two sawtooth wheels above each eye piece. Like a pair of binoculars, these needed to be focused precisely over the eyes, otherwise risk dizzying yourself with a double image overlay.
Since I was only able to demo the viewing mode of the headset properly, I found the display to be incredibly vivid and bright. The colors were bold and to some degree, I was able to perceive depth from the footage. The wonderful world of sea turtles devouring jellyfish was viewed in beautiful high-definition.
Dan was impressed by the headset’s incredibly detailed picture, but found it difficult to adjust the displays to achieve the 3D effect. Essentially, he was seeing double the whole time. Keep in mind, though, that this is an alpha product, and the Avegant team still has a lot of time to work out the finer details.
Given that we were only privy to the Glyph Alpha, those that have backed Avegant on Kickstarter will be able to receive the Beta, which promises:
- A comfortable, balanced fit that applies minimal pressure to the user’s nose and ears while still looking great
- Slimmer ear cans reduced approximately 50% in thickness
- A thinner, more lightweight visor with a cover that minimally impacts your head and hair during audio mode use
- One slim cable that connects to either an HDMI cable or an audio jack
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