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CES 2014: Need an Escape? Avegant Glyph Take Me Away (preview)

aNewDomain.net — At the present ShowStoppers event at CES 2014, I found exactly the product to preview for you. It’s from Avegant, and it’s called the Glyph. Imagine four million micromirrors beaming crisp high definition imagery directly onto your retinas. Couple that with high quality audio and you have the ultimate babysitting device for kids. Mom can have a private showing of her favorite soap opera. Or maybe something (wink, wink) less PG for you, since it’s private — for your eyeballs only. Talk about immersive.

Check out the Avegant Glyph. Scroll below the fold for more on this cool new product, now on  Kickstarter, plus see product shots and my preview and takeaway on this utterly impressive new tech.

Image credit: Mat Lee
Image credit: Mat Lee

Glyph is a wearable display with digital light processing (DLP) tech inside. There’s two chips — 0ne chip per eye with two million micro mirrors projecting the display directly onto your retina.

We aren’t sure what the side effects are of doing this for long periods of time, but on FAQ it says, “The light source is simply a low powered Light Emitting Diode (LED) — something like you would see at the end of a keychain light. The micromirror array and optics together create the unique image.” Maybe the analysis job can be for Reticare. We’ll see.

At any rate, I wore the Glyph for a few minutes, and I felt completely fine. I’m curious how my eyes and head would feel after a Lord of the Rings marathon, though.

Image Credit: Avegant

Image credit: Avegant

The virtual retina displays (VRD) in the Avegent Glyph are held on by tension. The device felt a bit heavy on the bridge of my nose, but hopefully the final product will be lighter. More later on results from the Avegent Glyph Kickstarter campaign.

To use the Glyph you just put it on, plug it into whatever you want that has HDMI, adjust the images so they line up with your eyes, and you’re ready to be immersed. The effect is that of  an 80-inch display about eight feet away, but projected directly onto your eyeballs. This gives you roughly a 45-degree field of view.

Image Credit: Mat Lee

Image credit: Mat Lee

Personally, I would love to wear something like this whenever I need to block out the real world and immerse myself in something distracting. Like if you’re flying. Or in therapy.

Also, because I know you might be thinking it, I’ll just say it. Imagine having your own personal porn theater. That’s what the Internet was really created for, right? Just ask Al Gore if that was his original intention when he created all this. Ha.

Also, you can use it just for the headphones. Though when you have a display like that, I don’t know why you ever would. Maybe to save battery life or something. You can go about three hours with the current model. The Kickstarter project for Avegant Glyph will start Jan. 22 at $499 for the lowest reward that will include an Avegant Glyph AR system.

Image Credit: Avegant

Image credit: Avegant

Avegant partnered with Texas Instruments for its DLP tech and the 4 million micromirror chips.

We looked at quite a few of other TI-built projectors and the images were quite impressive. With the Avegant Glyph, there is no image other than what’s formed on your retina. That mimics the way we see the actual world. And it allows for a comfortable, crystal-clear image.

The Avegant team told me they were mainly at CES 2014 and ShowStoppers to show off the 3D capability and connectivity of the Glyph. They certainly succeeded so far as that went.

The Avegant Glyph, I should add, is going to be compatible with most HDMI devices you own, including your HDMI-capable smartphone. Anything HDMI will work with the Glyph, execs said.

We need more platform agnostic toys like the Avegant Glyph. Or at least I do. I wish I had a pair of these back in the day when we were jamming out on Nintendo 64 James Bond. Then again, you could always hook up a pair right now to the 64 via some sort of HDMI hack and get your game on! When I get a review unit — watch for my review here at aNewDomain and at aNewDomainTV — that’s the very first thing I plan to do with it.

Image Credit: Avegant

Image credit: Avegant

Avegant is developing the Avegant Glyph virtual retina display based on patented technology developed by its CTO, Dr. Allan Evans. Founded in 2012, these guys are on Facebook and Twitter. The Kickstarter program starts January 22, 2014.

Image Credit: Avegant

Image credit: Avegant

For aNewDomain.net, I’m Mat Lee.

P.S. Check out my CES 2014 picture gallery on Google+, and also be sure to check out all of our videos on the brand new aNewDomainTV YouTube page. We’ll definitely be at the next ShowStoppers.

Based in Kalispell, Montana, Mat Lee is a senior editor and podcaster at aNewDomain.net. He is yet another teamBYTE vet on our aNewDomain.net edit team and he hosts the popular Yet Another Tech Show (YATS). He is an Android man. Email Mat at Mat@aNewDomain.net and follow him on Google+, where he is +Mat Lee.

 

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