The Avegant Glyph offers cinema screen entertainment without the distraction of people rustling popcorn. The wearable, invented by a Silicon Valley start-up, resembles a hefty pair of headphones but when you slide the band down over your eyes, micro mirror projection gives the impression that you’re watching an enormous display. The device uses a standard HDMI port, meaning that you can use it with a phone, tablet or games console. And for those of you who wear glasses, the gadget offers imaging focusing, so you won’t need your facial furniture. Edward Tang, co-founder and chief strategy officer of Avegant, explains how Glyph brings the big screen to the end of your nose.
Why did you create the Avegant Glyph?
It represents a new category of personal media wear. The Avegant Glyph is the world’s first personal theater designed with lightweight portability, rich audio and amazingly clear video. Developed using Avegant’s patented Retinal Imaging Technology, which uses two million micro mirrors projecting images directly onto the retina of the eye, the Avegant Glyph enables effortless viewing so that the eyes are receiving visual input in the most natural way possible.
How did the Glyph project idea emerge?
Allan Evans and I met at the University of Michigan. Allan, the company’s CTO, developed the idea for retinal imaging technology while he was working on a project for the military at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Together, we realized the technology was not only potentially revolutionary but poised for commercialization, so we quit our jobs to start Avegant.
Why did you decide to combine headphones with a personal theater?
The combination to have the Avegant Glyph as "headphones for your eyes" was a deliberate design decision. How do you design something that people are willing to wear? To build something for the everyday person, striking the right form factor was crucial. We took a look around, realized that wearing headphones is commonly accepted, and knew that the Avegant Glyph needed to be built around that headphone form factor and experience.
How does it work?
The Avegant Glyph takes advantage of Avegant's patented Retinal Imaging Technology, to transmit vivid, life-like images directly to the eye. The image begins with a low powered LED. After passing through a patented set of optics, the light is reflected off of a microscopic mirror array. Two million mirrors next shape the light into an image fit for the eye. The light is then focused through a second set of optics and projected directly onto the retina mimicking the way we perceive light in our everyday environment.
Is this device looking to compete in the virtual reality market?
The Avegant Glyph is not a VR device. Instead, Avegant is a company at the forefront of wearable technologies for media and content. VR is about creating fully immersive experiences, which is not ideal for long-term use or for watching content since it can cause feelings of dizziness or fatigue.
What advantages does Glyph offer over other similar sets?
The Avegant Glyph represents a new category of personal media wear. With the Avegant Glyph, it’s about providing the experience of having the best seat in the movie theater, with complete mobility and amazing visual quality. The Avegant Glyph is the one and only product in the market right now that can support both short-term and long-term content consumption. We enable users to have good immersive experiences while avoiding the loss of sense of surroundings, discomfort or fatigue.
What sort of content works with the Glyph?
The Avegant Glyph plugs into any HDMI-supported device. Users can watch any type of existing media, including immersive 360-degree experiences.